“Why is this bothering you so much?”
“It’s not,” she snaps, turning her back to me. “I was just wondering why. That’s all.”
I stare at the back of her head as she rests her chin on her knees, staring out at the desert land.
“It seems like you’re bothered,” I point out.
Her shoulders lift and descend as she shrugs. “If you leave, then I’ll be alone.” She mutters it so
quietly I can barely hear her.
I’m silent for a while, unsure what to say or if there’s anything I can say—want to say. “You can
come with me.” It slips out and I want to smack myself on the head. Taking her with me would defeat the purpose of escaping the noise and people, yet at the same time I know I’d miss her if I left her.
She glances over her shoulder with skepticism on her face. “Could you imagine me living in your
truck, because I sure as heck can’t.”
“Why not?” Again, what the hell is wrong with my mouth? Why can’t I just let it go? She’s giving
me such an easy out to a huge commitment I shouldn’t be taking.
“That’s the silliest reason I’ve ever heard.”
“Because I don’t understand why anyone would want to take off from a city where you have
everything at hand and live in a truck where you have nothing but a backseat. It’s pretty much like being homeless.”
I kneel behind her, inching close to her, then hesitantly place my hand on her shoulder. “Shut
She leans away, like I’m scaring her. “Why? ”
“Because I’m going to prove what’s so awesome about my idea.” I wait for her to do what I ask
and she stubbornly drags it on for longer than necessary, then finally surrenders and turns.
“Fine.” Her voice softens a little. “Show me what’s so great about a backseat.”
“There’s a lot of great things about a backseat,” I joke in a low voice, and then dip my lips
toward her ear and whisper, “Now shut your eyes.”
I expect her to argue, but she very willingly obeys, shutting her eyes the second I utter the
words. I shut mine, too, but only because being so close to her, breathing in her scent, feeling the
warmth emitting from her body is driving my body into a frenzy.
“Now picture nothing but mountains,” I say softly, picturing it myself. “No city. No noise. No
crazy-ass parents who act like children and treat their children like shit. No nothing. Just the quiet.”
“It seems like an awfully lonely place, if you ask me,” she tells me. “Just me and the dirt and the
quiet. Although I wouldn’t mind the being without the parents part.”
“You wouldn’t be completely alone.” I sweep her head to the side and rest my chin on her
shoulder. “You’d be with me.”
She pauses for an eternity and her breathing is ragged. Or maybe it’s mine. “What would we do
at this mountain place together?” she says.
“Anything we wanted.”
“Hike?” There’s disdain in her voice.
“Maybe,” I say. “Or maybe we’d just sit and enjoy each other’s company in the quiet.”
She shifts her weight and situates her hands underneath her legs, leaning back against my chest.
“That kind of sounds nice.”