Authors note: This is a continuance to Off Stage, sort of, you don't have to have read Off Stage to get it, but it might give some things away about Off stage if you haven't. Though if you'd read off stage and leave me reviews, I would love you for forever and a half. I promise.
I drummed my fingers on the steering wheel as we turned a slight corner on I-72 heading south. The radio was playing Outkast's Hey ya. I tried not to think about it as Lana reached to change the channel, I batted her hand out of the way,
"Leave it on." I told her, "You know I love this song." She squinted her eyes at me then leaned back in her seat resignedly. I knew I had won. But that's nothing new, with Lana, I always win.
We drove for a while in silence, the only sound the upbeat tempo and deep voice singing Hey Ya. The song always made me want to dance, at least, it always used to, I reasoned that I was definitely starting to get sick of it, it had been over played for like two months, but reaching out and changing the station now would be like winning a boxing match, then forfeiting your title. I left it on. The station though, was slowly being over taken by static as we moved to far south for the radio to pick up the sound waves. After the song ended I changed the channel and found some half-decent one to replace it, though the choices were minimal, we were starting to get out in the middle of no where.
The scenery was getting more and more rustic, as we headed towards Appalachia. We were already in the foothills and the big rolling giants were all around us coated in dark dark green pine trees like fleece blankets or something. I unrolled the window because everyone always says that the air in the country smells better, but to me it just smells the same and the roar of the freeway is enough to make me close it again. Lana turned her head to give me a look that says she thinks I'm just nervous and fidgety. But that isn't it at all. At least, I don't feel like that's it, but sometimes I think my body lies to me and pretends to want something when really what I need or want is something completely different.
Lana pages through the crappy radio stations during commercial breaks but always ends up back on the same one because there's nothing else to listen to, I'm hoping we'll get into the city relatively soon. Hopefully before dark. The half broken radio clock in my Nissan is flashing 4:30 which means its really 4:45 because its 15 minutes fast, on good days, and I don't know how to fix it. Before we left mom had spent two days trying to teach me to do the laundry, two because the first day I managed to overflow and break the washing machine, and because it took one to learn to wash and one to dry. So you really can't expect me to be able to program my own radio clock. Besides, I lost the drivers manual the day we bought the car anyways. So probably no one could do it now.
Lana pushes her seat as far as it will go back before hitting the cooler of pop in the back seat and slides her feet out of her flip flops to put them on the dashboard, her pink polish glinting off her toes in the sun. I turn my head to glare at her because she knows I hate it when she does that and catch a glimpse of her perfectly smooth tanned legs. I suddenly wonder when the last time I shaved mine was, I'm wearing jeans, but I still hope it was sometime within the last 48 hours, in case for some reason someone sees my legs, I don't want to make a bad first impression and be known for the rest of the time as the girl with really hairy legs. I briefly considered telling Lette I'm getting off at the next truck stop to make sure just in case. I'm a perfectionist about these things. But then I remember were in the middle of no where, the next truck stop won't be until we get near a town, and the next town I know of is our destination anyway, so I decide to just hope for the best.
At this point I'm reasoning neither of us have said a word for half an hour, only because its hot and she's mad at me over this whole thing. So I turn up the air conditioner one notch and turn my head to look at her, merging into the left lane,
"Don't be mad at me." I say and at the same exact moment she begins to speak, what she says is,
"What do you think happened?" But all either of hear it,
"Don't what think me?" Or something like that, so we both stare at each other. puzzled and waiting for the other to start over, I decide to go first,
"Don't be mad at me." I say again, taking a breath and trying to sound sincere, though I'm sure it would have sounded better the first time. She squints her hazel eyes and shakes her head,
"I'm not, why would I be?" She asks,
"I don't know," I admit, even though I really do now, and so does she, she just thinks it's silly and childish to admit to being mad over something like this, when I have no choice and she knows it. It's not so long until thanksgiving. Just three months, not quite three even. She nods slowly but continues to look at me instead of turning back to look out the windshield. She's waiting for me to answer her question. I play dumb and turn back to the road and in the end she gives in.
"What do you think happened?" she says, so I had heard her right. I sigh.
"I don't know Lana." I say shaking my head, briefly closing my eyes under my dark sunglasses. "Why does it matter?" He eyes get really big, like she just can't believe I said that,
"Because she was our friend Lette!" She says. My heads starting to hurt, do we have to do this right now?
"Well it doesn't really matter how it happened Lana, or even why really, it only matters that it happened, getting so hung up on the details isn't going to change anything." I tell her, pretending that I don't get hung up on details, Lana is kind enough not to point out that I most definitely do.