“So, that’s what should happen, in theory,” he said and stood over her looking at the computer.
“What happens if it works and the trucks … Stop?” She stood up and faced him. He had no answer. He had planned only this far. Stop the auto-drivers. Stop the thing that took his father’s job away. Stop the thing that caused him to lose faith in himself. Stop the thing that stopped his father.
“They … I don’t know,” he stammered, “they stop.” He was quiet, feeling slightly stupid for not having a larger plan. She sensed this.
“You know what,” she said, “I really like you, Josiah.” He said nothing, his mind racing, wondering what he should say, how he should respond. “It’s ok,” she said, smiling, “I know you like me.” He smiled too and nodded, blushed and dug his hands into his pockets. “I like your plan,” she said, “when do you test it out?”
“Tomorrow night,” he said, still blushing, still processing what she had said.
“Well then,” she said and put her arms around his neck. She leaned in and put her lips to his, kissed him. He was stunned. He didn’t know what to do. After a second he put his hands on her hips and kissed her back. She broke the kiss and stepped away from him. “For luck,” she said.
He had been crouching in the ditch for about an hour when he saw the lights of a truck about half a mile down the highway. He hit a few keys, raised the computer up and placed it on the edge of the ditch. He needed to time it perfectly. The truck approached, when it was directly in front of him he hit a key and held his breath. The truck moved by then, it slowed and stopped. Josiah’s heart pounded. But, before he could celebrate, the trucks interior lights blinked on, the engine started and the truck moved on, picking up speed, fading into night. Josiah waited. Closed the computer, slipped it back into the pack, unclipped the light, turned it off, put it back in it’s pouch. He climbed out of the ditch, stood at the edge of the highway and flipped the now vanished truck off.
“Back to work,” he said to himself and moved out across the field. Watching for lights, ears and eyes open for police. Again, no laws against walking across the field unless you had what Josiah had in his back pack.
“How was the test?” Tracy asked the next morning at school. He told her how it went, “So, what happens now?”
“Not sure,” he said, drinking a carton of milk and scribbling notes on a page, “I got something right just not … Right enough.”
She came to his house and hung out with him most days after school. She lay on his bed and did homework or just watched him. After a week, he told her he would be ready to try again soon.