She eases her thigh away from the vinyl seat and it peels away like orange rind.

She can’t be in this car anymore.

The sun is relentless, shearing across the windscreen which is now covered in dead insects and dust. The glass is dulled by the smokiness of age but that just makes the heat more oppressive, as if its trapped and slowly broiling them alive. There’s a tear in the backrest that presses between her shoulder blades, through the damp curtain of her hair, scraping at her skin whenever she leans back. After two hours she wants to scream at it; that small tear, worrying at her. But she can’t make any sound that gives away her tension. She can’t alert him to any shift in her. Instead she must speak her regular lines, and now they’ve reached the scene where he’s in a bad mood and she tries to cajole him out of it. He’ll reject her attempts, of course, until a time of his own choosing, but she must try anyway. If she doesn’t, if she allows herself to become distracted or sullen or argumentative, he’ll turn the car around, just for the spite of it. And she’s so close now.

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