“It’s our honeymoon,” she said, reaching under the bumper for the Hide-A-Key. “We’re newlyweds.” 

Stan joked, “That’s going to make our first night together even more special.” 

Becky shuddered, climbing into the passenger seat, leaving Stan to lug the suitcases in the center seat. He wanted to leave the back rear-facing seat empty in case they got sick of each other on the long ride. 

Exiting the parking garage, Becky squinted over the map, trying to find the town that was only circled once. The problem was, they all looked like they had been circled once. She searched for a commonality in four that was not in the fifth: oval versus circle, black ink versus blue, towns on the east side of the freeway versus the west side, number of letters in the name. 

“North or south?” asked Stan as they approached the blue shield signs of Interstate 15. 

“South,” Becky replied, figuring most of the state was south of Salt Lake City where she knew they wouldn’t be sent because it was a major city and the chance of being randomly seen by an old acquaintance was not worth risking. 

The daylight offered no help figuring out which city they were supposed to call home. Mona, Ogden, Roy, Tamarin, Logan. 

They were all names. Names of towns? Of course they were all names of towns. 

“Where are we heading?” Stan asked, flipping down the sunshade. 

He glanced over at Becky futilely decrypting the map. 

“You don’t know?” 

Becky didn’t want to put up with this jerkoff acting like she didn’t know how to do her job. 

“We’re going to Tamarin.” 

Stan raised his eyebrows, pretending to be impressed. 

Becky folded the map, trying to get the creases to all go the right way. 

“Tamarin,” she repeated. “I’m sure of it. They’re all names of people, except Tamarin. Tamarin is a monkey. None of the other names are monkeys.” 

“How far?” 

“It’s in the southwest corner of the state.” 

“Give it to me in miles.” 

“Roughly three hundred miles.” 

Stan sighed, saying, “Only three hundred miles before the real honeymoon begins.” 

Becky felt sick. She powered down the window, closing her eyes as the breeze flowed in. 

“Wake me when we get there.” 

   *   *   *   *   * 

After three hours of driving, Stan pulled into one of the many oasis points riddled with gas stations, mini-marts, fast food chains and low budget motels. Stan filled the tank while Becky went to ask for a key to the ladies room. 

While the spinning number of gallons spun higher with no sign of slowing down, Stan decided to squeegee the windshield. While he was at it, why not wipe that Just Married off the back window so they wouldn’t have to endure all those enthusiastic honks from passing motorists. 

Standing behind the car, he prepared to squeegee the lipstick letters off the glass when he noticed a wooden crate on the floor of the backseat. It almost looked like a treasure chest but instead of gold coins inside, maybe the box had information or clues about where they were supposed to be going. 

Stan opened the rear door, then lifted the lid off the wooden crate. 

“What’ve have you got there?” Becky asked, rubbing her injured shoulder. 

Stan pointed: “Planning to arm the state of Utah?” 

Becky peeked in back, unable to contain her enthusiasm seeing tightly packed handguns and ammunition of all calibers. 

“I don’t like guns,” Stan said. “Especially when they’re pointed at me.” 

Becky lifted up a bullet proof vest laying next to the crate. 

“Kevlar,” she said. “All this is here to protect you.” 

“Do you need so many guns?” 

“Have you ever shot a 9mm?” she asked. 

“I’ve never shot a gun in my life,” Stan said. “And when I do, it sure as hell won’t be metric.” 

Becky pleaded, “Promise me you won’t be a pussy about guns.” 

As they drove off, Becky still had an ecstatic glow on her face. Stan felt it even when he wasn’t looking at her, like invisible waves emanating off her body. Whatever vibe she was giving off, it put Stan in the mood to have explosive sex on the hood of the station wagon while firing guns off in the air like Yosemite Sam. 

Then again, maybe he’d hold off on unleashing his charm until they arrived in Tamarin. 

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