[S01E21] "The Downside of Downshifting"

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Liz swiped at her phone. She had been at it for almost an hour now. Up until now, if she had been on it for more than ten minutes Rick would have yelled at her. Not in a being mean sort of way. More like he was jealous of the attention she gave it. How she would become completely fixated with it, blocking the rest of the world out. He called it a soul sucking machine.

Now, she had been face forward in it for an hour and he hadn't said a thing. Just driving, smoking, and drinking coffee, in absolute silence. At this point she was afraid to look away from it. Maybe he had just been silently glaring at her for the past hour, waiting for her to turn her head up and meet his gaze. Or worse, now that they had fucked, maybe he didn't care about her anymore.

But she couldn't stare at this phone forever. She had been going through her friend's news-feeds only to discover she didn't care anymore. Sure, she had thrown up some likes here and there, but they weren't genuine. It didn't seem like they were her friends anymore and that wasn't her home anymore. It was simply the past. Now, there was only the two of them and this car, chasing sunset after sunset.

"We're in California, you know? Have been for like twenty minutes now."

Thank God, thought Liz.

"Oh? Does that mean we can get an Out and About Burger now?"

"We could... They're all over the place, but we'll be in LA in a few hours, baring traffic. I was thinking we could get some down on the boardwalk and watch the sunset."

"I like the sound of that."

They didn't say much the next few hours. Liz didn't look at her phone. They watched the yellow sand turn into red sand and then back again into yellow. Soon scraggly bushes popped up along the road side, then palm trees. No sooner had it turned to green before it turned to the grey of the city sprawl.

They were stuck on the highway. As far as spots to be stuck go, it wasn't bad. It seemed like Liz could see the whole city sinking in a sea of cars. She watched Rick pop the clutch in and out of second gear to keep pace with traffic. He seemed so frustrated, she wanted to do something to ease his suffering, but she didn't know what.

The truth was she was just as frustrated. They had been going so fast before, and now just like the car, they were just as stuck. They had been sitting the car for what felt like forever, without conversation. Liz felt like she was just some hitchhiker, which at this point she probably was, she thought. Liz couldn't take it anymore.

"You know," said Liz, "Is it just me, or does it feel like in this whole trip we haven't really had a real conversation."

"Oh god," said Rick, "Let's not start that one again. At least not until I get out of this traffic."

"No," said Liz, "I mean it. I'm not trying to accuse you of anything. I'm just saying. Sure, we only met less than a week ago. I know. But I feel like we should be able to open up to each other more."

"About what?" Rick asked.

"You know... Things..."

"Like what kind of things?" Rick asked.

"Damn it, Rick. I'm sorry I was an ass this morning," said Liz, "I just..."

"It's okay," said Rick, "Vegas isn't for everyone."

"No, it's not okay," said Liz. She was thinking about the advice 2Fly had given her. How she shouldn't keep secrets. If she really cared about Rick, she should tell him the truth. If he really cared about her, he would understand. If he didn't, well... Then she didn't have to waste either of their time anymore.

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