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How are you supposed to know if you deserve better?

He’s blowing smoke out of the car window and her hands are trying to fuse to the wheel. White knuckles and a clenched jaw but he’s too drunk and stupid to notice. Or maybe he just doesn’t care.

Her eyeliner has smeared to form rings around her eyes but she doesn’t care because he hasn’t looked at her since they got in the car. He hadn’t looked at her before that. In her mind she wonders if he ever actually looked at her – If he ever actually saw her. She doubts it. He’s too stupid to open his eyes. Or maybe he just doesn’t care.

The road is black and the white lines flash by so quickly she’s starting to get sick from looking at them. Or maybe that’s the tequila that’s still sloshing around in her stomach. Her eyes dart to the passenger seat and he’s still smoking but his eyes are closed and his short hair is being tickled by the wind. He hasn’t even noticed they should’ve stopped by now. She should have been at his place by now.

It’s been two, maybe three hours and she keeps looking at the white lines. The car slows and she pulls over on the side of the road, only somewhat glad it was too late for there to be any other cars on the road. When she opens her door to get out, that’s when his attention is stirred. He’s curious what she’s going to do, but he takes a drag instead of asking. When she closes the door behind her he shuts his eyes and leans his head back, she’s already out of sight, out of mind.

Knees hit the dirt and the grass and her hands fly out to stop her from falling. She dry heaves for a while before pausing just long enough to haphazardly tie her hair up. As soon as her hands touch the ground again there goes the contents of her stomach. It’s a good five or so minutes when she’s able to wipe her mouth on the sleeve of her sweatshirt and her head aches.

She slides into the driver’s seat again to find the passenger sleeping. Her hands fold on her lap and they’re together in silence and she doesn’t cry because no one cares if she does or not. The taste of vomit starts to make her queasy again so she digs into his pants pocket for the mint gum he keeps and pops one in her mouth.

They’re on the road again, but she’s taking him home this time.

The drive back is much quicker and the white lines aren’t distracting her anymore. When she pulls up to his dinky shack of a house he stirs and sits up. He still doesn’t look at her, even when he gets himself out of the car. Before he shuts the door, he lights another cigarette and takes a long hit. He sniffs and stares out over her car. Without so much as a glance, his gruff, slurred voice breaks the silence. “You wanna come in?” He asks.

She hates herself for the immediate want to and it’s hard to say no. When she does though all he does is shrug and shut the door. Her eyes watch him fumble for his keys and go inside.

Her knuckles are soft on the door and her heart’s beating wildly. Maybe he’ll see her this time, she’s thinking. But when he opens the door it’s his lips that find her, not his eyes. This time she cries but he doesn’t notice or he doesn’t care. Maybe this time if she does it good enough he’ll see her for once. From the moonlight shining through the curtains, she takes in his closed eyelids and the way he touches her but doesn’t feel her.

Now she’s wishing she didn’t throw up the tequila because this would be easier if she were still drunk.

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