GENRE: YA - Literary Fiction
The road runs before us like a black ribbon—curving, inviting, silky smooth—leading to a present I’m not sure I want to open. Rain drums against the roof and the windshield wipers swish back and forth. My mother taps her finger against the steering wheel as she drives, not in time to any music, but with a nervous, frenetic beat of which she is totally unconscious. Each sound joins together in some weird symphony that I will remember for the rest of my life—it’s one of those moments you know, even as it is happening, you will never forget.
My stomach dances. I’m not sure if it’s from excitement or anxiety or if it’s simply trying to digest the fast food salad-in-a-cup I stuffed down my throat as we drove through Ohio.
That was hours ago. We’d been in the car long enough for lunch to be our second meal eaten in motion. We had breakfast while it was still dark somewhere in western New York state, and lunch came when we were in Ohio. “Can’t we stop and eat in a real restaurant?” I asked.
“No,” she answered, the lines along her eyes more noticeable than they’d been yesterday. “I don’t want to take the time. We’ll just stop at a McDonald’s,” she added.
“McDonald’s!” I protested. “There’s nothing I can eat at a McDonalds!”“There’s nothing unkosher about a salad. Besides, God would forgive you under the circumstances,” she said.