“No! We are not listening to Kidz Bop!” I yelled.
“Why not? There’s just so many good tunes.” He looked away from the road for a split second over to me with a humored smile on his face.
“I know you’re just messing with me. I can tell by the stupid smile on your face.” I crossed my arms and looked straight ahead so I couldn’t see him.
“So you want track number four...Call Me Maybe!!” He plugged his aux cord in and the kid-version of the song came on.
“The beginning is almost over. Sing with me, Amaya!” He shouted over the music.
I continued to stare out the windshield pretending his efforts weren’t fazing me. My nose stayed raised like singing along with Theo was below me.
“Fine. Be that way. I’ll just sing it all by myself.”
"I threw a wish in the well
Don’t ask me I’ll never tell
I looked at you as it fell
And now you’re in my way.” He paused and sent a flirty look my way.
I rolled my eyes in reply and turned to the side window.
"I trade my soul for a wish
Pennies and dimes for a kiss
I wasn’t looking for this
But now you’re in my way.” He kept his falsetto voice going and I could feel his eyes on me.
I turned back to him. “Shouldn’t you be watching the road?” I ask with one raised eyebrow.
He turned his eyes back to the road, but continued his God-awful girly singing voice.
"Your stare was holding
Skin was showing
Wind was blowing
Where you think you’re going baby?”
I couldn’t help myself. The ridiculousness of Theo singing the awful song that consumed most of my freshman year in high school made my façade break and ended with me cracking a smile.
I heard Theo gasp and immediately pause the song. His eyes went wide and he looked like an old lady about to tell gossip to her book club.
“Like o.m.g.!! Mya still knows how to smile!!” He exclaimed while he fanned his face like a preppy girl.
“Oh shut up!” I slapped his arm before reaching over to his phone and clicking the play button on his phone.
He chuckled at my actions and started shimmying his shoulder to the beat of the song getting ready to sing the chorus of his main debut.
"Hey I just met you
And this is crazy
But here’s my number
So call me maybe
It’s hard to look right at you baby
But here’s my number
So call me maybeeeeee!!” We sang together...well more like butchering. Our screechy voices joined together in a beautiful melody.
So you all may be wondering why on earth I would ever let Theo drive my precious Volkswagen, but let me just inform you that it wasn’t my plan from the beginning.
We had just got done packing my tiny car with suitcases and creating a make-shift bed for Gracie in the backseat before we all climbed into my car.
“Louisiana here we come!!” Theo shouted beside me.
We had agreed to drive down together and it was the beginning of our first road trip. I was more nervous than anything, Theo on the other hand was excited beyond words.
Something about making multiple gas station raids was an entertaining thought for him. Then again aisles of junk food and fountain drinks does sound like Theo’s kind of heaven.
So just as we were about to roll out on our grand adventure I turned the key. The problem was it didn’t start the vehicle’s engine...it just sputtered and let out a groan. Almost as if it was tired beyond belief.
After being running for almost 21 years I’d be tired too.
I tried again and again, but came out the same result. With a sigh I leaned back into my seat and pinched the bridge of my nose in frustration.
“Mya?” Theo asked in a wary tone unsure whether he should bother me right now.
“Yes, Theo?” I asked in a please-leave-me-alone-I’m-having-a-crisis-right-now voice.
“I can try to jump-start it with my car.” He offered.
“I guess. What’s it gonna hurt to try?”
We both climbed out of the car and I popped my hood while Theo went to the neighboring car and opened his trunk.
In a record amount of time we had everything hooked up and ready to go. Time after time we tried to get my car working, but after the third try failed I ordered that we stop.
“We can just take my car.” Theo said as he was folding up the cords and putting them back in his car.
“What if Gracie accidentally goes to the bathroom in the back of your car?” I asked looking at the pup who was now staring at us through the back window of my Volkswagen.
“It’s just a car and it’s cleaning-able.” He shrugged and he shut the lid to his trunk. It was hard not to stare. He was wearing a sweatshirt, but you could still see his bulging muscles popping out.
“Mya!!” He amusedly shouted snapped me out of my trance. “I know I’m gorgeous, but we need to figure this out. You need to get home sometime this week.”
“Psh. I wasn’t staring at you or anything. I was just looking over you shoulder at that thing over there.” I randomly pointed at the plain cement wall.
