If I’d known that was the last gordita I’d ever eat, I would have really tasted it, you know? I would have paid attention. The crunch of the shell and the cool tang of the sour cream. I would have sucked the hot sauce from under my nails.
I had my feet up on the dash and Adri was doing that thing where she steers with one finger at the bottom of the wheel. Had her other elbow propped on the open window. Radio blasting that techno dance crap she loves. I had my window down, too. Was digging the feeling of the wind on my face even if it was strangling the curls right out of my hair. I’d fix it when we got there.
Another red light. Adri hit the brakes too hard, too late. I pressed my feet into the dash, almost dumping my dinner onto my dress.
“Shit, girl,” I said. “Slow down.”
“You wanna get there or what?”
“I wanna get there alive, thank you.”
The light turned green and she hit the gas. I knew she was pissed, but whatevs. She’s always like that. No one’s allowed to comment on her driving. I took a bite of gordita and tapped my foot to the techno beat. I licked up the sauce and meat juice running down my thumb and along the inside of my wrist.
I know gorditas are disgustingly wrong in every way, but dang they’re so good.
I wiped my face on the napkin and adjusted the wrapper to get to the last few bites. A horn honked and we both looked.
“Hey baby!” Adri sang out the window. I careened my neck over her side to see.
Joey Gomez in his daddy’s Impala. Leaning back in the seat like he’s some kind of bad ass. Some guy I’d never seen before in the passenger’s side. Didn’t look like anyone special. But that Joey G. Adri’s got some serious hots for him.
I leaned back into my seat again and pushed my toes into the air vent. One toe for each slot. The a/c whispered ice into the curves of each toe. Felt like heaven. I stuffed the last bite of gordita into my mouth and crunched up the wrapper. Also like heaven. There’s all the squished up goo in the last bite. A little spicy. A little tomato. Perfect mix of beans and meat and tortilla and cheese. My fingers smelled like grease and I licked each one clean.
I don’t know what Adri was yelling to Joey, but she kept lurching the car forward and then stepping on the break. Trying to keep pace with him, I guess. I moved to pull my toes from the vent, but my big toe wouldn’t budge.
“Adri,” I said, thinking she’d look at me and laugh. I was laughing even though the plastic was pressing into my cuticle and hurting real bad.
Adri didn’t look at me. She didn’t look at the road, either.
But I did.
My head went all slow-mo. I saw the white blur of Joey’s Impala screeching back. The curls of Adri’s hair whipping around to face the road. The sliding of my dress beneath me. The split-second reflection of my face — my lipstick napkin-smudged — as I rose to meet the shimmer of the shattering windshield glass.
This work by Amy K. Nichols is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.