It was a few hours into his drive that the text message came in. The text said "It's about time" and that was it. Joshua knew what that meant. It meant his friend, Dave, was in. He was in all the way, no matter where this journey took them. Joshua felt a little tension in his shoulders release about the same time his stomach began to churn. He effectively traded one type of stress (having to do this on his own) for another type of stress, this tie this one made his stomach upset. He had no idea what he would find in Santa Fe. He might find nothing at all, perhaps he had let Sarah's trail get too cold. Perhaps even Dave, a man who made a living from finding those no one else could, wouldn't be able to discover what really happened to Sarah. He pushed those ideas to the back of his head, he didn't have time for them now. The wheel was in motion and he had already pushed all his chips in. The only thing to do was to ride it out and see what came up.
Joshua realized his mind was getting too far ahead of him. In a move he hadn't made in a year, he reached into the side door panel for his CD case. He flipped through the discs until he found a good road trip album. Willie Nelson's Greatest Hits, the first song was 'On The Road Again". It seemed fitting somehow. He let the twang of the guitar and the comfortable swagger of Willie coax his mind away from the tough topics and back to the road ahead of him.
He was nearly at the Arizona Border when fatigue hit him. He was miles away from a gas station or a rest stop. He had to stop anyway, he had pushed an hour past when he first started feeling fatigued. He had fallen asleep for an undetermined period of time a few moments before and only the sound as he slowly drifted off the road woke him up. The loud noise those grooves made scared him awake for a few minutes but he was starting to fade again. It was a mile until an exit for a road headed in another direction was available. He would take the exit and look for a place to sleep. He only had to make it a mile. He dug his nails into the palm of his hand to stay awake.
The car was still moving when his eyes flashed open again but he was no longer on asphalt. He was confused for a moment but slowly his brain warned him to apply the brakes. He had to stop but in his slightly increasing panic he hit them to hard. The car was soon out of control. He was now wide awake as he watched his car begin to slide sideways right towards a drainage ditch. He tried to steer out of the spin but the car was no longer heeding his direction and the car continued sliding sideways. He felt the car lurch forward and the slide became a roll. The car was way past out of control and he knew he was going to die. Suddenly the car stopped rolling and the stop was abrupt, painfully so. His face was introduced to an airbag and something else, a hot wave of pain shot through his body right before things went black.