By Evangeline Jennings
I blast past the speed trap at one-oh-five and change. The lurking cruiser rocks in Mabel’s wake. The blonde riding shotgun giggles.
“Faster, baby, faster. Do it now.”
I take her up to past a hundred twenty. “Ready?”
“Baby, I was born that way.”
I turn off our lights and count seconds silently. “One … Two …”
My hands are iron on the wheel. Winona’s gleeful screaming threatens to shatter the windshield and my eardrums. I risk a brief look in the rear-view mirror. There are no flashing lights behind us.
“… Eight … Nine … Ten.”
The lights come on again. She sighs and arches her back before stretching across the divide to plant a loud kiss on my cheek.
“Thank you, darlin’. You’re the best.”
I guess neither of us is worried about dying.
A sign for Macon. I ease off the gas. It’s four in the morning and time I got some sleep.
“We’re stopping?” She checks the gauge and pouts – we still have half a tank. “That’s just plain dumb, you know. Why don’t you let me drive while you rest?”
It’s a good idea, of course – Maria and Isabella must be driving in shifts – but I don’t trust my passenger that much.
“Come on, baby, let me help you. Please. You’ve must have done a thousand miles today.”
A little more I think. Tallahassee to Miami and now Macon.
“No. I’m sorry.” I can’t give up the wheel. “No way I can sleep if someone else is driving.”
“Even you.” I pat her knee and take the next off ramp. It’s time to tell Winona the plan. We find a motel and sit in the parking lot while I explain. When I’m sure she understands, I give her two grand spending money and she sticks her tongue in my mouth. She tastes stale but I appreciate the gesture