Securing oneself into a seatbelt is the first step to safety. When the metal clicks, it is a commitment to staying in that car. But when we shared our first kiss in the rain, hidden between cars in the parking lot behind the school, we weren’t concerned with commitment. I had a girlfriend, and we both knew we were going on a ride. We just couldn’t waste time putting on the seatbelt.
The Lead Foot:
We ignored all speed limits. On our one-month anniversary we rode in my Honda CRV that we named Clifford, and you told me you were scared. Your hands tugged at the scarlet dress that you had squeezed into. The words “I love you,” fell like the apple from the tree. We went from 0 to 100 in 30.
The Distracted Eyes:
Eyes on the road. If one looks away, then one could end up somewhere they didn’t intend, or forget where they were headed. We both got distracted. You got drunk on weekdays. I skipped class to spend time with my friends. For you, the beginning of college was like fumbling through the CDs in your glove box, trying to find your song. For me, the end of high school was like trying to pull over at every landmark to take a picture.
The Drift into Another Lane:
Flirting with the yellow line has always been dangerous. When you pulled up next to me at a stoplight, and she was in my passenger seat, I told you I was just giving her a ride home. It was true, but I didn’t want it to be.
When my lips collide with hers, my mind goes blank. My life does not flash before my eyes. I do not remember how your head nuzzled my neck, your curly hair tickling my chin. I do not remember how you snorted when you laughed. I do not remember how your glasses made your eyes seem more alive. In the moment of impact I do not think; I do not feel.
I watched you slide off the couch, onto the floor. You parked yourself in the furthest corner of the room. Your hands trembled. Arms wrapped around your knees. Eyes pleaded. Lips mouthed, “no.” It was too late. We had driven too recklessly. So I left the scene of the crash, forcing you to search for love among the wreckage.