From Barstow, we make our way to Flagstaff. I sit in the back seat next to Tyler, entertaining him with the toys I’ve brought along with me. Sometimes I catch Sawyer watching us in the rearview mirror. Sometimes he catches me watching him.
It’s a harmless game between us and I’m grateful for the distraction. I’ve never met any of Sawyer’s girlfriends before but I’ve seen pictures of them, or at least, one of them, a petite woman with a pixie haircut who Drew told me was a massage therapist and yoga instructor. I vaguely remember Drew saying that she was the reason Sawyer spent a lot of time in Sedona although that was a few years ago. The only thing I know about Sawyer’s love life so far these days is that he doesn’t wear a ring.
“You sure you don’t want me to take over driving?” I ask when I catch him looking at me again.
“Nah, I’m good. Take a nap if you want, Al. I got this,” he replies as I lean back in my seat. “You don’t mind country music, do you?”
So far, our playlist has included Phish and the Dave Matthews Band. No country music—yet. “I’d never have figured you for a country music fan, Sawyer.”
“I’m cycling through all the songs on my phone so I think country is next. I don’t think Tyler would appreciate heavy metal.”
I laugh, shaking my head. “I know I won’t, not with him in the car, but country’s fine.”
Sawyer grins. “Country it is then.”
By the time Kip Moore’s Bittersweet Company plays on the radio, Tyler is fast asleep. I prop one of the neck pillows I brought with me against the window and close my eyes. With nothing to look at but barren landscape and cars and trucks zipping past, I might as well join Tyler in his nap.
When I wake up, Tyler is wide awake and kicking happily on one of the stuffed animals by his feet. Sawyer looks at me through the rearview mirror before focusing his attention back on the road ahead.
“Are we there yet?” I stretch my neck, my body starting to get sore from all the sitting.
“Almost. About ten minutes.”
“Oh, good.” I look at Tyler who seems so content in his car seat before I realize why. He’s busy concentrating. “Uh-oh! I think Ty just went number two.”
“Eight minutes,” Sawyer says as he hits the gas. “You may need to crack open a window.”
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