Good Lord, the girl could talk. She must have been piling up all those words for months. There was a constant barrage from the back seat. She talked all the way through Connecticut and Massachusetts never even stopping for a breath. Miranda would sneak in occasional encouraging hum because they said you should keep the villains talking but truthfully, she couldn’t catch the head or tail to the story. Something about the power outage, the heat, the broken A/C, the frolicking children… In any case, she couldn’t follow the story and the road at the same time, so she concentrated on the latter.
If she were completely honest, the shift driving was a pain in the ass. She should have bought the car with the automatic, but she really, really wanted this nifty BMW. And an automatic BMW was just plain wrong. Like a pair of Levi’s with a zipper - affront to the world cultural heritage.
At least, once they were out of the city on I-95, and the traffic eased up a bit, she didn’t have to change shifts so often. Miranda felt her shoulder muscles relaxing. Andrea was still yakking in the background, but she filtered her out, more or less. A very useful survival technique she had learned with her first husband, practiced diligently on Donatella and improved vastly during the board meetings.
She supposed she should have been more upset by the whole mess. Technically, she had been kidnapped by a disgruntled - and perhaps deranged – weapon waving ex-employee. Except, well, she didn’t really think that Andrea could hurt anyone but herself. Also, the dangerous weapon she waved so dramatically around was pink and yellow and had tiny butterflies on it. Tear gas, my ass.
On the other hand, Andrea didn’t look particularly healthy. There were huge circles under her eyes, and her words sounded more and more slurred. Perhaps, Miranda worried her lip, she’s on drugs?
More exasperating, she was not sure what Andrea really wanted. Miranda prided herself on reading people exceptionally well but the woman was an enigma. She could never predict her reactions or guess her motivations. What was, for example, the meaning of this little escapade?
She kept on apologizing and mumbling how sorry she was, and what not. Why was Miranda’s forgiveness so vital to her? She had left, for god’s sake. Was she afraid of repercussions? It should have been obvious by now there would be none. And why pick at the scabs week after week with that silly letter?
Andrea leaving was unexpectedly… bothersome. In Paris, for a moment, she felt like they were on brink of something… something more. There was a flash of understanding, togetherness, want. And then it was gone. And so was Andrea.
The girl didn’t even have manners to politely fade away like all the other ghosts of Miranda’s regretful past. Oh, no. Not Andrea. For some damn reason, Miranda kept on tripping over memories of her ever since she left.
Slowly, Miranda became aware of lack of noise. The glance in the mirror revealed Andrea curled uncomfortably in the tight space which pretended to be a back seat. Her head was lolling on the back rest. Now and then, a tiny snore complete with a spit bubble escaped her slightly open lips. Miranda snorted. Her mighty kidnapper.
The sensible thing would be to turn into the first gas station, and run out of the car screaming a bloody murder.
Andrea left, true. But Andrea came back.
So perhaps some rearranging was necessary. She'd better call Daniel about that shack of his.