“Where are we going, exactly?”
You smile. “You’ll see.”
“Wherever we’re going can you please assure me that I’m going to get out alive?” I motion towards the steering wheel. “You aren’t nearly adequate at driving freeway.”
You frown, annoyed. “I am, too!” I notice you wring your hands on the wheel and fidget a little, checking the mirrors and road as if you’re taking your driving test.
I giggle. “I’m sure we’ll be fine, calm down…” I knock on the glass just in case, flashing you a grin. You’re too busy paying attention to the road to notice, or care.
I look at you, then.
I notice the crookedness of your nose and the way your eyes are focused. How your eyelashes are long and your face is baby smooth. I notice how you’re dressed—nice, for once. And nice is relative, of course, because you only ever wear t-shirts and jeans.
I notice the way you swallow, and how the lump on your throat bobs up and down, slightly. I remember how it used to be more pronounced when we were younger. I notice your hair, and how it’s gotten longer; I notice how it catches the sun in its short waves.
My eyes flick back to the road and I’m listening to the sweet sound of a woman’s voice, crooning about the joys of love and hearts filled with happiness. I look out the window and watch as buildings fly by, the California skyline riddled with gray and black and random splashes of color.
You turn up the air conditioning and I, once again, notice how nervous you look. I look down at my lap before looking back out the window. The cold air makes me sleepy. My eyes droop, my contacts drying them out so that there’s no more fighting this sudden, incessant need.
“Sleep,” you say. “We’re hitting traffic, right about now.”
And I do. And it’s one of those dreams that are only a continuation of reality. Only in this reality you and I are a different dynamic. We hold hands and touch foreheads. We exchange kisses as well as words. Our hugs are charged with more than platonic electricity.
When I’m shaken awake you’re grinning down at me softly. I rub the side of my face, erasing any drool that may have formed. I blink, willing my contacts to focus.
“You really fell asleep,” you say, a maniacal smile forming.
I narrow my eyes. “Yes, and you really took forever getting here didn’t you?”
The sky behind his bemused face is less blue. Altered just enough to notice a time change, at least. I stretch in my seat, and notice that we are surrounded by hundreds of other cars. I feel my heart skip.
“Wait… are we?”
I frantically reach for my seatbelt, unbuckle it at the speed of light, and wiggle my way out of the car. Wide-eyed, I see the familiar pole bearing a picture of Buzz Lightyear.
“No. Way.” I say, turning to him with my eyes as big as saucers. “NO WAY.”
He smiles triumphantly and shuts the door to his car before locking it with a beep. ”My lady?”
I grin and slink my arm through his waiting one. “My lord.”
We walk towards the entrance of The Happiest Place on Earth.
Reality isn’t that, bad after all.