It’s a ridiculous story, but there’s enough elements of truth (phone reception out here is pretty shitty) to make it believable. And even if the guy is lying, if he’s got some other motive he’s not admitting, it sounds like he’s abandoned it — me calling him out has spooked him. All he wants to do now is leave.
I’ll give him his wish. “Want to know what it’s like here?” Sweep my arms along the length of the lumpy, hole-riddled road beside us. “Road’s in pretty rough shape, isn’t it? That’s because they still have construction equipment coming up and down. Said they’ll put another layer on after they’ve built the last house on the street. Thing is, they haven’t even sold half the lots yet, and there’s other streets in Pleasant Hill where they were finished last summer, and those roads are just as bad as they are here.
“That’s what life’s like here. People don’t really come to Pleasant Hill, they leave from somewhere else — some people want to get away from living in the city, others don’t think they’re close enough. We’re all coming because this place seems to have something we don’t have. And we’re all so focused on finding what we’re looking for, we don’t ever think about what’s causing our neighbors to come out here.
“So we plunk down our money on a down payment, sign a contract that guarantees we’ll be in debt the rest of our lives — and this is what we get. Crappy roads because the builder doesn’t give a shit, empty sidewalks because nobody wants to talk to anybody.
“And we might wonder when we got out here if we’ve actually found what we were looking for. But after a while, we decide it doesn’t matter anymore. We’re here, and not going anywhere for a while.
I point to the shadowy figure in the car. “You want to know what it’s like here? It’s a lot like what you’ve been doing this evening — driving around without knowing where you’ll end up.” Fold my arms across my chest. “So, if that sounds appealing to you, I’m sure the sales office will be glad to speak to you tomorrow.”
An arm shoots out the open side of hte car, and quickly slams the door. The car backs away, then turns in a sharp U, headlights turning on as it pulls away. I then turn, and walk towards my quiet dark house on Green Valley Lane.
[End of “Green Valley Lane’]