The man was in his early 50s, a trucker who transported anything that needs transport in a tracker trailer truck. However, his rig had finally given out on him and he was in need of a new one. So when he entered the building looking, one of his friends spotted him.
"Harold! I heard about your truck." The younger man said when he was near his friend.
"Yes, but it was about time for that old rig to give out on me, 14 years is quite a bit." Harold said, "Lenny, do you know of a semi I can have?"
The younger man smiled, "but of course, it showed up today, looks like it has a year or two on it, c'mon, I'll show you."
Smiling softly, Harold followed Lenny out in the back lot of the building where many used rigs were. Some were being worked on while others were being polished up for resale. After a few minutes they stopped in front of a truck hidden behind others, just sitting there.
"Well, here it is, looks Peterbilt, but I could be wrong." Lenny said, "that strange symbol there is in place of the brand name."
Harold looked at the symbol of talk; it was red in color and stood out on the grill. Walking around the truck, he took note of the flame design upon the blue undercoat, something he actually liked. With a little help from Lenny, they opened the truck up to look at the engine.
"Yeah, it's Peterbilt." He said after an examination, "In rather good condition too."
"Like I said, it has a year or two on it." Lenny said, "I'll give you a month, if you want to—"he started to say, but was cut off by Harold.
"No, how much is it?"
Lenny looked at his friend for a moment, confused, and then gave the price. Harold took out his wallet and pulled out the sum in cold hard cash, and handed it over.
"You look like you were expecting the price." Lenny said, recounting the money to be sure.
"You know me Len; I've always had the ability to expect something that's supposed to be unexpected.
"Key's in there already, you can roll it off." Lenny said, and then stepped away.
Harold climbed into the cab and turned on the engine. Carefully driving off the lot, he hits the road, the place he felt right at home with. Since he had no family left, he lived on the road and at truck stops. The only bills he paid were for food, gas, and sometimes a hotel room.
It was well into the night, he had accepted a job to tow a trailer of furniture to a newly built house. He was minding his own business, lost in thought, when soft music reached his ears. It was an upbeat tune, one that woke him up. It was then a smile broke his aged face.
"I knew something was different about you." He stated, "The body of the truck didn't feel like any metal I've felt, and I recognized the symbol on your hood from the newspaper picture I saw."
"You're a rather observant one." Came a deep voice, however on the whisper side. Harold could sense in the voice of the truck was worry of scaring him.
"Always have been." He said, "Many find that odd, but I think its fine."
"The human race, each so different…" the truck muttered, then fell silent.
"Would it be too much to ask for your name?" Harold asked, "My name is Harold."
"You can call me Optimus." The truck said, and then a hologram flickered to life in the passenger seat. It was a fairly old man, perhaps late 60s, dark gray hair and wrinkled skin, and also had the look of a veteran solider. Harold couldn't see his eyes, as the hologram was staring out the window. The soft music became slightly louder, and Harold realized the music had changed to a rather depressed tone. He wondered if the music was matching the trucks mood.
"So… are you one of those robots that were in the paper?" Harold asked, he was just trying to strike a conversation with the person who was his truck.
"Yes." Was the simple reply, but the tone of voice was all Harold needed to hear. However, he didn't want to pull the information out, he wanted to wait until he was ready.
Ten minutes of endless highway and silence of listening to the music, Harold pulled the truck of the interstate and onto the freeway, and finally stopping in front of a home that looked brand new. Stepping out, he greeted the homeowner.
"Is this the load of furniture I ordered?" the homeowner asked.
"Yes, it is," Harold said, "I was wondering if I could just leave the trailer, I'd like to hit a truck stop that's down the road so I can sleep, I'll pick it up in the morning."
"Yeah, help yourself; it should be empty in the morning."
"Alright, thank you."
"And thank you." The homeowner said.
Harold walked over and detached the trailer, then climbed back into the cab and drove off, his silent companion no longer in the passenger seat. Shrugging, he drove off for about 10 miles before stopping at the truck stop, turning off the truck, and heading inside for some sleep. The next day, he showed up at the house, hooked up the trailer, and headed off to drop it off somewhere. When he was back on the highway with another shipment, he looked at his new friend's hologram that reappeared.
"If you don't mind me saying, you look like you lost someone close to you; your hologram there is rather emotional." Harold said. It wasn't that he didn't mind the silence, what he disliked was the amount of anguish the picture was showing.
"Yes, I have." The robot said, the hologram shifting himself so he was staring at the road. Harold saw the blue eyes, harden as a solider, soft as a civilian. It was a strange sight, but Harold didn't mind. "Not only is he my enemy, but he was also what you would call a brother." He said.
"Which robot might you be referring to?" Harold asked, "The paper mentioned only one, and it was a large white one that a boy took out with some cube you were after."
"That would be the one." Optimus whispered, his voice sounded as if it was breaking up.
"I didn't mean to push." Harold said, pulling of the highway.
"It is alright." The robot muttered, "But with him gone, a sunset had let darkness take hold."
"I know the feeling, I've lost all my family and my children have left."
Two weeks have passed since Harold learned what was troubling his new friend; they were on their way to the State of Maine with a shipment of oranges from Florida. Harold was trying to think of something to make Optimus realize that although time seemed to stop for him, it had moved on, and so would he before long.
Over the ride, Optimus spoke about his youth, how Megatron, as he learned the name of the robot mentioned in the paper, would always look out for him like any brother would do, and even taught him a little bit about combat. He would talk at random times, and only reveal a little information.
After dropping off the trailer of oranges at the designated place, Harold drove off in search for Maine's largest mountain, he would always forget the name, but knew where it was. Although not as large as the Rockies, it was a good place to watch the sunrise. With night slowly creeping out for the shift into day, he stopped at the top and stepped out.
"Hey Optimus, it should be fine here if you want to stretch." Harold said, walking around to stretch himself. "Besides, the sunrise is better seen if you were in robot mode." Turning around slowly, he watched as his truck unfolded itself into a 28 foot robot. The soft blue eyes looked at him questionably, but Optimus didn't say anything right off.
"Why are we watching the sunrise?" Optimus asked as the sky became brighter.
"You said the sunset had surrendered into night and hasn't risen again, I figured seeing a sunrise would help you move on." Harold said, "That, and I think Sunrises help show a new day has come, clean of hardships from the other day, only to carry the burden of many more."
Optimus remained quiet, thinking over the words that were spoken. He had been thinking a lot about the time with Megatron, both good and bad. Then he finally chuckled absently. Harold looked up at him, confused.
"I think talking with you has helped." Optimus said, watching as the first rays of the sun rose, "I've lost many men, and I was able to move on, remembering their courage, yet losing my brother, I hadn't been able to do the same, it's kind of foolish."
"Not really, the hole is bigger and better felt; it takes a little longer to recover, but sometimes it takes a little help to move on."
"I won't be over it," Optimus said, watching as the sun fully passed the horizon, "But I think I can move on now."
"Good, good, now would it be too much to ask if I could meet the rest of your team?"
Optimus looked down at his new friend, a confused look over his features, and then both burst out laughing.
"I'll think about it." Optimus replied, transforming back into the truck so that they could continue delivering shipment across the country.
Not one of my better works, but one that has floated around my mind. Optimus muttered the line "You left me no choice, brother" to Megatron's body after Sam inserted the cube (allspark) into his chest, and that's where this story kinda bloomed from, Optimus' mourning process.
Forgive me if it feels rushed, but please leave a review.