Allison’s eyes were bright brown, golden nearing hazel, and so Sabastian knew that he was all in. Sabastian could discern the color even in the dark interior of her brand new car as it sped through the inky west Texas night. The stars winked their knowing eyes at them conspiratorially as if they were each a main character in a great play the two young friends were creating with each breath they took. Allison and Sabastian were in love, not that they realized it, but the whole world saw it anyway. Neither of them cared much for what the world had to say and so they were left with each other, like two innocents who had seen too much, but still as naive as they had begun.

Sabastian and Allison had a few things in common. They were both runners, for instance, they both knew tragedy like young people should never have to, and they loved adventure. That is what caused the conversation, five hours ago, that led them to quitting their first semester of college, and striking out toward California.

“The Pacific Ocean, Sabastian,” Allison said, “That’s where I want to be.”

Sabastian glanced at Allison from the corner of his eye, noticing again the way her nose was slightly upturned at the end, and how she wore her light smattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose accenting her beauty, but later, many years from that place, it would be the eyes that always brought Sabastian back to that moment.

“Well, all we have to do is head west,” Sabastian said, “and we’ll run into it eventually. Where to from there?”

Allison had turned to stare out the passenger window of her car and took just a second longer than was needed before answering. “Who cares, north maybe, let’s not plan anything. I just want to see the world.”

Sabastian sat at the wheel of Allison’s car and the speedometer, tacked out at 140 mph, glowed light blue, was largely ignored in favor of those eyes that called to him in a primal way. They had all kinds of chances in them and danger and hope and every other thing that Sabastian had always wanted but had never been able to find. Even as young as he was, at twenty years old, he knew this was the beginning of something he’d always remember. It was his old soul more than his mind that knew the world would tear this thing away from him like it had torn everything else away, and so he made a silent vow to himself to live each day as though it was his last.

“We should smoke,” Sabastian offered, “Roll one up. Ally girl.”

Allison laughed out loud and said, “It’s cute that you think I know how to roll.”

“How have you smoked weed for five years and you don’t know how to roll?” Sabastian asked.

“Pipes, Bastian boy.” the girl smiled.

“Okay, fine. I’ll roll, but when we stop you’re getting a rolling lesson.” Sabastian said, “Here steer the car.”

Allison reached over and took the wheel of the car and Sabastian reached behind the back seat and grab the “pot box.” Inside was all their weed and paraphilia. Sabastian broke up a few of the buds of weed, removing the stems and seeds, that Allison called “sticks and stones,” and then rolled a joint.

Sabastian took the wheel back and flicked his lighter. Puff, puff, pass, and he handed the white crinkled paper, ember glowing at one end, to Allison. As they smoked, the music played, because the music was always playing, and they listened to Sublime’s “Smoke Two Joints,” and sang along at the top of their lungs.

After the joint was roached in the ashtray, Sabastian saw Allison staring at him from her seat. His heart began pounding under her gaze and a self-conscious smile spread across his face, “What?”

“Promise me something?” Allison asked.

“Promises are hard to keep, Ally girl.” he returned.

“I know, but it’s important. Promise we won’t stop this road trip until we’ve seen all fifty states.” Allison said.

Sabastian looked at her. Everything stopped, like they talk about in poems, like he’d seen in movies, and he tried not to sound too eager as he said, “Well, okay, but Alaska and Hawaii will be hard to drive to.”

Allison’s face split into a sly grin and lit up his night as she laughed, “We’ll do them last then.”

Soon they exited off at a State Park and Sabastian put the car in park. He could feel the kiss coming, like a static charge before a storm, and his pulse tried to betray him. They each sat in their seats and leaned against the doors of the car, facing each other, and talked about all the things they wanted to do. The Grand Canyon, Santa Monica, Golden Gate Park, Niagara Falls,
and the list kept going.

Allison seemed to speak these dreams into reality before his eyes, and as great as they were, it was the lips speaking that held his attention in a vise like grip. As they moved slightly with each word, Sabastian felt drawn closer to them, and suddenly he realized that Allison was slowly moving too. The great gulf of darkness and tragedy and doubt was being closed, until finally as they spoke their breath caressed the lips of the other.

It was the eyes that made him miss the first time. His aim was slightly off, because he couldn’t stop thinking about how golden her eyes were, and so he kissed her upper lip. They both giggled like new lovers will and the second attempt was right on target. The world lit, Sabastian’s world was set on fire.

“You won’t hurt me will you, Bastian?” Allison asked.

“Of course not, Ally girl.” he returned, but the world knows, like Sabastian knows now, that sometimes promises are just too hard to keep.