When we’re both buckled in, Silas turns to me and says, “According to a letter you wrote, the first time we had sex was—”
“No. I don’t want to go there. Where did you find that letter? I thought I hid it.”
“Not well enough.” Silas grins.
I think I like flirty Silas. Even if we forget everything again tomorrow, at least I’ll get one good day out of this. “Let’s go somewhere fun,” I say. “I can’t remember the last time I had fun.”
We both start laughing at the same time. I like him. I really do. He’s so easy to be around. He laughs too much, maybe. Like, we’re totally screwed right now, and he’s still always smiling. Worry a little, dude. He makes me laugh when I should be worrying.
“Okay,” he says, glancing at me. “I really would rather go to that place in the letter where I did that thing with my tongue, but…”
It’s automatic—it must belong to Charlie—but as soon as the words are out of his mouth, my hand reaches across the space between us and I slap his arm. He grabs my hand before I can pull away and holds it to his chest. This too feels like something that’s been done before, something that belongs to them—Charlie and Silas, not me and this guy.
It makes me feel tired to be held against him like this, even if it’s just my hand. I can’t afford to be tired, so I tug away from him and look out the window.
“You’re really fighting this,” he says. “That kind of defies the point.”
He’s right. I reach over and grab his hand. “This is me falling in love with you,” I tell him. “Deep, soul love.”
“I wonder if you’re less ridiculous when you have your memory.”
I turn on the radio with my free hand. “Doubt it,” I say.
I like making him smile. It doesn’t take much to make the corners of his mouth twitch, but to actually get his lips to curve all the way up, I have to be extra sassy. His lips are fully curved now as he pulls into traffic and I am able to watch him without him watching me. We’re acting like we know each other even though our conscious minds don’t know each other. Why is that?
I reach for the backpack, to search for the answer in their letters or journals.
“Charlize,” Silas says. “The answer isn’t in there. Just be with me. Don’t worry about that.”
I drop the backpack. I don’t know where he’s driving. I don’t know if he knows where he’s driving, but we end up in a parking lot just as it starts to rain. There are no other cars around and it’s coming down too hard for me to see what’s in the buildings around us.
“Where are we?”
“I don’t know,” Silas says. “But we should get out of the car.”
“Yes. Silas says get out of the car.”
“Silas says…? Like Simon says?”
He just stares at me expectantly, so I shrug. Honestly, what do I have to lose? I open the car door and step into the rain. It’s warm rain. I tilt my face up and let it hit me.
I hear his door slam and then he runs around the front of the car and stands in front of me.
“Silas says run around the car five times.”
“You’re weird, you know that?” He stares at me. I shrug again and start running. It feels good. Like with every step some of the tension is leaving my body.
I don’t look at him when I run past him; I stay focused on not tripping. Maybe Charlie ran track or something. Five car laps later I stop in front of him. We are both soaked through. Drops of water are dangling from his eyelashes and running down his tanned neck. Why do I have the urge to touch my tongue to those lines of water?
Oh, yeah. We were in love. Or maybe it’s because he’s freaking hot.
“Silas says go into that store and ask for a hotdog. When they tell you they don’t have hotdogs, stomp your foot really hard and scream like you did in the hotel this morning.”
He crosses his arms over his chest. “Silas says.”
Why the hell am I even doing this? I give Silas the dirtiest look I can and stomp off in the direction of the store he pointed me to. It’s an insurance agency. I swing open the door and three grouchy-looking adults raise their heads to see who has walked in. One of them even has the audacity to scrunch up their nose at me, like I don’t already know I’m dripping water everywhere.
“I’d like a hotdog with everything,” I say.
I’m met with blank stares. “Are you drunk?” the receptionist asks me. “Do you need help? What’s your name?”
I stomp my foot and let out a bloodcurdling scream, at which all three of them drop whatever they’re holding and look at each other.
I take their moment of surprise to run out. Silas is waiting for me outside the door. He’s laughing so hard; he’s bent over at the waist.
I punch him on the arm and then we both run for the Rover.
I can hear my own laughter blending with his. That was fun. We jump into the car and peel away just as Grouchy One, Two, and Three walk outside to watch us.
Silas drives for a few miles before he pulls into another parking lot. This time I can see the glowing sign advertising: THE BEST COFFEE AND BEIGNETS IN LOUISIANA!
“We’re soaking wet,” I say, not seeming to be able to wipe the smile from my face. “Do you know how messy beignets will be?”
“Silas says eat ten beignets,” he says stoically.
“Ugh. Why do you have to act like a robot when you play this game? It’s creeping me out.”
He doesn’t respond. We get a table near the window and order coffee and two dozen beignets. The waitress doesn’t seem bothered by our wet clothes or the fact Silas is speaking in a robot voice.
“The waitress thinks we’re cute,” I tell Silas.
I roll my eyes. This is fun. Would Charlie think this was fun?
When our beignets come, I am so hungry I don’t care about my wet hair or clothes. I dive in, moaning when the warm pastry hits my tongue. Silas watches me in amusement.
“You really like those, huh?”
“They’re actually really gross,” I say. “I’m just really into this game.”
We eat as many as we can until we’re covered in white powder. Before we leave, Silas rubs some of it across my face and hair. Not to be outdone, I return the favor. God, this guy is fun. Maybe I kind of see what Charlie sees in him.