Who cares what psychiatrists write on walls? is the answer I get, but it has nothing to do with my question. This is how things have been going ever since Trevor came back from Europe. I crack the silence with a question, he responds with nonsense, I get desperate and frustrated, he punishes me for smothering him.
For an hour we’ve been sitting in my mom’s station wagon in the rear parking lot of Wendy’s, watching cars pull up to the drive-thru window. But instead of giving me a straight answer or looking me in the eyes for the first time tonight, Trevor stares at the suped-up Volkswagen hatchback clogging the line at the drive-thru. It’s got fancy chrome rims, tinted windows that gleam like obsidian, and other expensive-looking enhancements I know nothing about. I don’t give a shit about cars. Neither does Trevor.
I’m ninety-eight percent sure Trevor slept with other women in Europe. That I can live with. Everyone goes to Europe to fuck. But what else did he do? Did he drop ecstasy and dance to hard house with a group of German architecture students? Did he vomit half-chewed haggis onto a thick oak table in a Scottish pub? This is what I need to know. Is that so much to ask? It’s the stories that keep a relationship alive, not the fucking.
A short guy gets out of the fancy Volkswagen and walks up to the drive-thru window. The employee working the drive-thru screams at him and stabs her finger at his car. The guy says something back, and then he does a wavy thing with his hands next to his driver’s side window. Someone in the drive-thru line leans on their horn for seven seconds. When the horn goes silent, Trevor pops open his door.
“This might get ugly,” Trevor says. “I’d better see what’s going on.”
With the door open, my nose fills with the smells of car exhaust and grilled chicken sandwiches. It reminds me of the summer days from my childhood before my dad left, when I used to ride in his UPS van and eat fast food with him during his lunch break. Thinking back, I realize this is my only remaining memory of him where he’s not leaving me behind to go somewhere else.
I unbuckle my seatbelt with a click and reach for the door handle, but Trevor stops me.
“No, Lindsay,” he says, still staring at the fancy Volkswagen. “You need to stay here. I’ll handle this.”
Before I can respond, Trevor plunks the door closed and slinks across the parking lot. His stride is slower and more relaxed than it was last month when I dropped him off at the airport to meet up with his friends. Does that mean something? Does anything he says mean anything?
It’s almost midnight. I squeeze the steering wheel until my fingers ache. For a moment I’m overcome with the powerful desire to drive away and leave Trevor behind for good, but I can’t do it. I guess it’s not as easy as my dad made it look.
Trevor ambles up to the drive-thru window and greets the arguing pair with a raised hand. As I slump back in my seat and watch, my stomach grumbles. So I take out my phone and text Trevor my order of a spicy chicken sandwich and medium fries. Then I slip my phone back in my pocket because I’m not dumb enough to wait for a response.