His untied sneaker pressed on the accelerator of his dad’s Ford truck, spinning rocks up the driveway, and causing the now-completely-odourless pine tree air freshener to swing wildly from the rear view mirror.
“My mom!” she whispered, looking back over her shoulder at the darkened house, surrounded by dark trees waving to them.
He steered the truck down the long, pot-holed driveway.
Each bump they hit made the headlight beams go skyward and seemingly be momentarily absorbed by the night.
“You can sit in the middle,” he told her, while silently thanking the inventor of bench seats.
She moved over.
She smelled like vanilla and cherry lip gloss and potential.
He stopped the truck at the end of the driveway.
The moonlit road — still wet from the afternoon rain — stretched out straight into the distance in either direction.
He kept his hand on the gear shift sticking up from the floor. His right forearm and elbow rubbed against her leg — bare to above the knee thanks to a very flattering sun dress. It sent shivers down his spine, as his stomach danced to music that only it could hear.
He gave her a “She hasn’t figured out how amazing she is yet” stare.
She blushed and gave him a “I can’t believe he asked ME out” grin.
“Left or right?” he asked.
“Anywhere,” she said, just above a whisper.
He turned right — knowing full well the turn would make her lean against him a little more, if only briefly.
He punished his transmission for being manual. As soon as he was in the top gear, he held his breath for a moment and put his arm around her.
She reached out and turned up the radio. The speakers cracked slightly. Some guy caught a ride to another town. Apparently the air was clean and the sun never goes down there.
He looked out at the glowing yellow line, leading a way he was more than happy to follow.
She exhaled and snuggled into him.