Snakes and Pills

052 - like falling

With a few last rattles and knocks, the engine and thus the car gave up the ghost. The suburban neighborhood street they were on was now left completely quiet, devoid of any sound other than the rubber tires rolling with their momentum. Troy didn't react with surprise at his vehicle suddenly falling silent.

Instead, he just began pulling the wheel casually to the right, guiding the car towards the curb. It was a slow movement, but then again they hadn't been moving too quickly when the car lost its power. There was enough inertia for the machine to make it safely out of the way of traffic, although at the time there was certainly no traffic to speak of.

The car finally came to a rest perfectly parallel to the curb in front of a little park at the end of the block. It almost looked like Troy had planned to park it there all along. He opened his door, and stepped out. She did, too.

Staring at him across the hood of the car, Molly said no words. She thought about how, for most people, this would be the time to pop the hood open, and have a look underneath. Maybe some men would know how to fix it, but most wouldn't. They'd still go through the paces though.

Troy knew it wasn't worth his time. There was nothing for him under the hood other than an indecipherable tangle of metal, tubes, wires, and oil. So, he just stood there, by the hood but facing away from it. His eyes stared forward, in the direction the car had been traveling.

She broke her trance and walked away from the car. She sat down on the curb, in front of where the car had come to a rest. Ahead of her was Troy. Three years ago, this was the man that she had wanted. The kind of man who wouldn't bother to do the things you might expect a man to do.

But now as he stood there, directly in her line of sight but not looking back at her, Molly had her doubts. She reasoned that she needed to be truthful to herself. They were more than just doubts.

"My man wouldn't let his car break down on us," she thought to herself. "But if it did, he would know how to fix it." She began to try and draw her expectations closer to her reality. "He would try to fix it."

Maybe not even that, she continued reasoning. "He would make a reasonable effort to get it fixed. To get help." She looked back up at Troy, who still had his own face fixed on the horizon in front of the car.

"He would do SOMETHING." She shook her head slightly in silence. "He would at least SAY SOMETHING."

Troy did none of those things. Molly was tired of scaling back her expectations.

"No, he wouldn't even drive a car. He would have a motorcycle, and he'd make sure I'm never stuck alone." She briefly fantasized about her man rolling up right now, on a bright red motorcycle, tossing her a helmet, and inviting her to hop on. She would do it in a heartbeat.

But there was no one else on this quiet street except for herself and Troy. He suddenly stopped gazing off in the distance, and walked over to her. He pivoted around and took a seat on the curb right next to her.

They sat close, but never touched. No one said a thing.


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