A reckless driver zoomed down the wet and slippery roads. His car was shaking as his speakers blasted the thundering growls, the biting guitars, and the thrashing drums. He was angry that he couldn't keep his car clean. It had been raining all week making his pride-and-joy ugly and dull, it made his blood boil which wasn't a difficult feat these days. So he was dealing with his anger the only way he could at the moment. His music, he said, helped him relax. She knew he was lying. Sitting in the passenger seat her heart was racing almost as fast the senseless percussion in the pseudo-demonic band. The music made her feel vulnerable when he drove this way in this kind of mood.
Then he pushed a button that made her heart jump to her throat as a little orange light died. That little orange light was the indicator for the traction control on his tires. He'd turned it off. She knew what he wanted.
"Just once " He grinned an evil grin as he gripped the wheel tighter, "Just once I want to hydroplane."
"Why?!" She challenged his stupidity with a cold look.
"Oh, you know " he said with an air of nonchalance, "Just to feel what it'd be like. To see how well my car could handle it. To see how I could handle it! Woo! I'd be freaking out! Ha ha! Oo! Do you think we'd flip? Nah! Wed probably just spin out." He burst into laughter as he speed up for the endless puddles ahead.
"You want to
be an idiot, Johnny?" she snapped, raising her voice so it was barely audible above the roar of his music, "Then do it when you're NOT with me!" She had surprised him. For a moment he looked at her as though he'd seen her really there for the first time, trying to remember why she was there in the first place. He was a shadow of demonic rage and she was a vision of serenity. His sanity. Sitting next to him she stood out and it was clear to him that she did not belong there. Not there, where he had placed her; there, where she was in danger.
He took her hand and slowed down. His hands were big and dark where as hers were small and fair. He quickly let go and turned down his music after pushing the button for the traction control. He tried to concentrate on the road and guess what the quickest route home would be. He knew she wasn't angry with him and he understood why she'd said what she'd said.
"Johnny why do you do things like that?" she asked in a pleasant voice, lightly scolding him. When he didn't answer she turned to see the bored look on his face. "Is it because you're not over there anymore? I've noticed since you've been home it's easier for you to get angry or upset. You don't have an outlet here, Johnny."
He lightened up a bit and thought about what she said. It was true. Over in Iraq on every mission he went on he got a rush. They all did. That feeling of diving in head first into impending danger made it fun in a weird sort of way. Though sometimes it wasn't all fun and games. Their lives were on the line every second of every minute they were there. Death was a horrendous shadow hovering above them. Try and hide it as they might the thought made them all a bit high strung and weary. Having a bullet fly by his ear one unfortunate day was enough reason for everyone to back away from him. The realization that that might have been the last moment of his life was sickening. They all had days like that at one time or another and they all had their ways of dealing with it. He got over it by working out and calling home.
These thoughts of death suddenly sent a bone chilling sensation through out his entire body, and he remembered something he had never told anyone. There's no way anyone could forget what had happened to him and one of his buddies over there. Sometimes he woke up with the pain still there. It haunted him. The only people who knew were his squadron. The people who carried him back and saved him.
He wondered how she would react if he told her how close he came to never seeing her again. He didn't want...