TITLE: Teaching the Cowboy
“I’ve been holding my tongue for the past minute afraid you’d bite my head off, but, s***, honey, I think we passed it.”
Veronica Silver kept her eyes locked on the deserted highway ahead and said nothing. She meditated on the hazy horizon ahead. She ground her teeth. With a quick flick of her gaze to the right, she growled.
“Yeesh.” Her co-driver, and best friend of more than two decades, cautiously extended a hand and gave her shoulder a squeeze. “Ronnie, that means we have to turn around,” he said in that pedantic, patronizing tone that always made her wonder why they were friends at all.
She tightened her grip on the steering wheel and eased her foot off the accelerator. “I know what it means, Phil.”
He eased his hand away and reoriented the paper map he held on his lap. They’d picked it up at rest stop somewhere in Nebraska. Phil thought it’d been funny when Ronnie’s phone lost 4G, 3G, and golly-gee, for that matter. He’d laughed and made some quip about how his network had more cellular towers than any other carrier in the country. He’d navigated them from the point of Ronnie’s cellular dead zone in Ogallala to Kimball, and then his majestic cellular bauble took a crap, too. They were navigating in analog, and doing so was testing the mettle of their longtime acquaintance.
“What time are they expecting you?”
Ronnie performed a three-point turn in five points before answering. “Eleven.”