There was another long silence as he thought of another question. Mark was smart, he knew that if he asked me a question I felt too uncomfortable answering, which was almost everything, I wouldn’t answer so he would use his four remaining questions wisely.
“Who are you running from?”
I take that back. He wasn’t as smart as I thought he was. “Anyone in a cop uniform or in a white lab coat.” I answered bluntly.
“Can’t you be anymore specific?” He whined, wanting to know more.
“No. Two more.” I counted.
“That wasn’t a question!” He said glancing at me and then back at the road.
“I’m pretty sure that if you wrote it down, there would be a question mark at the would of that sentence. Ergo, question.”
“Where are your parents?” He moved on, clearly not pleased with my response.
“Don’t know. Probably dead or in a homeless shelter.” I said in a softer voice as faint memories of my past flashed through my mind.
“Why don’t you care?” He asked with his last question.
I paused for a second catching my reflection in the window, staring at the girl that seemed to frightened of what she was about to say. “They sold me.”
The next few hours went by in silence, neither of us knowing what to say to each other, but right as we crossed the border from wherever we were into the state of Colorado, Mark pulled into a nearby Walmart.
“We need to switch cars.” He pulled into a parking spot and got out with me following his lead. “Do you need to buy anything? New clothes? Hair dye? Girl stuff? Snacks?”
“Aren’t you the caring one,” I joked as I pulled him towards the building. “How do you have money to spend?”
“Is that your first question?” He grinned as he looked down at me.
“Is that your hundredth?”
“Eleventh actually.” He counted as we walked into the store. “And yes, I’m very caring.”
We walked to the clothing section as each of us picked out a few outfits as well as some undergarments as well as a small over the shoulder bag that either one of us could carry.
“Do you wanna grab something to munch on? We still have a long drive ahead.” He snagged some chips and gum as we passed them.
I handed him my clothes and headed to the fresh produce section and reached for some green grapes as well as some apple juice. “You’re healthy.”
“It’s for you too, Mr. I-have-all-the-money-in-the-world. Balance.” I tossed him the food which he clumsily caught on top of everything else he was carrying.
“Your highness,” he bowed politely as I walked past him towards the check-out lane.
“You may follow,” I turned to see him trail behind me with eager eyes as if he was a dog trotting after his owner.
We checked out and tore the tags off everything and slipped them into our new bag full of new clothes and fresh food while on the lookout for a new getaway car. “Let’s go for something more expensive,” Alex smiled as we came to a nice sleek, black Mercedes.
“You sure you wanna ruin this car? Won’t it be more noticeable?”
“Expensive cars with tinted windows aren’t really that high on the ‘car choices runaway’s would highjack’ list,” Mark said as he began to pick the lock on the car.
“Is that even a thing?” I asked.
“Is that your second question?”
“Sure,” I shrugged. There wasn’t much about Mark I wanted to know considering the fact that I would probably leave him once I was out of the woods with the police.
“Yes, it’s actually ‘a thing’. They rank cars based on past hijackings and create a list that combines both the interior and exterior of the car that appeals to runaways.”
“Wow,” I said, shocked. “So it really is a thing.”
“Did it sound that real? I was just kidding,” Mark chuckled as my cheeks became flustered realizing that he was teasing.
The door clicked and he got into the car. He unlocked the door and I slid in avoiding his eyes, too embarrassed to even look at him.
“Awe, don’t be mad,” he pulled out the grapes from the bag he had stashed in the back seat and set them in my lap. “Will eating the grapes I bought you make you feel better?”
I stared at the grapes in my lap and picked one and pressed it against my lips for a second before eating.
Mark chuckled as he began to pick at the wires until the engine started. I shoved more grapes into my mouth not realizing how hungry I actually was.
“Ah,” Mark had his mouth open hoping that maybe I’d spare him some, but I left him with his mouth hanging open and both hands on the wheel. He frowned knowing that I still wasn’t talking to him.
At some point during our little road trip, I drifted asleep with the rocking of the car.