🌥 XIII

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The van is deadly silent as we make our way through the highway. Ethan and I are sitting on the back seat, Scott is driving, and Anna is on the passenger seat, reading through some messages on her phone. I feel like I'm sweating, but I know I'm not, or at least I hope I'm not.

I press the back of my hand against my temple, but it doesn't feel wet. Thank Lorde.

"Hey, y'all mind if I listen to some music?" Scott breaks the spell, and I notice Ethan tensing next to me for a brief moment. We haven't spoken much, haven't exchanged a word or a look ever since we sat down in the back seat. So because I'm scared my voice will sound like that of a sixty year old, I have to clear my throat before answering.

"Sure, man, go for it."

Scott reaches to the console and pushes the CD button and within seconds Lionel Richie's "Hello" starts playing, the slow, his soft, melodic voice carrying the music around us. I love this song, I would be swaying and singing along to it if I wasn't sitting down in a car with three people I don't feel completely at ease with. Maybe with Scott since he has good taste, not with Anna, I'm not sure with Ethan.

I turn to him, just because I am thinking about him, but then I notice he's watching me, too, and when we look at each other it's the part where the song goes.

"Hello, is it me you're looking for?"

In that same instant I feel the blood creeping to my face, it's so corny and unexpected that I want to puke in the middle of the car. Right here right now, that same nausea I was feeling earlier this week settling in my stomach like an unwelcome guest. I consider the option that if I get sick in the car then I could easily get out of doing this assignment, but I don't want to do that to Ethan, I'm already this far.

This far. How did I get this far?

"Are you somewhere feeling lonely?..."

"Are you okay?" I look up to see him leaning towards me, whispering so that the people in the front don't hear us, I assume.

"Yeah, just, nervous." My hair is made up in a tight bun and I wish I could have something to work with so I could distract myself from the close proximity he's in. "I just hope this all goes well."

"It will,"

"And I should trust in you because?"

"Hello, is it me you're looking for?"

He shakes his head, "No don't trust in me, trust in us." and then he reaches over and takes my pinky with his. "We'll get through this."

"Are they going to kiss?" Scott asks, completely taking me out of the intimate moment.

"I don't know I think they were just about to before you interrupted them," Anna responds, leaning over the console and smiling at us in the back, "don't worry you guys will have more than enough time to bond in the museum, just make sure to keep it down."

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