I could tell Em was exhausted, so I sang our song to her as she fell asleep on my chest in the backseat of my car. I swear, she made the cutest noises in her sleep. As tired as I was, I couldn't persuade my body to settle down. The events previous to now had nearly sent me over the edge. Every time I tried to shut my eyes, the images of that bastard pointing the gun at me flooded my brain. And the look on Em's face as the man had threatened me. We had both thought we were going to lose each other. But luck had been on our side this time. I looked down at the beautiful girl curled against me and smiled. Everything would be okay from now on. I was sure of it...
I woke up some hours later, around seven o'clock, to a pounding on the car window. I opened my eyes to see a police officer peering in. The sun was shining bright behind him. What a beautiful day, I thought absentmindedly. I shook Em's shoulder lightly, waking her.
"Em, wake up. There's a cop here." She blinked up at me sleepily and mumbled something about coffee. I smiled and kissed her forehead. "No coffee yet, love. I have to talk to this guy first."
"Huh?" she asked, confused.
"Lemme out," I laughed, scrambling out of the car as the knocking persisted. Em followed behind me. The early morning May air hit us sharply. I hadn't realized how cold it was. Em wrapped her arms around my waist, huddling against me for warmth. We were both still dressed in our clothes from yesterday, and all she had on was a pair of ripped up jeans and a t-shirt. The police officer looked us up and down, raising his eyebrows. Then he shifted his gaze to Em.
"What's your name, miss?"
I felt her stiffen beside me. She knew immediately that her father had alerted the authorities of her disappearance, and they were now on our trail. Dammit. I'd thought we'd driven far enough in one day to escape that for a while.
"My name's Jessica Marshall and this is my boyfriend Gerard," she said. "I don't have any ID. I couldn't be bothered to take my driver's test. But he has his."
The officer narrowed his eyes. "I'm not all that interested in who he is. I'm looking for someone by the name of Emerson Quick, a seventeen year old runaway from Jersey City. I saw your car parked here, so I thought you kids may have had some engine trouble. But you look curiously similar to the description of the girl I'm looking for."
"Oh, I'm no runaway. I'm afraid you're mistaken. I don't even know a girl named Emerson. And besides, I'm eighteen." She smiled coyly.
"Why were you parked on the roadside? Didn't you have anywhere to stay?"
"We were actually on our way to Miami to meet a couple of friends of ours. We were driving, and one thing led to another..." Em raised her eyebrows suggestively and winked.
The officer looked uncomfortable and coughed. "Okay then. Be careful, and have fun in Miami, kids," he said. He still looked a little skeptical, be seemed willing to let it go. Em and I chorused our goodbyes and watched as the cop got back in his car and pulled away. As soon as he was gone, Em shrieked happily and leapt on me.
"Gerard, he fucking believed me! I can't believe it! What I told him was complete bullshit!" She stopped to take abreath and I kissed her.
"Good thing you're a fantastic liar, eh Jessica?" I teased, and she nodded enthusiastically.
"Yeah! Man, that was close. Brr," she said, her brow furrowing. "Why is it so fucking cold?"
I laughed, pulling her in close to me. "Maybe because we're standing out in the cold with no shoes on?"
"Maybe." Emerson wandered over to the trunk and lifted it, rummaging around for a heavy sweatshirt and some sweatpants. I gawped at her as she wriggled out of her skinny jeans and t-shirt, revealing her fantastic body. After pulling on the sweats, she grinned at me. "What?" God, did she kill me. I blushed deeply and shook my head.
She danced back over to me and kissed my cheek. "C'mon Gee, let's go to Miami."
"I'M TRYING; AND TRYING TO LET YOU KNOW JUST HOW MUCH YOU MEAN TO ME! AND AFTER ALL THE THINGS WE PUT EACH OTHER THROUGH...!"
The sun was shining bright, the temperature was blazing, all the windows in the car were rolled down, and we had finally reached Miami! I could barely contain my excitement as Gerard and Iscreamed our song at the top of our lungs for the whole world to hear. It was about three o'clock in the afternoon, and even though it was only May, the Florida air was close and muggy, making my sweatshirt stick to my back. I could tell Gee was just as uncomfortable in his long sleeved black collared shirt. Oh how I wished this shit car had a working air conditioner!
To take my mind off of the heat, Ibegan looking out the open window, watching the people that filled the streets of Miami. I admired all the ink I saw peeking out from tank tops and shorts clad bodies. I vaguely wondered if Gee and I would ever be one of those couples who got matching tattoos... that'd be way cool. But, oh yeah. I giggled to myself. I'd nearly forgotten. Gerard was absolutely terrified of needles.
"What's so funny Em?" Gee asked, nudging me with his elbow.
"Nothing, I swear," I grinned at him. "Man, it's burning up in here!" I tugged at the collar of my sweatshirt."Do you mind if I...?" I left the question hanging and pulled the offending garment over my head, leaving me only in my bra. Gerard's eyes kept wandering over to me, so I poked him in the gut. "Eyes on the road, babe."
"We're not even barely moving!" he protested. "And the view next to me is infinitely better than the car in front of me."
"Given," I said, laughing. Gerard grinned before laying on the horn to alert the two pedestrians jaywalking in front of our car. He leaned out the window.
"Hey! Watch where the fuck you're going!" he growled.
The dark haired couple ducked their heads at Gerard's words. They were learning that a tired and coffee deprived Gee was an angry Gee. Poor kids. I looked at them closely. Even in the hot weather, they wore dark clothing that covered their arms and legs. The girl seemed frozen in front of the car, seemingly terrified by Gerard. The boy put his arm around the cowering girl protectively and flipped off Gerard. I smiled. They looked as if they were about fourteen (give or take) and they reminded me of Gerard and I when we were younger. As Gerard went to stick his head out of the window again to retaliate, I laid a hand on his arm. He leaned back in, giving me a confused look. Normally I'd be encouraging him to get back at the jaywalkers.
"Stop Gee. Let them go on. They remind me of us. Don't they?" We watched as the boy took the girl's hand and led her safely across the street. Gerard shrugged.
I smiled at him and squeezed him arm. "They do, and you know it. Remember that one time when we took a bus all the way to New York City when I was fourteen? We nearly got run over a dozen times when we got there. Even though it was always our fault, you got so pissed off at those cab drivers! You were so protective of me that whole trip; you never let anything happen to me. If another guy would even so much as look in my direction, you'd give them the biggest death stare!" I giggled at his sheepish expression. "Don't think I didn't notice! You could scare the piss out of a Class A mobster with that look. That was the best day," I said wistfully. "Tell me something you remember."
"I remember..." Gerard began, carefully maneuvering the car through the busy streets. "The day you turned fifteen and you begged and begged for me to pierce your nose for you, cos you didn't have the guts. I agreed, but when I got the needle halfway through Ipuked. You had to finish the job and then comfort me, telling me it didn't hurt a bit. I acted like I believed you, but I could still tell your nose was throbbing. After we pierced it, we realized we didn't have a ring to put in it, so I drove you to Frank's house, the needle still in your nose so the hole wouldn't close, to steal one of his rings. Remember how hard he laughed at the sight of us? You with a bright red nose and me all queasy."
I giggled at the memory and touched my nose ring. That was a good one. I was about to launch into another story when Gee honked the horn sharply and grinned at me.
"We're here! We made it, Em!"