Joy Ride

Keith sat across the water, watching the partygoers. He wasn't sure if they should be partygoers or what they really should be called. He gave them that name because it was the easiest way to classify them. It gave them a name and a status: popular. That was something he seemed not to be. He didn't seem to want it, either.

Keith picked up a flat rock and skipped it across the water before standing. He brushed off his jeans and shoved his hands into his pockets only to pull them back out. He turned the bottle of anti-depressant pills over in his hand. He didn't consider himself depressed, but apparently Al and the doctors did. Whatever. Let them think what they wanted to. It was a free country, after all.

He put the pills back in his pocket and turned towards his yellow truck. He paused for a moment, just looking at the truck. He really loved that old thing. He'd put a lot of time and energy into it. Besides, it was his only escape from reality. It kept him semi-tame, calm, non-crazy, whatever you wanted to call it.

He opened the door to the truck and climbed in. He didn't have plans to go home. It was just him and his dad since his mom died. He tried to stay away from home. It was…boring, to say the least. At least, to him it was.

He didn't know where to go, though. He wasn't welcomed at the Brick. He'd end up doing what he always did: just driving around town. He had no specific location in mind, he never did anyways. If he was lucky, maybe he would meet Natalie somewhere. If he was lucky.

Natalie found herself at the place she had least expected: sitting in a garage watching Keith work on his truck. He creeped her out sometimes, with the way he acted and all. Sometimes she really did believe he was a freak and crazy like everyone else claimed for him to be. But, sometimes, she just thought that all he needed was a friend. That all he needed was someone he could count on.

So, she always found herself as his friend. She didn't know why she was chosen to play the role; just that someone decided she would. She wanted to know who that had been. She wasn't too thrilled about the fact that he was weird and Raf thought she was cheating on him for Keith. She could quickly deny they were. They most definitely were not.

"You want to go do something?" Keith asked as he looked up from being bent over the engine.

"No, this is fine unless you want to go do something," Natalie replied as she looked up from staring at the ground. Keith nodded slowly, wiping his hands on a rag before closing the hood.

"Come on, I have an idea," Keith replied. She frowned, half curious and half afraid of what he had come up with now.

"Um, okay, then," she replied and brushed off her pants as she stood.

"Vamos, amiga," Keith said as he opened the garage door.

Natalie silently got in and waited for Keith. She watched him cautiously out of the corner of her eye. She watched him start the engine and put the yellow truck into gear. Next thing she knew, they were safely on the road. She didn't doubt that he wasn't a bad driver, but she didn't trust that he was sane.

She was curious as to where they were going. Bowling? Lunch in a private office? She hoped it was something legal. Duke would reject her if she got an arrest on her permanent record. So far she had a clean slate and intended to leave it that way.

Keith glanced at Natalie. He wished she would loosen up. It was one of his better days, after all. Surely that should have given her some reassurance. Then again, she more than likely didn't know his secret. He intended on keeping it a secret, too, at least from her.

Keith put his turn signal on and switched into the turning lane. He waited for a break in the traffic before pulling up in front of the building. He found an empty parking space and looked at Natalie. He looked away and then back, hoping to catch her emotions off guard. It worked.

Keith started laughing. Just the look on her face did it. She was frowning, her eyebrows drawn together. She had a confused and worried look mix in her eyes. Her jaw was tensed. He didn't see why she was reacting like that. After all, it was a perfectly legal thing that he had in mind. At least, the last time he checked it was

"Well?" he asked, waiting for her reaction

"A car dealership? Why are we at a car dealership?" she asked, looking over at him.

"Oh, you'll see," Keith replied and got out. He poked his head through the open window when she didn't move. "Well, are you coming?" She sighed.

"Yah, I guess, since it's not like I have a choice."

"Everyone has a choice, partner. You just think you don't," Keith replied and walked towards the door. She frowned. He was one weird boy.