Things To Do For Love
We had been driving for what seemed like hours, but I had lost count next to you in the passenger. I watched beads of sweat coat the edges of your nostrils, ducking behind the grooves in your cheeks. The coiled roads had curbed my appetite a new direction, and you slowed down with this in mind. There wasn't much left to eat, anyway: some strawberries, a watermelon's rind, a Lara Bar wrapper. Keeping your eyes on the road, you tried to keep my thoughts on your laughter.
But my wrenching stomach disagreed, and I pleaded that you stop. The next pull-off was just around this bend, you said. I couldn't wait, I said.
I lunged to the backseat, reaching for the cooler, our only life line. Dunking my head into the hot plastic, fruit flies met my puckered lips as I closed my eyes.
Suddenly, a scorching burn pummeled through the pit of my gut. Chunks of bile leaped from the back of my throat, past my tongue, and into the vessel. I heard the scratch of gravel beneath our tires, and began to cry.
You pressed your palm between my shoulders, as if to remind me you were still there, and I let out a deep sigh. Wiping my mouth with the sleeve of my sweater, I turned to your furled eyebrows that read concerned. Do you want to do this out there?, you said, with a smile. Yes, I said, and laughed.