We are driving down the road, straight and narrow, boarding walls of corn stalks. Each turn of the road is as gentle as my girlfriend’s shoulder nudges, as she yammers on and on. I turn up the radio music, wondering if she will take the hint, but instead her voice grows and towers over the song playing. One and on she goes, as the sun dips below the horizon and my squint turns more into a side eye.
She yelps out a yawn, and my pounding head heavy with fatigue at first takes it as a sign of victory in the war of her voice. I shut my squinting eyes to rest. She nudges me yet again, this time to take over the wheel and drive.
We pull over onto the side of the road. Stalks of corn border us on our side by an arm’s length. We get out the car to switch sides. The other side of the road is a pitch-black open field, where my eyes cannot make out any forms or contours of the landscape other than the night itself.
I twist my neck up right before I go into the driver’s side, fingers wrapping the door handle. In the backdrop of the black, bright white stars twinkle, filling the view. It is the kind of awe and sight that can simply stop a man in place. Each light drifting my weary eyes to almost a dream trance.
My girlfriend is silent. I wonder if the view is dropping her jaw too, rather than jabbering it. I turn my head to take her in, and she stares at me frozen, slightly trembling.
Tears roll down her eyes, first as drops, then as a steady stream. She says get into the car, quivering in her voice. She ducks her head to get in, shuts the door gently, and reaches over from her side to pull my arm, bringing me into the car.
I slam the door shut, face turning red from the starlight sight being lost. She senses my flush of fury, and with her thumb tilts my head back towards my window to see the stars.
Now, from the car, the stars seem to take shape as my eyes adjust. The glimmering includes silver fur and grinning sets of teeth.
Dozens and dozens of coyotes limbering towards the car from the darkness. She turns my head again, towards the front of the wheel and says go.
We drive off, heading down the road with our headlights as a guide in complete silence. I have one hand on the wheel, and the other holding her hand the rest of the journey.