Friday, November 5, 2010

A Quiet Drive

Russell slept the entire way back from the airport. He hadn't meant to, nor was that ever the plan. It was as if the gravitational pull inside Ainsley's car was somehow stronger than the pull outside her car. As soon as sat down in the passenger seat, as soon as he buckled his seatbelt, he couldn't keep his eyes open. His neck went limp and he had the hardest time keeping his head upright and his eyes open.

Ainsley, driving him away from the airport and towards his parents' house, looked over at him and smiled. She had hoped to talk to him. She wanted to know how he was feeling and if there was anything she could to do to help. She had wanted to gossip about his younger brother Sean and the marriage he very nearly wrecked. She wanted him to know how much she's appreciated their friendship and how much she wished he lived on this side of the United States.

Russell had wanted to tell Ainsley about his mid-flight adventure, about the Venusian plot and how he and Corbin had foiled it. He had wanted to ask her -- if it was alright with her -- what had been the most meaningful thing said at her father's funeral. He was going to be delivering the eulogy at his father's in a few short days and had no idea what to say. He wanted to hear her voice but most of all, he wanted to make her laugh. Of all the things he remembered most about Ainsley, it had been her laugh. He had once ranked it as the All-Time Best Laugh Ever and he wanted to see if the rank still held up. But instead he slept.

On the radio, DHT was telling Ainsley to "Listen To Your Heart." Ainsley reached over, turned the music down, and then reclined Russell's seat. He smiled, murmured something, and kept sleeping. Ainsley kept driving, humming softly to the music.

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