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"So we're gonna be stuck here for a while, huh?"

"Yep." Henry sighed, his frustration showing throughout his whole body. Valerie reached for the lever on the side of her cushioned leather chair, pulling it and leaning back to relax the ride away. Henry tapped his fingers to an imaginary beat on his steering wheel, glancing up and adjusting the center mirror. Both of them continued to search for various objects to fidget with, but...

An awkward silence greeted the pair. Sure, they were best friends as well as roommates, having known each other since middle school, but it was hard to talk in miserable situations like these - especially when there was no more new music left to listen to; at least, music that they both enjoyed. Henry cleared his throat to prep a conversation starter. Admittedly, it wasn’t a very good one, but it helped the ride pass just a little quicker.

“All for some Taco Bell, too, huh? Man, I hope the food’s worth it.”

“Hey, at least it’ll be hot and fresh. Besides, a winter night binge with a good Netflix show and twenty or so soft tacos sounds amazing,” Val replied, grabbing her water bottle and taking a long, painfully slow sip.

“What genre you thinkin’?” Henry asked, gaze latched to the Virginia license plate on the Toyota Camry in front of him. It was a pretty, metallic silver, accented by the falling pearly snow. He only wished he could have a gorgeous, shiny car like that. Oh, that would be a dream come true!

“Something fantasy.” Valerie piped up, tossing a stick of bubblegum into her mouth.

Henry flinched, blinking away his thoughts. “Fantasy? Again?”

“There’s this thing called having a ‘favorite genre,’ nerd,” Val snickered at him, waving a hand in front of his face, “Keep your eyes on the road instead of other people’s bumpers. You have to drive, you know.”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever. Shut up.”

 

“So you wanted soft tacos, right?”

“Yeah, or… No, wait, the Bean Burrito Supreme,” Val’s eyes lit up, ”Hold the tomatoes, extra sour cream, and like… three of ‘em.”

The thought of savory, hot food was making Henry’s mouth water. Neither of them had eaten yet - after all, they stayed awake all night finishing up their last few episodes of Gravity Falls and slept for a good nine hours each. Waking up at twelve in the afternoon to an incoming snowstorm isn’t something you expect on a Saturday.

“I’ve seen, like, twenty of those weird stick-figure family bumper stickers in the past ten minutes. You know, the ones with the dogs and everything.”

“Pretty sure about half of those were just repeats of the same families,” Henry said.

“Ooh, that guy has a dog in his car! I think it’s looking at me… do you think it’s looking at me? Aww, what a cute little bulldog!”

It was as if Val had returned to acting like her childish self to cope with the treacherous boredom that fell before her. She played with her purple hair while looking in the mirror in front of her, rustling it over and over again as well as flipping it in various directions to see how it looked on her. “You know, I was thinking about cutting it even shorter, and maybe bleaching it so I can go… Say, bright pink or something.”

“Whatever you want. I’ll cheer you on even if you put a neon rainbow on your scalp.” 

 

“We should get a dog.”

“We’re not getting a dog, we have three cats and a lizard,” Henry shook his head, “A dog would be too much to handle. Take too much energy, too - what we have is perfectly up to speed with our schedule.”

“What schedule?” Val crossed her arms with a huff, ”I’d totally fix my schedule and go out for the thing. I’d feed it regularly, give it water, play with it all the time, make sure it’s healthy and get it regular check-ups…”

“Three cats, Valerie. We have three cats.”

“And? I could build it a cute little hut thing outside and everything! Come on, just let me try.”

“Absolutely not.”

 

“Maybe we should just turn around and take the easy way home…” Henry mumbled, sick of staring at the same lime-green car for ten minutes straight. If only he could get another glimpse of that silver Camry, and then maybe, just maybe, he’d have the will to drive on. Or, maybe, he just needed a little encouragement from Val. After all, it was hard to argue with her when a good meal was on the line - especially since they were starving, cold, and miserable. 

“We are not turning around now. We only have, like, ten minutes to go.” Valerie snapped, shooting him a glare. It would terrify any normal human being, as you could’ve sworn she was about to kill Henry. The food back at the house was boring: a dusty pantry with some crackers and maybe a slice of cheese in their practically broken fridge. Her mom would have fixed something out of that rubbish, but she clearly didn’t live with them, so there was no other logical choice but than to head out in the storm.

“Okay okay, I get it. No turning around, only ten minutes, blah blah blah,” Henry shook his head, “But coming out here in the first place was a mistake.”

“You aren’t wrong, but don’t get all moody now. We’re more than halfway there.”

 

After what seemed like an eternity, the pair reached the parking lot. Surprisingly to them, very few cars were parked there. “Maybe everyone’s decided to head out of town ‘cause of the storm?”

“Probably. People get so over-dramatic when it comes to this kind of stuff,” Val said, covering her ears with a black beanie and tugging her thick coat back on. Henry followed suit before they both stepped out of the car, each taking long breaths of the chilly winter air.

“They’re bound to have those bean burritos, right?”



January 10, 2020 18:38

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Amelia F
22:37 Jan 13, 2020

Love your story bro!!

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