When we arrived in Idaho, I met Eddie's friend Schuck, who ran errands for hours, with us held captive in his big-ass truck. After camping three days in the Jewel Basin, all I wanted was a damn shower. Following his sixth or seventh errand, he asked, “Wanna skip showering and go straight to dinner?” A headache began at my temples. Should've known right then how the next few days would go.
We ate dinner in an Italian joint where Schuck's girlfriend Sara worked. Schuck inhaled his food first then watched us eat. I found myself eating faster, not even tasting my Chianti. When I lay my fork down between bites, he announced it was time to go. We ran out to grab drinks at a bar down the street.
Sandpoint is a place where one wants to linger. An historic downtown by a shimmering lake encircled by snowy mountains. Halfway through my wine, Schuck got a text message from Sara. He told us to hurry, so we could meet up with her. I looked down at my glass with disgust and imagined chugging it. My headache got worse.
Sara was a breath of fresh mountain air. I found myself wondering how such a cool girl got stuck with such a douche-bag. We hopped on bikes and zipped five miles around the lake to a house party. On the way, a cool breeze relieved my tension. I felt good, cruising around Sandpoint, until we reached some train tracks and things got technical.
We dragged our bikes over the tracks and chained them together in tall grass. There were no houses in sight, just woods and waist-high thicket. Schuck took off fast (as he wore the only headlamp between four of us). We trundled through trail-less woods, smacking into trees and trying to follow his sounds. I was drunk and stumbling on a fractured toe.
Even Schuck got lost, though he was too far ahead for us to know it. Sara called out to him in the dark to no avail. He continued cutting switchbacks in the blackness. Finally, a clearing appeared by the lake, a bed of skipping stones illuminated by the waning moon. I slid my hand into my back pocket and realized it was gone.
A passport may not mean much to you. You probably have multiple forms of identification with duplicates in a vault. If your father lives in Mexico, you visit him with no problem on account of your charm. Yet, who asked you? To me, it was everything, because without it (since my missing purse incident), I didn't exist. So, I frantically searched the pathless woods on my hands and knees.
After the party, we cycled back. Sara sped up to ride next to Schuck. Around a corner, he angled his bike in front of hers with a sly smile on his face. This threw her head first, over her handlebars and into a ditch. That's how it all began, and I had three days to spend with this guy.
Mittie Babette Roger is from Louisiana but lives in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She received an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Naropa University and authored the book It's Better to Visit the Shaman Without Questions to Ask. She travels the world volunteering to help disadvantaged children and promoting Blue Iguana Tequila to empower serious drinkers.