Driving in Cars with Boys

When you don't like being home, you go out. When you want to tell your father to bite you, but know that he'd do much worse if you did, you go out with boys. 

You rest your knees on their dashboards, sometimes scrape the glove-box with your boots, sometimes look out the window to avoid their expectations, always momentary. 

1. In a truck with not enough seats. Crammed up against the boy you cheated on and his friend - nicknamed Cricket, who can chirp just like one. 

Driving to rivers, currents you can't push through, turning your head away. 

2. In his mother's mini-van, glass-blown rose in your lap, dressed for a dance you're not going to. 

3. In a big green suburban on your last day in town, his speakers nearly blown out. He knows he is just a friend, still lets his gaze linger on you too long, impressed by how you know every word to every song he plays; even the ones you hate, you sing. 

4. Stepping out of a Bronco, looking over your shoulder. He struggles to leave the parking lot and a feeling washes over you: a feeling that you will never see him again. You don't know why you think this, but you know it'll be the only promise you've ever kept. 

Each streetlight passing reminds you of a distant glow, a girl you loved coasting back into your memory, the way she would swing around them and dance. You remember every break-up, both hers and yours. You remember the dressing just to drive to pick up Chinese food, both of you crying to every song on the radio, crying over every boy, even the ones you hated. 

Still, you sang.