Damn this car ride has taken a long time. [Reads a text from someone she used to know “I don’t really want to talk to you right now.”] Thinking back on the day, the last time a conversation was had was yesterday so why is that 20 hours later she’s receiving that message? A red Lexus car speeds into the spot in front of hers and her response is instinctual. The light is still red and no one but the red Lexus has moved-illegally, I might add. Green lights come on and her foot is on the gas as she speeds the car as far as it will go. Heartbeats thud and split the cage in her chest. What I wouldn’t do for a goddamn drink when I get home. The song is on repeat and it talks about someone crying a river because they cheated on their loved one. The song is about someone else, so why does she want to cry if she didn’t do anything wrong?
This really insightful girl posted something on Facebook about some emotional manipulators and what the signs of one seem to be. Fuck; this is on point. Her friend talked to her about unhealthy cycles and how she deserved better. So why did she feel that this was all there was? The street is now old asphalt and her ride is getting a little bumpy, she wants to sleep, and she’s thinking it may be because she’s depressed. Her eyelids are feeling so, so heavy. [The street is looking a bit hazy] Someone is honking at her, but it sounds like it’s some sort of reggeaton rhythm. She shakes her head awake and raises the AC in her car. The honker is now on the lane next to hers and matching her speed. He lowers his window, she follows suit. “Hey! Wake up!” she hears. “Thanks, my apologies,” she responds. She starts to close the window, but he asks her to wait. “Can you share your number with me? I’d like to call you sometime,” he says. This is weird. She says “Umm, sure” and proceeds to share her digits.
Eventually they talk, she finds him funny and they meet up. He’s pretty attractive to her as well, but the best part is that he doesn’t tell her she’s wrong, or that she won’t get it. Hell, he wants to meet her family and wants to know her past. They go to the beach together and float on the water on their backs as she slowly forgets her cyclical memories of depression-riddled days, demeaning words, and emotional manipulation. She also feels her anger wash away with the waves as he kisses her goodnight when they get to know each other a bit more. He surprised her one day with flowers, orchids, to be exact. She could grow those and watch them change just like she did and like he did. Her best friend met him and thought he was a good match, she said, “This is why that other relationship didn’t work!”
Her daughter is now the most important person in her world. She’s a creative girl that tends to have a natural knowledge of the world around her, but how could she not when her parents never dismissed her ideas and told her they loved her every day. They shared family outings—they all had this deep-rooted love for mangroves and the beach. Her mom and dad met one day on the road when they were both driving. Her dad tried waking up her mother as she was crossing onto the lane without realizing how close she was coming to her dad’s car. He asked her for her number because he saw something unique in her face in the way she sat. He thought she looked almost bored with only one hand on the wheel and slightly reclined, and then he proceeded on wondering how someone could have the audacity to sit that way on such a dangerous road. When he asked her to lower her window as he moved to the lane next to hers, he noticed her eyes were iced over as if she were stuck on some distant memory that chilled her right to her nerves and kept her machinery in place. To him, she looked like she was grasping on to some ancient genetic code stuck in the permafrost of the Antarctic. It was almost as if she thought those written bases were the only ones that could give her life. He wanted to understand more so he racked up the courage to ask her for her digits and she uncomfortably gave them to him.
In a parallel universe she’s driving on that same road and she starts to cry after reading that message. The red Lexus makes a sudden halt in front of her car. The man in the car behind instinctively switches lanes and he sees the scene unfurl, a gut-wrenching one in which the woman doesn’t have enough time to react and her car compresses along with that red Lexus. For a split second he sees her face and there is a single, clear tear on the right side. Red and hot blood is sliding down her neck. He feels forever frozen as if his soul has been jailed in the permafrost of the Antarctic. Her cell phone beeps and there is a message from someone she used to know. “I’m sorry, I don’t know why I keep doing this. I have some personal issues I need to work through. Please respond. I’ve been trying to reach you for a week now.” [I guess no one told him.]