her eyes, that's where hope lies.
Jordan Staal looked at the first thing written on his list.
1.Drive a convertible down an empty highway.
He glanced up at the sign of the car rental and pushed open his door. Mason O’Rear let her eyes flick back and forth between Jordan, the piece of paper, and the car rental. She sat in the dark blue jeep, and stared at the boy standing in front of it. She had no idea what was going on, but she knew it was on the list, which meant it was good, which meant it was fun, which meant she would be doing it with Jordan. She quickly exited the car and joined him, intertwining their hands as they walked towards the door.
Two weeks ago, if you had told Mason that she would be holding the hands with a boy, who just so happened to be a famous hockey player, that she met in a hospital, a week after meeting him, she would have laughed in your face. It wasn’t so much that the boy was famous, it was the fact that she was holding a boy’s hand at all. Mason wasn’t innocent, but after changing the way she lived her life so that she could dance, she decided romance was not in her best interest, nor was it in the best interest of the boy. Yet here she was, smiling, happy, radiant.
Jordan held the door open and watched her slowly walk under his arm, not even bothering to duck. He smiled at how simply comfortable she was becoming around him. He followed her in, walked up to the counter, and slammed his card down on the while linoleum.
“1967 Ford Mustang Convertible. And make it a red one, please.”
* * *
Saying that Mason O’Rear had difficulty driving was an understatement. The truth was, she had never driven a car before. Something she pointed out to Jordan on their way to the newly rented vehicle.
“You what?” He stopped, stared and then doubled over laughing. Mason stood with her arms crossed over her chest, watching and waiting for the blonde boy in front of her to compose himself. Jordan stood up straight, and kissed Mason’s forehead before pulling her towards the car, chuckling.
* * *
Her brown hair whipped around her face and she adjusted the aviators perched on her nose with the hand that was not intertwined with Jordan’s. She glanced over at the boy driving and lost her breath for a second. He turned his head and he smiled at her.
“We’re almost there.” He said over the wind.
“You’ll see.” He grinned, looking back at the road. Almost twenty minutes later, Jordan pulled the car to the side of the highway, unbuckled and opened the door. He walked to the passenger side and opened the door, signaling Mason to get out.
“Oh no. I’m not driving this thing.” She muttered, shaking her head. Jordan huffed, leaned over and picked Mason up out of her seat and held her in his arms, despite her screams. She struggled, and struggled, but no matter how many times she hit Jordan’s chest, he didn’t let her down. He did however put her body on the hood, and pin her there. And he did however lean to where their lips were almost touching before whispering loud enough for her to hear.
“This is on my list. Humor me, baby.” Mason leaned up and smashed their lips together. She wrapped her arms around his neck and groaned when he pulled away.
“So are you going to drive the car for me?” Mason leaned up and kissed him softly, one more time, before nodding.
* * *
“Now step on the gas. Lightly. That is the brake, Mason!” Jordan yelled, laughing. He was silently thanking whoever was up there that his plan included an abandoned highway.
After nearly fifteen minutes of driving, Mason was finally getting the hang of it, making her more confident behind the wheel. And after an hour, she was driving as if it were a natural thing. Jordan smiled over at her, and posed the next part of his plan.
“Stand up.” Mason’s head whipped towards him quickly before she focused back on the road.
“Are you crazy?” She asked, laughing. Jordan nodded, and she looked at him one more time before complying. But the second she stood up, they hit a bump, and Mason quickly sat back down and turned the wheel so sharply that they two of them came to a drifting halt.
“No way in hell am I doing that again.” She whispered, getting out of the car and walking around the front. Jordan pursed his lips and slid behind the wheel. If number one on his list failed, what would happen with the rest? He waited till Mason was comfortable before turning the wheel and heading back towards Pittsburgh.
She could tell Jordan was upset. And she knew it was because her driving experience had ended so badly. But Mason wasn’t about to let Jordan feel badly about her insecurities. So she decided to redo it.
She unbuckled her seatbelt and slid up the back of the seat. Soon she was sitting on the top of the seat, wind in her hair, arms in the air. She leaned her head back, smiling, and basked in the sun. And she felt free.
What she didn’t realize was that Jordan was watching her in the rearview mirror. He watched the smile light up her face when she felt the warmth on her skin. He rubbed his fingers across the back of her hand and the second they pulled up to a stop sign, Mason slid down the seat, grabbed Jordan’s face in her hands and kissed him, with all the passion she had in her. They kissed until a honk signaled that the light had turned green.
And as they were going down the road, back towards their new life together, Jordan pulled out his list and scratched through number one.
One down. Sixteen to go.