The suitcase is older than he is. It’s hard-sided and heavy, but he likes using it for times like now. He’s been walking most of the day, hoping someone would give him a ride. No one has, and he is tired of walking. Now he’s sitting on the shoulder, using the suitcase for a seat, watching the summer sun send heat waves rippling off the faded blacktop. He sees a car coming up in the distance. His thumb goes out, but it’s more from habit than hope. The car roars by him, throwing up debris from the chewed-up highway. He has a brief moment of relief as a breeze picks up, rustling the branches of the tree overhead. It has the faint scent of rain, and he hopes he can find shelter before the storm gets here tonight. The breeze dies, and the summer heat rolls over him again. He feels the sweat trickling down his spine. He hears a car approach again from behind. His thumb goes out. This time the car slows. He hears the tires crunching on the gravel of the shoulder. He turns and sees the truck roll to a stop.

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