Jenna’s favorite feeling was the sense of freedom starting a trip. The office had her leave in so no one would be calling her, the house was all but shut down with everything but the fridge unplugged and all the doors and windows shut tight and locked, and all that was in front of her was the wide empty road. It was one of the reasons that she left so early in the morning, too, there was almost no one else out there on the road with her, which only increased her sense of freedom—no one could get in her way.
Jenna looked down quickly as a little bit of the real world seeped back in, and put her foot gently on the brakes. One very distinct group of people could get in her way, and that was the police after she got pulled over for going fifteen over the speed limit. That was the downside to an empty road, sometimes she got caught up in the excitement of it all. She set the cruise control to prevent her lead foot from taking over again. A speeding ticket would mean that she couldn’t afford all the fun little day trips that she and her sister had planned to do, and Jenna had absolutely no intention of missing a minute of their carefully planned vacation.
But now she had to settle in for the long haul. Four hours of driving until she could pick up her sister, then another seven to their final destination, but at least that last seven hours she could trade off with her sister a little bit. Around the seventy-five minute mark, her feeling of freedom had drained away. Now her car and the road before started to feel a bit like a cage. She would love to take a nap or play her Gameboy or read some—but she couldn’t let her mind wander, she had to keep an eye on the road and an eye for her speed and an eye on the cars around her, and she just didn’t have that many eyes.
Around two hours in, Jenna was starting to get properly grumpy. Whose bright idea was it to drive to this place anyway? Would it really have cost too much to fly there? When you factored in the cost of gas and car wear and tear, did it really seem like that much more? Then she and her sister could have both arrived there around the same time—comfy from a nice nap or maybe even the first few drinks into their vacation. That would be really nice, but instead, she still had hours of road ahead of her and she was starting to get a crick in her neck.
Finally pulling into her sister’s driveway, she stomped to the house to use the bathroom and get a snack before they headed back out on the road. And her sister was going to drive the first four hours of this leg, or Jenna was just going to lose it.