The ride

“But, don’t you think it’s a bit absurd that the color’s all you care about?” He asks as his right hand gracefully circles the steering wheel, the palm slowly enjoying the friction of leather against it. The way his veins stick out while he’s driving always turns me on; and that’s only focusing on his hands while excluding everything else.

“Shallow much?” I ask with a smile, trying to turn my attention to his face instead.

His smile is the ever most conquering; silencing me with finality.

The road is clear ahead of us; I can sleep if I want to.

“Don’t you even dare!” He shouts as soon as a yawn escapes my mouth. And I’m too disappointed he read my mind yet again.

“Now what?!” I try to play dumb.

“You’re not falling asleep and leaving me to fight the road all by myself!” He reasons with a shrug.

“Who ever said I was gonna sleep?” I ask, imploding with frustration.

He leaves it at that; turns his attention back to the road. I switch on some music. Scroll right down the playlist until I find a song we can both enjoy. The intro gets him excited already; he throws that mischievous glance at me, the one he uses when transmitting inside-jokes or hidden messages.

Suddenly something has happened to me,

As I was having my cup of tea

The memory of the first time I heard it plays in the back of my mind. I can recall the moment as if it’s on replay right now; the girl at the airport, his ungallant attitude, my flaring temper, turning on the iPod, then hearing this.

“Wow! Animal Instinct!!” He had said the moment he spotted it on the iPod’s screen. I almost gave out the same blurt hours later when I turned on the iPod only to find it playing. Listening to it for the first time, I felt some sort of connection with the words.

Do you know you made me cry?

Do you know you made me die?

I felt like screaming the words in his face. It was exactly what I had wanted to tell him that day at the airport. It was like the Cranberries had read my mind.

“Man, I just love this song!” He says with another quick glance in my direction.

Our favorite part is here:

And the thing that gets to me,

Is you’ll never really see,

And the thing that freaks me out,

Is I’ll always be in doubt

How many times have I written that phrase when describing him? How many times have I wondered whether he could possibly know? How many times has he sung that pre-chorus out loud in my presence?

He takes a sudden swerve. The wheels of the car squeal against the asphalt of the road with the disparity in Dolores O’Riordan’s voice. We’d almost gone off the road; almost.

Quiet as a mouse, I do not dare to protest his lack of attention. God knows what I’m ready to give just to avoid another fight. Yet, his fed-up heave tells me he’ll pick up one just the same.

“That stupid, stupid road!” He strikes against the steering wheel with ferocity. “Not even a sign to warn of a curve closeby!” I remain silent, knowing that whichever answer I give would only turn him steamier. “Well, why would one expect such natural behavior when we’re living in this RETARDED country!” Spit comes out of his mouth alongside the word “retarded”; that’s how strongly he blurts it out.

It’s the animal, the animal, the animal instinct to me

He’s being soothed back; I can tell by the relaxation of his facial muscles. Gradually, I shake off my tense posture as well. As O’Riordan’s sweet, powerful voice drags on – one song after the other – the sun rays tampering with my face slowly urge me to close my eyes. Something about the idea of him taking the lead comforts me. I guess that’s one thing about falling in love.

“If you do not feel it’s absolutely safe for you to close your eyes and snooze off while he’s behind the wheel, you’re not yet in love with him.” It’s my tried and tested theory.


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