“Get in the car.” Billy demands. He nearly stresses each word.
Clara stares at him over the roof of his 67 Olds Delta 88. The West Texas July baked the color out of the grass and the ambition out of the boys with trucks but not Billy. He and his car had been inoculated against that withering disease sweeping level-land in the hot few weeks following High School graduation. He could get her out of here.
Instead of rolling his eyes, his whole head rocked backward and he stared into a sky about as blue as a 20 year old photograph. “Clara. Come on. Get in the care.” he entreated this time.
Clara squinted her eyes and pursed her lips. She would eek out one ounce of politeness from this boy before she let him tell her to do anything—even something she desperately wanted to do.
She caught his eye and made him see her own demand as his head rocked forward again. He closed his eyes when he asked, “Please? Please Clara would you get in the car?”
She smiled and turned back from the passenger’s door to let him come around and open it for her. Billy’s head finally swung all the way down, chin to chest, as he gave in completely.
He came across the front scuffing the heels of his cowboy boots on the blacktop turned grey. Just as he would have opened her door he clearly had an idea and began wedging his hand into the front pocket of his jeans as he continued on past her to the trunk. Making it three quarters round instead of just half. He unlocked the trunk, rummaged a towel from around the jack, shook it out, folded it neatly, then returned to open her door. Clara smiled again as he spread in best side up on the leather.
“Seat’s hot. That should help.”
He backed out of the doorway, but Clara pressed into the same space quicker than he vacated it. She grasped him around the waste and gave him a longer than friendly kiss before getting in and closing the door. Billy stood outside the closed passenger door.
“Get in the car.”