She stared straight ahead, watching the road. Her seat was cranked back as far as it could go and her feet were resting on the dash.
He was drumming his hands on the steering wheel, impatiently, agitated. He opened his mouth to speak, prompting her to turn to him, expectantly. But he didn’t say anything.
The tension was palpable and greasy. She opened her mouth to speak. His body grew tense, in anticipation. But she didn’t say anything.
She lowered her window and inhaled deeply. She couldn't breath inside the car. He watched her hair fan out, filling the space between them, with clouds of soft coils and the smell of lavender.
He wanted to reach out and play with her hair, like he always did. He wanted to twirl her coily hair around his fingers. He wanted the scent of lavender to linger on his fingers. But he didn’t touch her.
He watched the gold cuffs, that she wrapped around the few braids in her hair, catch the light and sparkle, romantically. He smiled to himself, it looked like she was wearing a crown of little illuminated lights.
He simply wanted to tell her that she was beautiful; but he didn't. He turned back to the road. She watched him drive.
The radio was broken so he hummed music under his breath and drummed to beats she couldn't hear. His blonde hair caught the light -creating a halo of burning gold.
He looked at ease. He was always at ease. He didn't react when the gray Toyota cut us off, or when he missed an exit. He didn’t complain about driving more than they had agreed to. He didn’t care that the radio was broken. Or that the A.C stopped producing cold air, miles ago. When she saw him, in that old blue diner, and thought "steady", she was right.
She wanted to tell him that she always felt safe with him. That he calmed anxieties that she never admitted to having. She wanted to ask him to play in her hair, like he always did. And, to ask him if he liked the smell of lavender. She wanted to tell him that she loved the fact that he sang to replace the silence of a broken radio. And that she still thinks of the day they first met. But, she didn't tell him.
He stopped humming and nodded approvingly at the upcoming sign. She turned to look, ‘Welcome to Maple Ridge’.
They made it.