It was exactly twenty-three minutes into our road trip before I realized that I might actually kill Ace this time. She insisted on sitting with me in the back of the van, instead of in the passenger seat next to Schmitty. I could tell Schmitt was upset by this decision, but Ace couldn't. She's terrible at reading people. Anyway we were sitting inside a Dunkin' Donuts later that morning. Ace had spent most of the early morning drive pelting passerby's cars with marshmallows using Schmitty's PVC pipe shooter. I don't know why he insisted on bringing it with him, but he should've known that if it fell into Ace's hands, he'd be screwed. So far she'd already pelted Schmitt and me about twenty times with it. She's a really irritating early morning person. Schmitt retaliated by blaring some obscure CD that he found at a thrift store, Scottish bagpipes. So between Ace shooting marshmallows at me and Schmitt listening to the damn bagpipe music I couldn't even go back to sleep. Schmitt decided that he needed a break and we stopped at a Dunkin' Donuts. We were currently people watching, devising their whole life stories based off of one look, one judgment. This guy walked past with a briefcase and we decided that he had government documents in it and that he secretly worked as a double agent for Peru. The Peru part was Ace. Schmitt and I can't decide where she got that idea. Anyway, we decided that he was going to buy a suit, and he was going to pay for it with Peruvian money and that some crazy cashier would refuse his money and he'she'd shoot her dead and then steal the stuff. It was fun.
"Hey, Lev, do you remember that one time, when me and you went to your aunt's for a weekend?" Schmitty asked quietly. Ace was busy pressing her face against the window while Schmitt and I were sitting on the other side of the table.
"Yeah, that was fun." I answered, taking a sip of my milk. I don't drink coffee, it's gross, plus it makes me super hyper. I know because Schmitt did a science project on the effects of caffeine and I was the guinea pig.
"And we sat on the back porch at your aunt's house and looked up at the stars?"
"No, Schmitt, you tried to give me an astronomy lesson and I failed, miserably." I corrected and he laughed. We were both quiet for a while and listened to Ace talk about something that neither of us cared about. After about twenty minutes Schmitt and I decided that we needed to get back on the road again. Ace was hesitant so we bribed her with a lemon filled donut and she quickly followed us. We couldn't just leave her in Dunkin Donuts, no matter how much I wanted to; Schmitty had stated reasonably, her father would kill us. We were, Schmitt had told me time and time again, Ace's appointed babysitters and we had to be fine with that. He mentioned something about 'divine right' and all that but I had stopped listening. Schmitty tends to babble a lot about things. I think it makes him feel smarter.
For twenty minutes after we had gotten back in the damn hippie van Ace and Schmitty hollered and yelled. Ace swore up and down that she didn't give Schmitt the wrong directions but Schmitt swears that there's no way that taking some airport expressway was the way to go. I listened to them bicker as I looked out the window. I would have piped in, if I had any idea as to what a solution would be. I'm geographically challenged. I got lost in the mall once and called Schmitty's cell phone, crying, and he had to come pick me up. He was surprisingly nice about it. I mean of course he's always nice, but he was super sweet about going out of his way to pick me up. Schmitty's a good friend like that.
"Ace, gross, you're getting crumbs all over."
"Oh shut up, Schmitt, I am not. I'm not that much of a messy eater."
"Yes, you are, will you look at that?"
"Will you look at the road? What're you trying to do, get us into a car wreck?!"
"Ace go sit in the back you're driving me crazy, Lev, come sit up here." I was a little surprised that Schmitt and Ace were fighting. Well, I wasn't surprised that they were fighting per se, but rather fighting to an extent where one of them had to be removed from the situation.
"I don't wanna move, Schmitt." I whined. I really didn't. I hate moving around in a vehicle, it makes me nauseous. Schmitt huffed in annoyance and Ace moved in the back with me. I plugged in my iPod and started listening to some obscure music Schmitty had forced on me. For such a nerdy, smart, kind of guy, he actually had a pretty decent taste in music.
According to Ace, we would be able to make it to Washington DC in twenty hours, although Schmitty and I planned about three days to get there, just in case she was wrong or something happened. We had been driving all day, and when I say 'we' I mean 'Schmitty'. I don't know how long we'd been on the road, counting time makes me nervous, but it was starting to get dark out and Schmitty was dead tired, so I moved in the passenger seat to keep him awake. It wasn't working though because his deep blue eyes were still drooping and he was slowly drifting out his lane every once in a while.
"Hey, Schmitty, do you know what an ascot is?" I asked, poking him in the arm.
Schmitt rubbed his face and nodded.
