Today – morning, sometime
Somewhere, far away, a car alarm is going off. The Weee-eee weee-eeee makes my skull flash bright hot white as a cool breeze brushes over me. A groan passes from my lips. On my side, I curl into a fetal position, willing the sound away. I 'm about ready to slam my fist down on my alarm clock when I realize I 'm not in my bed. A metal surface of rivulets crunch beneath me.
Rolling over onto my back, I open my eyes, staring up at the sky.
Not a white crack-lined ceiling. The gustery bleary sky of a Tulsa December. Stunned, I sit up, fast, and the blood rushes to my face. Moaning, I cover my face and then look up again. I 'm in the bed of an unfamiliar pick-up truck, parked in the middle of a field of…show more content… "Shit, shit, shit, shit!" I don 't have the keys. Worse than that, I have no idea where the hell my older brother 's truck is. Or where I am. Or what happened.
I spit over the truck 's frame. The inside of my mouth tastes like an ashtray and alcohol. Vomit too. I pull myself on my knees, wobbly, but balancing okay. That 's when I notice the duct tape wrapped around my throbbing, red-tinged bicep.
I frown. "What the f—"
"Sorry about the handiwork," a voice says as a man suddenly appears. He 's dressed in jeans, a white t-shirt and a black leather jacket. There 's a pack of cigarettes in his hands. Approaching the truck, he rests his elbows on the side. "Best we could do last night."
I can see my reflection in the dark lenses of his sunglasses. My eyes wider than wide. He waits, the corners of his mouth fighting a smirk. And when I see that smile – that smirk – I remember.
He hands me a cigarette. "Oh, yeah."
Last Night – 5pm
He looks at me over his newspaper. "What?"
"Can I borrow the truck?"
Darry shakes the paper out, folds it up once, then twice. He sets it aside. "I don 't really want you out driving on the icy streets, Pone. 'Sides," he says, smiling his stoic-Darry-smile, "I have plans tonight."
"Well, be still my heart," Soda says, jumping out of the kitchen, hand pressed against his chest. "You got a date."
"I didn 't say it was a date, Sodapop."
"It 's a date though, right,