“What are you thinking about?” he asked.
“How fucked up this country is.”
“Well, you could always go home.” He yawned.
What did he start a conversation for if it bored him? I’d happily sit in silence. And yeah, I would go home. Except I couldn’t. I had reasons for being here. Reasons that went far beyond just wanting to have some exchange year to look good on my resume. I wasn’t about to tell Sunshine that, though.
“If I went home, then I’d not be around to annoy you.”
I folded my arms. Even though we hated each other, I was supposed to hang out with Junichi. We were in the some of the same classes at university and, for some reason, his parents had decided he needed to practice English at home. They kept pushing us together. After the first week, Junichi seemed to forget when it was time for the English lessons though, and I sure didn’t remind him. His English was plenty good enough. He only used it to snark at me anyway.
I thought he was a huge douche, and he clearly hated me. Which made me wonder, why would he’d come out on a Saturday night to pick me up? Either he’d have been at home, asleep, or out with his equally annoying friends.
“Date didn’t go well?” he said.
I screwed up my nose. I wasn’t about to discuss my private life with him. What had happened hurt deep inside and he was the last person I’d show that to.
We entered the tunnel. Just a few minutes and we’d be home, out of this uncomfortable silence. But then we stopped. There was a line of stopped cars in front of us and no way to turn. How the hell does traffic even get banked up like that so late on a Saturday night? Being stuck in the car with him was bad enough. Being stuck in a tunnel with no way out was hell.
I shivered. My t-shirt was still damp and the heater in the car didn’t help. Goosepimples covered my arms. I’d never be warm again. But I had that t-shirt in my bag.
“Keep your eyes on the road, Sunshine.”
I pulled my bag onto my knee and grabbed out the t-shirt I had in there. Then I quickly peeled the wet shirt off. Well, I tried to do it quickly. The damp fabric clung to my damp skin. I had to squirm and wiggle to get out of it.
“You can’t do that here!”
God, was he his own grandmother? If you looked up the dictionary definition of uptight, you’d find his picture, that’s for sure. He never relaxed. He rarely smiled.
“Anyone could see you.”
I glanced around. We were at a complete stop in the middle of the tunnel. It was a single lane, no cars beside us. Just the headlights of cars going in the other direction. Maybe, if the person in front of us looked in their rear vision mirror, they might make out something but other than that, there was no one to see.
“Who? Anyway, I’m wearing my bra.”
I tugged the t-shirt down around me.
“Why do you do things like that?” I could feel his eye roll even if I couldn’t see it.
“You totally looked when I told you not to. I feel violated now. I told you to keep your eyes on the road.”
“Well, I didn’t know that you’d be changing your clothes. Why do you even have a change of clothes with you? Oh…”
Yeah, he’d worked it out. And, if I’d decided to have a sleepover with my boyfriend, it was none of his business. Discussing my sex life with him would not ever happen.
He touched my arm. That made me shiver all the more.
“You’re freezing.” He leant over to the back seat and then handed me a hoodie. “Here, put this on if you’re cold.”
I wanted to tell him to keep his hoodie but I was way too cold. Why was he even being so considerate? I could look after myself. It was bad enough that I had to be grateful to him for picking me up, extra kindness just made me feel uncomfortable. Uncomfortable but nicely warm. It was a super snuggly hoodie. I wondered if he’d notice if I didn’t return it. The only problem was that it smelt of Junichi. I’d never noticed the way he smelt before. Well, you don’t, do you? When you are around people you don’t exactly sniff them. But that hoodie made his smell come into my consciousness. And it was a nice smell. None of that aggressive man odour most guys have. Not that he smelt like roses either. Just comforting.
I had to stop dwelling on the Junichi smell.
“You could turn the heater up too, you know.” My voice was snappier than I’d intended.
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