Aimee kicked the back tire of her '66 shovelhead. This was the third time in three weeks that the bike had broken down. She was used to her baby needing a few tweaks here and there, but this problem, whatever it was, was not going to go away. And of course, it would happen in the middle of nowhere on this lonely little highway. She opened her cell phone for the millionth time, turning it in the sun, but still no signal. Frustrated, she sat on the seat and waited for someone to drive by, hoping they weren't some serial killer or something...
Aimee was what most would call a "good girl". She got straight A's in school, got a degree from university, didn't smoke, only drank once in a blue moon, and was always nice to everyone. Some would even say that she was bit nerdy, which is why it shocked the hell out of everyone when she got her first bike. No one could believe that she was into riding. And she was a good rider, too. Better than some guys out there. She started small, with a 550 Yamaha, and eventually worked her way up through bigger engines until she finally found the one for her - the vintage shovel. It was up for auction at an estate sale. The widow didn't quite know was it was, or the value of it, and Aimee felt kind of guilty paying the nice old lady such a small amount that she felt like she was stealing. But, in the end, she had her dream bike. The only trouble was that it needed the tweaking, which she'd been able to keep up with, until whatever this was that started happening a few weeks ago.
It was a few hours before she heard the first rumble of someone coming. The sun was getting lower in the sky and she was contemplating walking the hundred or so miles back to the last gas station she passed. She looked back up the road and saw the single headlight of a motorcycle. Ok, this is good. Someone who knows bikes. Maybe...
The bike's roar slowed down as it approached her, pulling up and stopping a few feet from her back fender. The guy looked a bit scary - dark clothes, dark bike, neatness nowhere and sight...but the thing that caught her eye was the black cut. Aimee didn't hang in those circles at ALL, but she still knew about them. And this guy getting off his bike looked like one of the bad ones. She took a deep breath and braced herself, not sure what to expect.
The guy whistled as he circled the bike. "Sweet ride" he said, running his hand along the seat. "Haven't seen one of these in a while".
Aimee stayed quiet, not sure if she should respond or not. The stranger looked up at her.
"'65?" he asked.
"66" Aimee answered, clearing her throat so as to actually make sound.
The guy walked around the other side, taking note of every detail, until he was finally stood next to her. "So what's the trouble?"
Aimee sighed. "I don't know. I've cleaned the carbs a dozen times, changed the plugs, the fuses...nothing works. It just keeps stalling at random times".
He listened to her with an amused expression on his face. "Sounds like you know your way around a bike!"
Aimee hated being patronized. Yes, she was a girl, yes she was riding a kick-ass bike, and yes she knew the parts. She even put gas in it all by herself! It wasn't a big deal, yet most men seemed to think it was quite impressive or something.
"Yeah, I do" she said, a bit too indignant. The stranger eyed her for a moment, then chuckled.
"Well, there's a garage not far from here. I'll have the guys send out the flatbed and pick it up" he said. "Come on, I'll give you a lift".
Aimee stood still for a moment. She watched him put his helmet back on, and climb back on his bike. She looked back to her baby. She couldn't leave her out here in the middle of nowehere. The guy sensed her feeling.
"Charming's just another 20 miles up the road. She won't be out here long..." he said, smiling. "Now come on, grab your helmet".
Aimee resigned herself to leaving the shovel alone, and put her helmet on. She hadn't ridden on the back of a bike in years, so she was a bit nervous. Especially since she didn't know the driver. She walked over to his bike and sat on it, noting there was no backrest for her to hold on to. She didn't know where to put her hands, until the guy turned his head back towards her.
"It's not like yours, all comfortable and shit" he said. "You can hold onto me, I don't bite..."
Aimee smiled nervously and reached around his waist. He turned his head again.
"What's your name, doll?" he asked.
"Aimee" she answered. "What's yours?"
He smiled. "Tig".