I clear a section of floor space with my foot, shifting fast food debris, KFC, McDonalds’s, StarBucks. The car is old and has a tape deck. The seats so hot they burn my legs, all scorching vinyl and synthetic fiber. It cooks the dust, suffocating.
She looks different in harsh daylight, her lips are cracked, and her skin is oily. Her hair is mousy, tied back, and she wears a white bonds singlet and tight blue jeans. She is sweating, I can smell her, its fresh and I like the smell.
‘Pretty rough night, last night?’ I say.
She pulls away from the curb and starts to drive, watching the road, digging her fingernails into the steering wheel like she wants it to feel pain.
‘I was just off to get some smokes actually, would you mind if we stopped?’ I say.
She says, ‘Here, have one of mine,’ and though she seems to be trying to torture the steering wheel, she doesn’t seem angry with me. Not yet.
‘Sorry about your boyfriend,’ I say.
I lower the passenger side window to get some air on my face. Climbing up to about 80KPH with two windows down we are sitting inside a small hurricane. The stomach turning atmosphere of exhaust and hot dust is blasted away. The sweat starts to feel refreshingly cool.
‘You think… the police…?’ I say, over the roar of wind.
‘Don’t worry about him… no one will be missing him any time soon,’ she says, ‘and close that window.’
I say, ‘I don’t really know what happened. I hit the bags in the middle of the road and then boom, he comes crashing through the window.’ I say, ‘what were you doing out there on the road?’
She turns onto a motorway on-ramp, heading back up the mountains, on to the same road that started all this.
I say, ‘where are we going?’
‘Some place quiet,’ she says, and, ‘and I said shut that fucking window, please.’
I shut the window. I'll pretend not to be here. She doesn’t mean to be aggressive. She needs to control her environment. I know her.
She says, ‘I’m sorry I snapped. It’s hard to explain, so I am just going to tell you.’
She says, ’You’re going to kill me.’