She honks impatiently and checks her mirrors, hands at ten and two just as she’s been taught. He slams the passenger door too hard, pushes buttons on the radio, puts his feet up on the dash in front of him. I can see their teenage postures – hers sure and superior, his fidgety and fun. She will take him where he wants to go (his girlfriend’s house? baseball practice? a popular hangout of which I won’t approve?) and get him there safely. She is his protector. He acts indifferent toward her, saying little as she drives and looking at his feet, his phone, his hair in the vanity mirror. In truth he idolizes her; not in that he wants to be all that she is, but in that he wants her approval, her friendship, her reassurance that he’s OK, that they’re OK, that it’s all going to be OK.
He annoys her. He adores her. She chastises him. She cherishes him. I don’t know where they are going, but I know that she will lead and he will follow. I don’t know who they will become but I hope with my whole being that they will be friends.