The high school parking lot is dark and empty. The faded lines that define the spaces during weekdays create lanes the length of the lot that we are racing down as fast as we can in a Jimmy and a Jeep. The fear of getting caught is too far behind to enter our mind.Alice is in the back seat of my Jimmy holding on tight and talking – always talking on her cell phone. Her bright blond hair shines against a black t-shirt that reads “Metallica” in bold silver letters across her breasts. I look away from the pavement ahead and into the rearview mirror. Alice sneers when I catch her eye then blows me a kiss. The air in the car sits low like a heavy fog and smells like cotton blossom body wash and cigarette smoke. I inhale deeply through my nose and exhale through my mouth as the adrenalin pulses down my spine. The engine whines as the car nears eighty-five miles per hour.
At full speed Bob’s jeep looks like an autonomous red blur rolling on black spheres. Even during the day he is invisible behind dark tinted windows, and now he is just a lurking shadow ahead and to the right.
There isn’t much to this race, beyond the girl in my back seat. She was the fixation of his adolescent dreams and is now the source of our silent animosity. She is also my girlfriend because I was too arrogant to know the rules. To care.
Bob doesn’t talk to me anymore, and it is irony, perhaps, that we are racing each other tonight. As if racing cars in the darkness of nowhere will settle something. Damn it, it’s just a girlfriend. Is that really going to wreck our friendship? It was more than that. I knew that. But staring ahead into the open lot and knowing there was a lost friend racing next to me exaggerated the void.
It was over before it started.