I'm on the road again: my feet are up on the dashboard, the radio's playing a scratchy Bob Dylan song, the wind is tangling my hair into knots, the air is hot and smells of the desert, the sun is beating down into the open windows of the car.
I close my eyes and I could swear I'm happy. I could swear that this moment couldn't be more perfect.
But then I wonder if I would be happier if you were the one sitting next to me. The boy I'm with is nice and gentle and he loves me, but he doesn't make me laugh the way you do. He doesn't look at me with tragic blue eyes. He doesn't understand the beauty of silence or the importance of post-modern classics. His touch doesn't make me tremble and my heart doesn't race like it does when I'm with you.
I imagine your hands on the steering wheel and your voice humming some song your father used to sing. I imagine you driving too fast because you always do. I imagine saying your name just so that you'll turn and look at me and give me that slow, crooked smile. I guess I just imagine you.
I open my eyes to shatter the illusion, because you're not here and we've decided to move on.
The boy next to me puts a hand on my leg. I hike my lips up into a smile.
I'm happy. I could swear I'm happy.