The road stretches out before me shimmering in the afternoon sun light as if God himself planted tiny diamonds just below its tar-like surface. For a moment, the glitter distracts me, for a moment. I focus my attention on the miles and miles of road stretched out before me.
In the passenger seat, Hannah stirs, blinking her eyes slowly before looking at me, a sleepy smile on her face. "I guess I fell asleep," she says.
I give her a wry smile and say, "Yeah, I guess you did."
"Sorry," she replies sheepishly. "I hate long trips in the car; I get bored."
I nod, fiddling with the radio. I was sick of Beyonce. Seriously sick of her. Stations skidded across empty radio air before landing on the smooth styling’s of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. I sigh, finally at peace. Hannah wrinkles her nose as she turns away from the radio.
"You're so weird," she says her voice bored and uninterested.
I don't bother answering, I already know why she thinks I'm weird, and really, I don't care. I like who I am, whether she approves or not.
"How much further until we get to Seaside?" Hannah asks.
I shrug. "Fifteen minutes or so. Did you make all the arrangements with your aunt?"
Hannah nods, which surprises me. Don't get me wrong, Hannah is my best friend and I love her to death, but her memory is a bit, well sketchy. She has forgetful tendencies, her ability to be told something and then forget it ten minutes later never ceases to amaze me.
However, I do not say anything. I smile and keep driving. Part of me wishes we had flown, but there’s something about flying, about the act of going to the airport and sitting in crowded lobby while weary travelers shuffle by you, their multitude of suitcases being dragged lazily behind them. It felt impersonal and uneventful. At least to me. I preferred the great American road trip, from packing the car to making wrong turns and parking on the side of the road with a map spread out on the hood of the car. You were free to go where you wanted, to see things that you normally wouldn’t give the time of day to. The trip was more personal when you drove.
But really - and I will never admit this to anyone, out loud, ever - I wanted to drive so I could spend more time away from William. College was ending soon; just a few short months left, and I knew what the next step would be for us. I mean, there were really only two things we could do. We could be engaged or break up. I was somewhere between the two. I loved him, but William wasn’t someone I could see myself spending every day of the rest of my life with. Maybe the next six months, but the next eighty years? Yeah, thanks but no.
Up ahead the green highway sign informs me that the exit for Seaside of three miles away. On the radio, Ella finishes her song and Frank Sinatra pours out of the cars stereos as Ol’ Blue Eyes asks me to come fly with him.
There’s an overall feeling washing over me as I hum along. Things are going to be different after Seaside. I don’t know how, I don’t know why, I just now that a shift has begun and there is no going back.