In retrospect, I probably should have stolen more food from the fridge when Dad was asleep before taking off suddenly. I mean, two growing teenagers require a lot of food anyways, but running away turned out to be a lot more stressful than books make it look like. There’s the keeping a low profile so that nobody gets suspicious that you’re not supposed to be without an adult, the managing of the money so that nobody steals it or you don’t run out of it too early, and all the basic outdoor survival skills that they were supposed to teach in the Scouts. But, if you haven’t guessed already, there’s a major difference between having adults to manage everything while you go play and suddenly being shoved into the domain of adults!
The road stretched out almost forever in front of me, trees framing everywhere I looked and reminding me of some disjointed memory of coming home to Wychester after a vacation. “Hey, Argentina?” Keep your hands on the wheel. Driving in the dark is dangerous, and you don’t need to put yourself at risk by looking back.
“Yes, Samhain?” Don’t look behind you, Argentina. She’s just fine there crawling around in the back with no seatbelt or anything… “Did you find the pop tarts? Or am I going to have to break into the stash of money?”
“Either you hid them really well, or they’re all gone like the rest of the food.”
“So what you’re saying is that we’re screwed until either we find a place that can serve food this late or we can get up north and find the money stash and have a shopping spree.”
“Yeah, basically.” Samhain climbed back into her seat next to me in the front, sliding a seatbelt on like she hasn’t just broken at least three laws. “At least we’re getting closer. Maybe a day without food at best, though. At this point, I’d gladly eat the school’s food if it meant no hunger.”
“Samhain, calm down. We’ve only been gone for a few days, and you ate this morning. You’re not starving.”
“Ooh, I’m starving so much…” An expression intended to be comical crossed her face, and she pretended to swoon and faint into her seatbelt. “Am I dead yet?”
Maybe not you yet, and that’s worst-case scenario, but your comedy act surely is. “Funny, Samhain.”
“You’re not laughing.”
“Ha ha ha. There. I laughed.”
She sat back up in her chair and returned to gazing out the window, her yellow coat draped around her like a curtain over a window. It was my coat, sure, but it fit her a great deal better than it did me. “Your laugh is almost as fake as your fingernails.”
I tapped a few of said fingernails on the steering wheel, almost making a lane exit onto a street just as secluded and ghostly-empty too late. “Well, given your situation, I wouldn’t be making jokes about being dead.” It almost felt like a few weights had settled onto my chest, and a few stormy clouds dared to drift into my already-somber emotions. “Which, if we had stayed home, would have been your situation already- so don’t make me have some kind of a traffic accident and end this trip prematurely.”