Chapter Two

“She Knows…” This thought pervades Seth’s thoughts, as he drives them farther and farther away from civilization. “…but how?”  The loop is merciless, wreaking havoc on Seth’s appetite- which must be why he forgot where he was supposed to be headed.

“Um… aren’t we going the wrong way? I thought we all agreed,” Sarah’s voice rips Seth out of his meditation, but he’s only thankful for a second. Seth see’s Sarah eyeing her best friend Madison in the rear view, as he catches up with reality. “In-n-out is way back there!”

J. doesn’t complain as Sarah wriggles on his lap, even though she’s practically screaming in his ear. Seth catches that too.

“Why are you looking at me? You should have said something when you saw we passed it.” Madison, ever the voice of reason.

“Well, I wasn’t paying attention. That’s what the driver is supposed to be doing, isn’t it?” Sarah shifts her sights to the front of the car, settling her indignation on Seth.

“Change of plans.”

Sarah wanted to argue, but knew better to press on Seth at the moment.

“Well, are we heading towards food? I’m starved,” she decided to say instead.

“Yeah, where are we going?” Sophie finally interjects. “I thought we were going to the overlook with take-out?”

“Are we going to that weird thing that’s going on over the hills?” B. had been trying his best the whole car ride not to make a fool of himself in front of Maddy. He’d had a crush on her since they were kids, but he knew she thought he was a lost cause.

“What ‘weird thing’?” Madison had a bad feeling about this. She knew she shouldn’t have let Sarah talk her into going out tonight, but Sarah was a dog with a bone.

For the last five Friday nights, Sarah had ditched their weekly movie marathon to go hang out with a new group of friends. Inevitably, Sarah started trying to recruit her into an entirely new routine.

“You never go out with me and my other friends. You know that they all think you have a weird crush on me or something… like you only want me to yourself. They think you’re obsessed and you want to wear my skin.” Maddy knew none of Sarah’s new friends actually felt this way. She had classes with almost all of them and there was certainly no reason for bad blood… they just didn’t have the same interests… Maybe this was the part in the story where she and Sarah went their separate ways.

Madison wasn’t ready for that yet, so she came.

“There’s a circus in Leona,” J. informed her.

“It’s not a circus… it’s not not a circus, though…” B. bolstered.

“I think I read about that online somewhere…” Sarah says. “I’m pretty sure there’s food there, so I’m happy.” J. seemed to be more than happy too.

“If there isn’t food, what are you gunna do Sarah?” J was perving out, but she didn’t seem to mind.

“You.” She whispered in his ear.

“Everyone heard that. Your whispering skills could use some work.” Sophie gave them both a disappointed look. “I wonder how Jessica would feel about all that.”

Sarah did not like that.

“Where is Jess tonight J?” Sarah asked him, coyly. “I wouldn’t let you out of my sight for a minute if I were her.” Her smile was as thick and sickly sweet as molasses.

“She’s grounded.”

Sophie secretly wished that her parents would notice her long enough to give her any discipline. They were never around.

“Well that’s what she gets for getting caught sneaking in at 3 am reeking of whiskey.” Sarah laughs.

“Didn’t you do the same thing?” B. challenged her.

“Yes, but I didn’t get caught. Major distinction.” Sarah replied triumphantly.

——————

“Where the fuck are we, Seth?” Sophie had lost her patience 20 miles ago. She was getting hungry now too.

“The GPS says to take the next left… do you see one?” B. Leans over Maddy’s lap, showing Seth the screen of his phone.

If he wasn’t being told otherwise, Seth would think they were lost.

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