It happened on the western edge of Missouri, after they had finally cleared the cobweb hang of ominous clouds. The sky broke into a clear summer blue, and the sun was one giant glare off the paint of the car in front of them. The day was so bright, and they had miles and hours to destroy.

They cued up his playlist and stumbled through the lyrics of songs they used to know by heart. Their younger selves hadn’t been picky; they had loved everything from the Sounds to Maroon 5 to Cake to Korn. There were classics; songs with rhythms that reverberated in the center of her soul. Made time go hazy, and the car feel full of more than just two voices. Their belted out words birthed ghosts of neighborhood streets, concrete freeways and small red cars that smelled like syrup.

Their lungs tired, and the playlist wore out. They were delirious from the golden sun and the curvy asphalt. He started quoting a movie, and she saw all-nighters and basketball hoops and water balloons and basements full of bodies that buzzed with the adrenaline of gathering.

The sun started to melt in the sky, and she felt like parallel universes. Like all the hers were existing simultaneously in this paused moment where the destination was ephemeral. There would be a turn off and another ride, another passenger. But, as her silver car skipped between corners of states and the gooey sun kissed the horizon, they existed in the quintessential them, surrounded by an effervescent track of their greatest hits.


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