You pick me up and take me home again
Head out the window again
We're hollow like the bottles that we drain
You drape your wrists over the steering wheel
Pulses can drive from here
We might be hollow, but we're brave.
I love these roads where the houses don't change,
where we can talk like there's something to say,
I'm glad that we stopped kissing the tar on the highway,
we move in the tree streets, I'd like it if you stayed.
— 400 Lux, Lorde
Both of us always knew there were others before and there would be others after, but that didn't stop us from growing roots that tangled us together. The car rides in the sticky summer nights became a nightly occurrence that neither of us could shake off; we would make jokes about how cliché it was and how it felt like high school with me, tip-toeing out of bed and through the door and you leaving the car running for a quick getaway. I liked that I could find comfort in the seat next to yours and I liked that neither of us needed to speak just to fill the air and I liked that every facade that both of us would perform during the day would crumble as soon as we heard my car door shut.
I roll the window down
And then begin to breathe in
The darkest country road
And the strong scent of evergreen
From the passenger seat as you are driving me home.
— Passenger Seat, Death Cab for Cutie
There were two-hundred and fifty-eight streetlights that lined the roads between your house and mine—a fact that you whispered to me one summer night. You were growing tired of me never being able to find a home on your mattress and I was growing tired of never having a sense of direction but for summer romances, we both knew ours was expiring soon. For a while, I was okay with us just being what we were--two people with no attachments driving down Lakeshore in a car with no destination, watching the reflections of the streetlights against the pavement as we passed.
Summer turned to fall and I found myself explaining to a lot of people why the girl with the terms and conditions when it came to boys and love didn't have one this time. I told people neither of us wanted to create obligations when it came to another because I wanted to believe that it was for the best--I would be back in school and you would be back driving in your city of bright lights humming songs and kissing new lips. There would come a time when I would no longer hear the hum of your car engine or the feel my legs stick to the leather seats. You would be gone almost as quickly as the wheels spun on your car on that late night at the end of October.
It was the last time I would be tip-toeing out of the house. It would be the last time I would roll my eyes at your horrible jokes. It would be the last time I would sit the passenger in your getaway car to the places we always talked about visiting. We both knew we were driving too fast--the road was slick and the sheen of the streetlights you were so fond of counting were reflecting against the pavement in a way that prevented us from seeing properly. Everything happened too quickly--the slam of your breaks, the screech of the tires, your arm stretched out and your palm against my chest to safely brace me from whatever impact that might've occurred.
Even though we were adamant on not making terms for one another, we followed the ones we made for ourselves--you're passing through cities while driving around in your getaway car and I'm still doing that school thing you poked fun at me for following through with. We're doing what we said we were going to do, just not together. In any movie with a happy ending, I would've tip-toed out of that door and sat in your passenger seat on a getaway that never ends, or you would've decided to park your car and stay awhile. If anything, this is a movie that has the kind of ending everyone hates--there isn't really an ending. We were always just going to be a fast moving cat with no final destination, but what a privilege it was to have spent time in the passenger seat of your getaway car (even if I can still hear the sound of tires on wet pavement and feel the weight of your palm when I try to fall asleep at night).
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