Sebastian put his forehead against the passenger side window. The cigarette smoke swirled around the car aimlessly with only one window down, it created a vacuum when traveling at low speeds but at high speeds it was just the same as turning a fan on in a closed room. All the thoughts and statistics about secondhand smoke entering Sebastian’s mind. They had a slight calming effect on him, the numbers were tangible and for the most part seemed to make sense. Where as the situation he was in now seemed erratic and bewildering. Claire’s bad driving was enough to make any kid start wearing his safety belt. Abrupt stops, over accelerating into corners, no regard to other motorist. Her constant looking over at the passenger or flicking cigarette ash out her window, or even checking out her make-up in the mirror, it all equated one terrifying experience for Sebastian. But since leaving his house less than an hour ago, when their bodies touched, he couldn’t get the idea out of his head that he would end up having sex with Claire. He wished he could call Rhys not to boast about being with Claire, but for advice. If there was any subject Rhys was keen about, it was girls and how to get them in bed. Sebastian entranced in his own thoughts, enough so that when Claire began calling his name, he didn’t answer.
A stinging sensation spread across Sebastian’s face, his sex starved eyes refocused on the current situation. Claire had actually slapped him to gain his attention. While Sebastian thought to himself how a teacher should never hit her student, he noticed his penis reacting in a positive manner from being physically abused. Before his imagination toured him through the idea of sadomasochism, he answered her question. “Yes. Yes. I can show you how to get to Rhys’s house.” Sebastian would take her there, but he knew they would be stopped at the entrance. He started giving directions, while she continued to chain smoke and complain about Rhys’s website. Sebastian continued to let her vent her emotions while he thought to himself. Her attempt to find Rhys will be in vain. Sebastian had the real suicide journal. Why wasn’t she directing her anger at him, the original carrier of the disease. Why was she so mad at Rhys? As soon as Sebastian started asking himself these questions, he started fantasizing that she wasn’t mad at Sebastian because she was in love with him, and the only punishment he would receive would be sexy.
Claire brought the car to a stop using both her feet pressing the brake pedal, if Sebastian hadn’t been wearing his seat belt he would have been ejected through the windshield.
“Sebastian. Why are you helping me?”
No audible words escaped his mouth. His forced smile contorted, then failed. While his mind went into overdrive thinking of acceptable lies, his eyes glazed over and his demeanor became solemn. “Claire. I’m helping you because, … cause you’re the first girl.. No, the first person to show me any attention. You want my help, and for once in my life I can actually help. Rhys isn’t really my friend, he’s more of the king and I’m his pawn. Without Rhys I have no one, and he wouldn’t care if I died. I don’t have a family, you’re the only person in my life. How pathetic is that?” He refused to look at her while his monologue continued, his stare fixed on a random point in space beyond the window. “I know you’re probably using me too, and that doesn’t make you any better than Rhys. But… But, I don’t want to believe that. Maybe you like me? Maybe, a girl like you can like a guy like me? I don’t want you to answer, I want to think that’s why you asked for my help, even if it’s not true. When today is over, I want to think that for once in my life, someone like you wanted somebody like me.”
If she had been looking at him, she would have seen the tear streaked reason on his cheek. Quickly, before she turned her head back towards him, Sebastian used his hand to brush away the moisture on his face. The silence was deafening waiting for her reply. Sebastian started to feel like his awkward self and began fumbling for the door handle. “Stop!” Claire turned the car off and put her hand on Sebastian’s shoulder. “I do like you Sebastian… As a.. Fr… As a person. I like you as a person. I don’t want you to think I’m using you, I want you to trust me. I didn’t know how alone you were, nobody knows those kinda things until you tell them and you’re being a real man for telling me.” They were looking at each other and her smile radiated warmth and trust, she was being genuine. She was being the strong independent female, the person her psychiatrist had prepared her to be. “How about we act like friends? You can show me where Rhys lives, but I wont take you with me to confront him about something that doesn’t have anything to do with you. Then, you can explain to me all about your dreams and this book that you have. You do have it with you, don’t you?” Sebastian glanced to the back seat, then raised his hand pointing at the messenger bag he always carried. Claire’s smile became even bigger. She had an amazing smile, more impressive than any toothpaste advertisement model. Perfect lips and bright white teeth. Her smile was truly infectious. Sebastian couldn’t help but mirror her actions, but not with his typical goofy grin. A confident expression enveloped his face. Sunlight pouring through the car windows illuminating her soft features, her pale green eyes caught the sun’s gleam and held it, transforming brightness into shades of gold. Looking into her eyes, Sebastian couldn’t think of a more beautiful girl in the world. “See! You’re smiling! Sebastian is smiling!” She was giggling like all the girls Sebastian had seen on dates, she was flirting with him. “Okay, now that you’re smiling and we’re friends, we can go back to my apartment and you can show me the book.” She turned the key in the ignition starting the motor. Next she held her hand out palm open, waiting for Sebastian to take her hand. He did exactly as he had seen in the movies. He took her hand in his. She squeezed his hand with a little extra pressure saying ‘I’m here, I’m with you’. Both of them looking out the front of the windshield, holding hands, it was better than any sexual fantasy Sebastian had ever dreamed. A sigh of relief left Sebastian’s lungs at the same time Claire push the gas pedal. As the car accelerated, so did Sebastian’s heart. He would hold up his end of their bargain by showing Claire where Rhys lived and then Show her the journal. Sebastian reminded Claire she needed to take the next right.