"I need a verbal answer, Schmitt," I stated, somewhat sternly.
"Yes, I know what an ascot is, Lev." When Schmitty gets tired, he gets irritable, and since he wakes up so early he gets irritable earlier than the rest of us.
"And what is it?" I asked. Since Schmitty was so tired I felt that it was my job to be perky for the both of us. He hates it when I do that.
"It's that thing that Fred on Scooby Doo wears." You can always tell how tired Schmitty is by the way he answers questions. The more childish he sounds the more tired he is.
"And what color is it?" my sentences had taken on a weird characteristic where my voice starts out high, dips down for a half a second, and then zooms right back up to high.
"Isn't it a weird green color?" Schmitty scratched his head.
"No, sweetie, it's orange, hey why don't we pull over for a little while? Breathe in some air, sleep for an hour or something, you look tired." I noticed a sign said that a rest/truck stop was coming up.
"No, I'm fine, Lev." Schmitty wasn't fine, and I knew it.
"Pull over at the next rest stop, Schmitty so you can sleep a little while. I'll drive if I hafta."
That woke Schmitt right up.
"I refuse to let you drive, Leviathan, you're a terrible driver and you'll get us more lost than we already are." Schmitty very rarely uses my full name, only when he's trying to get his point across. I looked in the back at Ace, who had fallen asleep out of sheer boredom a little while ago. She was sprawled out across two seats, her seat belt attempting to strangle her stomach. Her bright red hair was splashed across the armrest. She looked cute, in a childish kind of way.
"Please, Schmitty, will you pull over at the next rest stop? I'll buy you a Mountain Dew." Schmitty liked Mountain Dew, not excessively, but he was rather fond of it. It was probably his one real vice. Schmitty sighed, like he was doing some great service to the world, and pulled over at the next rest stop. We sat in the car for a little while, just staring out of the window until we decided to get out of the car and look at the sky. Schmitty loves to look at the sky; he says it makes him feel so small, so unimportant. He says things like that and he reminds me of Sarah, a hippie-esque girl we hung out with when we were going to California who had taken a liking to Schmitty. We were leaning up against car, leaving Ace asleep; it was easier to let her sleep than to wake her up. I was kind of leaning up against Schmitty, resting my head on his chest, looking up at the sky. Schmitty gets really quiet when he looks at the sky.
"Hey, Lev?" Schmitty mumbled, I almost didn't hear him.
"You know what I think about when I look at the stars?" Schmitty asked. He gets very philosophical when he looks at the stars.
"What, Schmitt?" I asked.
"I think about all of the things that I should do. Does that make sense? All of the things that I want to do but never actually have."
"Give me an example." I demanded, looking over at him.
"Like, conveying to someone how I feel about them." Schmitty answered. He looked so serious; Schmitty did, staring up into the sky like it was telling him some important thing.
"Like telling Ace that you're in love with her, you mean." Schmitty was quiet for a long time, and then he looked down at me, and gave me this really hard stare. His blue eyes kind of penetrated my own eyes and it freaked me out.
"You know, you're so stupid you thought The Catcher in the Rye was a book about baseball until the sixth grade. I don't know why I thought you'd know what I was talking about." Schmitty was incoherent. He was crazy. We needed to call the asylum and make him sleep.
"What? How does that make any-"
"Leviathan, how long have we known each other?" I hate it when Schmitt interrupts me.
"Levie, I think I'm in love with you." I don't know why that statement shocked me as much as it did. I kind of took a half step back, tripped over my own feet, causing Schmitty to lean over and grab my elbow to keep me upright.
"What do you mean? Are you serious? What're you talking about? What about Ace?" when I'm nervous I ask a lot of rhetorical questions. Which was weird, because I'd never been nervous around Schmitty before.
"Levie, calm down."
"I am calm, Aaron," I'm a terrible liar, and we both know it.
"Levie," Schmitty says in this really calming, masculine voice, "Breathe." And for some reason I do what he says. I suck in a big breath and I let it out, and it makes me feel so much better.
"I think you should take a nap, Schmitty, I think we both should." I don't really want to take a nap but I think it'll be for the best for the both of us. Schmitty opened to the trunk door and as we both climb in. I notice Ace's hand is hanging off of her seat as I collapse on the floor and grab a pillow. I've already closed my eyes as I hear Schmitty shutting the door behind him. It seems I was more tired that I thought I was. I heard Schmitty moving around a little but in a little while I was dead asleep. I woke up in the middle of the night or morning or whatever time it was and I realized, in my half- awake -half- asleep state that someone had thrown a blanket over me.