It was just me and my music on the highway last Saturday. The sunset had finished, leaving dusty shadowclouds and a labyrinth of construction between me and the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. Then, there you were, rolling down your window out here on the highway. I shook my head and laughed, in no mood to play these games.
We coasted like parade floats in traffic, waiting in lines of red brake lights to get on I-294. You said, pull over. I said, no way. Was this some kind of joke? No one would do that. My music shuffled from a choral number, the Broadway musical kind, to something slow and melancholy, maybe the new John Mayer. You were a mystery to me and I couldn’t carry on until I solved you. Tell me why any sane person would follow you off this highway, knowing that rape was the likely result. Semi tires were grinding into the road, my voice was carried away by the breeze. Give me three reasons, and be real if you want me to believe you.
The ramp is just ahead and I don’t know why I’m yelling out the window. I’m going to pull off and he’s going to miss his turn. I might lose you on this, but if I only had one reason, I’d tell you that I love Jesus and, as captivating as you are to me, I wouldn’t continue to pursue you unless you were in love with Him, too.
Your turn signal was on, but your car was still beside mine. I could’ve reached out the window and we could’ve held hands. The lyrics in my speakers sing about lying, about leaving your loved one, and I realize I have no way of knowing if you’re telling the truth. You say you live for Jesus and I hardly have any idea why I’m saying yes, but I am. I don’t really want to drive out to this party anyway. The Hinsdale Oasis, right after the toll. I roll up my window and take the turn. He’s behind me for the first time and I check my rear view mirror obsessively.
After the exit ramp, I don’t know what happened next. My highway sweetheart may have been everything right for me but I didn’t even ask his name.