“Sure thing, princess. We need a solution and fast.” He stated crossing his arms.
Ugh. Why’s he gotta do that?
“The only thing I can think of is to go in your car, but I just feel bad. I don’t want to have you drive us down there and everything. It shouldn’t be your responsibility.” I bit my lip nervously.
“Come on. I don’t mind. Plus you’ll definitely have to drive a few shifts.” He winked at me.
“Fine. I mean we could always ask Sam to take-”
I chuckled knowing I had hit a sore spot. Theo’s dislike towards Sam had grown immensely since our incident.
Since the whole thing Sam sent me multiple texts and calls telling me how sorry he was and how we should meet up to talk.
I told him it’ll have to wait till after break and he was more than understanding.
“You know I’m just messing with you.” I told him as I went to the back of my car and started getting all of our luggage.
“The guy’s just a jerk. Totally not worth your breath.” He said not meeting my eye.
“He made a mistake. We all do. But I’m sorry for bringing down your road trip experience.”
“It’s okay. I’ll let it go for now. Let’s just get everything into my car. I don’t wanna miss out on a sunny day on the road!”
It was just after six when we finally got on the road.
We got less than an hour of “a sunny day on the road,” but Theo didn’t seem to mind since we were too busy jamming out to random songs while cruising down the highway.
After hours on the road I began to drift off, but sadly it wasn’t too long later when a blinding light hit my eyes.
I squinted as I woke up and looked around at my surroundings. Theo was just putting the car in park and was reaching into console for his wallet.
“Oh you’re up! Good. Gracie needs a walk, the car needs gas, and I need food!” He said as he rubbed his stomach like he was starving.
“Okay just let me sleep a little longer.” I said as I closed my eyes again and curled up into the door using my hands as pillows.
“Mya. Sweetie. Princess.” With each name he shook me and I just groaned in reply.
“Amaya Dawson!!” He yelled waking me up again.
“Ugh. Fine. I’ll take Gracie for a walk. You go get your food and crap and then you can put the gas in the car.” I said as I pushed the door open.
“Glad I could finally get you up. You sleep like a freakin dead person.”
“Shut it, Thompson. Or else.” I stared him down as I said each word.
“Okay. You’re a grouchy Gus. Here’s the leash. Have fun with Gracie.” He handed it over and left me standing there while he jogged for the sliding doors of his over-loved gas station.
I hooked the leash onto Gracie’s collar before letting her out of the car. We walked around for a few minutes until I found a small grassy area where Gracie did her business. After she was all done we loitered and I noticed a bench sitting there unused.
The seating area was too tempting and despite telling myself that I should just keep shuffling my feet around the cement parking lot I eventually caved and sat down. It took a whole twenty seconds before I laid down and snoozed again.
I couldn’t help myself. I was just so tired.
But it wasn’t long before someone was shaking me awake once again.
I peeped one eye open and immediately noticed Theo.
“I sure hope this bench is comfy.” He muttered before plopping down beside me.
“It’s not the best. I’d recommend something with more cushion.” I said back.
He had bags full of drinks and food in his hand.
“You haven’t gone to the car yet?” I questioned pointing to all the stuff in his hands.
“Nope. Not quite yet.” He looked everywhere but at me.
I was confused. What was he up to?
“What’s going on, Theo?” I asked as I got up from the bench with Gracie’s leash in my hand.
He scratched the back of his neck and proceeded to run his fingers through his hair nervously.
“Come on, Theo. We should really get going.” I said knowing Thanksgiving was getting closer and closer. We didn’t have time to waste.
I started to walk away, but stopped when I noticed the loud sounds of Theo’s footsteps weren’t following. I turned around and saw him still sitting on the bench. His elbows on knees and his head hanging low, Theo had deserted the bags of goodies and his feet and taken up a new fascination with the ground.
Theo being a spoil sport wasn’t exactly his usual persona, so why was he acting like this?
I shuffled back over to him and plopped down beside him. Gracie sat down beside the bench and waited obediently.
“Theo. Seriously you’re freaking me out. What’s going on?”
“Well. You see...my um...I uh...the..-”
“We won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, Amaya. I’m sorry.” He replied solemnly.
“Wait. What? Why?”
He sat up a little and looked over to me quickly before redirecting his gaze to the parking lot. “Well. You see...someone kind of stole my car?”