She rested her head on his shoulder as the car drifted down the lonely night path. She thought of the many different ways she dreamed of this moment, listening to the fuzzy tones on the radio. She never asked where they were going, and occasionally she’d look up at his stern face fixed to the road, and she’d smile at the display he put on for her.
“You know exactly what I like.” She’d whisper, and he’d let a smile crack his cheeks.
She named him Dean, and he gave up arguing. He saw that they together were the perfect ripples to distort their reflections. They were the beasts in bird’s clothing that fluttered wounded from their restless bedroom windows. And he swelled his chest with pride while she tightened her grip on his arm. He was Dean, the greasy rebel who made women bloom in the breeze of his walking by.
No one knew Dean, but she did. She, the girl wearing the wicked smile and saddle shoes, floating from one breath to the next, peeling the frustrated lust of men off her fingers like bubble gum. Oh, her careless heart spun with the speckles of a mirror ball while everyone danced with her in the spotlight of their minds. But, no one in that town moved her like Dean could, that quiet boy that never smiled.
She closed her eyes and saw her past in flames. It started at the wretched white picket fence, and reached across the yard to the crooked apple tree that cast haunted shadows on her walls, and mother and father, showing no emotion, even as they burned.
They were a cannon ball barreling down the road, glowing hot, waiting to explode. The dreams of sparks they saw, the charred earth they’d leave behind, a black epitaph of their love. One more dance was all they needed, one more dance to sway, and to lose a little more of themselves in this clouded reality.
She buried her face against his jacket and smelled the leather. She smiled again, that wicked smile. He finally looked at her.
“This is something beautiful.” She said. “It will live forever on this stretch of road, the ghosts of our love.”