The sun was still hidden behind the ominous horizon as I cracked my eyes open. I could hear feet shuffling around getting ready for the day, but I didn't want to be up yet. I wanted ten more minutes of undisturbed sleep. I needed it. I'd barely slept last night and I needed more sleep so that I wouldn't be a zombie.
"Audrey, wake up, it's time to go now. We're all set," whispered Brice, shaking me gently.
"Mmm," I replied, still more than half asleep.
Brice sighed and picked me up, blanket and all. He carried me out into the cold night and to his car. When we got in the car, Seth was at the wheel and he was telling Brice to hurry and just get in the back with me.
"Hurry! They might wake up soon! You in? Alright, we're out of here," stated Seth, putting the car in reverse.
I could feel the car moving and it suddenly hit me. We were going to go find my father. This was it. I was fully awake now, laying against Brice. He had his arm wrapped around me and was trying to cover me with the blanket with his other hand. When he noticed I was wide awake now, he smiled sheepishly and looked away. I sat up and looked out the window. As houses and streets went by I tried not to think of my mom. I was doing this for her and for me. She would be proud of me for doing this. She wanted closure just as much as I did. I put my feet up on the back seat and leaned by back against Brice. The silence that filled the car was more peaceful than it was awkward. Seth was eating a doughnut and Brice was just staring out the window.
"Seth, can I have a doughnut?" I asked, leaning towards the front seat.
"Sure. There's a whole box here," he replied glancing back at me.
I grabbed a doughnut and began to eat it. Glancing at Brice, I noticed that he was sleeping. Trying not to laugh, nudged Seth and quietly told him to look at his brother. Seth smiled and then continued to focus on the road. It was fun just being with them. They are my best friends, even if Brice could be a jerk.
"Hey, let's turn some music on in here," suggested Brice, who had woken up.
Seth turned up the radio and we all sang along. As the sun came up, we were all having the time of our lives. Singing with them was fun. I remembered when we performed at our school's talent show and won second place. Seth and Brice both played guitar and we all sang. It had been the greatest night of our lives even though we hadn't won. People just seemed to think that a guy who could chop a board with his hand was more talented. That was pretty cool to me though. I was pretty shocked that the kid could do it, considering he had the arms of a stick bug.
Brice had never stopped playing guitar since then. Seth, on the other hand, had. He had become more engulfed in weed. It was heart wrenching to see him give up something I knew he loved. Brice had told me that he had sold his guitar for money to buy weed. I was appalled by this. I had a guitar and I would never sell it for anything. I loved it like it was my own child. Seth had told me that he would never sell his either, but I guess weed got the better of him.
I pushed those thought of Seth and weed out of my mind and focused on how much road was passing us by. We were on the freeway now and making progress. I looked at the GPS on the dash board. We had a lot of miles to go. I sighed and ate another doughnut. I just wanted to be there all ready, but another part of me said I didn't.
As hours past by, our enthusiasm died. We began to get stiff and we wanted to stretch. Seth pulled over at a gas station to gas up while Brice and I got out to stretch. I went into the store to grab some waters and a snack and noticed that Seth was with me.
"Hey," I said, smiling. "What are you doing in here?"
"Paying for the gas, dummy," teased Seth, heading to the cashier with me. "Brice is going to drive now. We're going to take turns every few hours."
"Brice...driving? We're all gonna die," I giggled, looking out the window at the car.
Brice was leaning against it watching the pump. He looked cute with his hair tousled like that and his tired face so serious. I stopped myself and turned to the cashier. I paid for our stuff and headed back to the car with Seth. I handed everyone a water bottle and some food and we were off again. Seth took up the whole back seat and slept for a while. I was forced to sit in the passenger seat up front with Brice. It wasn't that I didn't want to sit with Brice. That wasn't it. I just wanted to stop thinking that he was cute. I knew that if I kept thinking that, I would soon think that he was hot and so forth.
"Hey, can you hand me a chip?" he asked, glancing over at me. "Never mind. I'll just grab one myself."
He reached over and grabbed a chip from the bag that was between my legs. I watched as he ate. He had crumbs all over him and it was starting to bug me. I leaned over and brushed them off. As I did, he kept glancing at me.
"What are you doing?" He laughed, awkwardly.
"Nothing. You just had crumbs on your shirt and it was bugging me." I retracted my hand and faced the windshield.
We sat that way in silence for a long time. We would glance at each other once in a while and blush when we caught eachother looking. This was sure to be an awkward trip.