“Take a look at the picture in the background, behind us, do you see it?”
I didn’t at first, had to turn my head this way and that and squint my eyes, but eventually, I did see it. I wondered how I could have possibly missed that sort of thing, probably too busy looking at the perfect couple that’s embodied in the two people in the front of the frame, us.
It looks like it, the more I look at the photo, It’s hard for me to tell, even now, how we could have been so perfect with so much hiding behind our backs. It was right there, parked behind us, our arms around each other laughing in white tank tops and puka shell necklaces and bad streaks in our hair.
The car, a red Mustang, parked just to the side of the shot. I didn’t even remember he drove a car like that, it was so long ago, could’ve very well been his daddy’s car.
I do remember the way he used to get, angry but not too angry, we were rarely alone. He would get this look on his face, like he was trying to push something back into the depths of his soul, away from the outside world.
He would close his eyes and breathe heavily, in and out, hands gripping the steering wheel. I remember wondering if he would lose it one day, but he left for college and ended it before I had the chance to find out.
I couldn’t believe it when I saw it on the news, everything they were saying about him. They said it had been four people all along route 87, he would pick them up at truck stops or small towns, promising them an adventure.
I guess the red Mustang helped, made him seem a little dangerous but not too dangerous.
The people they were interviewing said that he always rolled by listening to Donna Summer real loud, the disco bass thumping and making the mirrors in the car vibrate.
We keep watching, eyes fixated on the newslady talking, and as she speaks a little bit of the song comes on, and I feel like my gut may fall out, like I have to hold tight to keep the contents in.
He gave me that song once, on a mix CD. “This is gonna be our song one day baby.”
I never got it back then, when he said “one day”, I never got it then.
I do now.