Remy took a deep lungful of air once outside the bar. The cold burned her nose, but it was better than the press of bodies inside. She zipped up her jacket and took shelter beneath the roof’s overhang, watching the icicles drip.
Cheryl emerged minutes later as promised. “You sure you’re okay to take me home? My shift is so early, I almost didn’t come out at all.” Cheryl said, tripping from one word to the next. “If David hadn’t insisted I wouldn’t have… do you think all surgeons drink like that?”
“Surgeons come from medical fraternities, I think they learn it there.” Remy said quietly with a soft smile behind her scarf. Cheryl grinned, and Remy pointed out her car on the other side of the street. They leaned into the wind as they marched towards it, hands crossed over there stomachs and shoulders bowed.
“And you’re okay to drive?” Cheryl asked over the sedan’s roof, over-enunciating the words with the sudden surge of responsibility.
Remy nodded and unlocked the car, ducking into the drivers seat and closing the door in a single movement, graceful with familiarity. Cheryl rolled herself in, winter coat swishing loudly, and still talking. “That’s fair, I didn’t see you drink anything– wow I have not seen one of those in a long time.”
Remy turned the key to get the engine and the heat started. The thrum of guitar and frontman blasted from her modest car stereo, A little drunk, waiting on your phone call, A little numb, maybe I can’t feel at all.
They both jerked and Remy jammed a finger against the volume, twisting it down so the music only burbled in the background. Won’t you say something, I really wish I hated you
Now Remy followed Cheryl’s attention back down to the center console where an ipod was hooked up and bright with scrolling track names. Cheryl explained again, taking in Remy’s confused stare, “an ipod, I just haven’t seen one in a while. Everyone just uses their phones.”
“Its not mine.” Remy said, eyes on the shiny silver device.
“What?” Cheryl asked.
“I don’t have — its not mine.” The heat was starting to pick up and Remy felt sweat prickle on the back of her neck. Slowly she reached down and took the ipod, turning it over. “I don’t know why its here– hooked up.” Back on its front, Remy could see it was playing from a playlist. The words at the top of little screen read, every song I sing is still about you, Remy.
Cheryl leaned over and gave a theatric gasp. “The car was locked, you’re sure its not– holy shit, are you having problems with an ex? Could they have–”
“I don’t have an ex.” Remy whispered, not able to draw enough breath into her lungs to speak properly. The sweat on the back of her neck, under her scarf, went cold. She jerked the ipod and its cord from the console. The music cut off. She dropped the ipod unceremoniously and fumbled to put the car in drive.
“This is messed up. Wait, you don’t have an ex? Not one?” Cheryl’s eyes were unfocused and overly round again, her hand gripping the door handle like she needed it to stay upright. Cheryl was quiet at first as Remy pulled them aggressively back towards the main road. “Remy?”
“I don’t date.” Remy said tightly.
Cheryl didn’t say anything. Without music, the only sounds were the car, the road, and their own softly panicked breathing. Finally Cheryl let out one long breath, unable to keep the tension. Her quick smile was forced, “don’t really blame you right now.”
Remy flicked a look to her passenger, but said nothing and kept her attention on the road, far away from the ipod playing soundlessly where it had fallen between the seats.
Another music challenge, https://poorjuddisdead.wordpress.com/ decided to get nostalgic with this southern California punk rock gem. The challenge was to write something to, including, or inspired by the below: