The mismatched couple make their way through the stifling heat, stopping only at the yellow car.
"I'm nervous," Daisy admits to the man on her left.
Gatsby does not respond, and remains speechless until the pair is safely at the car.
"I think," Daisy continues, in a voice a little bit louder, "that it would calm me to drive. Would you let me drive, Jay?"
Gatsby looks over the top of the car at the slight woman. He only nods and moves around to the right-hand side of the car, brushing his hand against Daisy's narrow one as he passes off the key.
The silence is punctuated only by the roar of the ignition as Daisy shifts the car onto the road.
"I don't understand, Daisy," the self-made man says after another silence that fit like wet clothes under a hot sun. He pauses, as though expecting Daisy to prompt him to continue. When no words were heard, Gatsby went on. "You don't love him. Why couldn't you just say it?"
Daisy exhales, a short little huff that sounds more exasperated than she intends.
"Jay," she begins, and when she speaks Gatsby can't help but want to forgive her. "You were gone for five years," she continues, oblivious to the effect of her voice. "Things can happen—things did happen—when you were gone. I don't know what to tell you, Jay."
"Say that you love me," Gatsby says quickly, as if with another moment's hesitation Daisy would have been gone forever. "Say that you never loved him, say that you've only ever loved me." He pauses, and then says her name, "Daisy," in a voice that aches with empty years.
The object of his affection shakes visibly, and two things become very clear: firstly, that driving the car has had no soothing affect on her nerves, and secondly, that at one time, Daisy Fay loved Tom Buchanan.
Silence cloaks the yellow car for a few minutes while Gatsby tries to come up with words.
"I love you, Daisy," Gatsby says, in a voice that quivers. "I've loved you for five years. I've never stopped." Daisy doesn't say anything, but her driving ability decreases with jerks and swerves. "Do you love me, Daisy?"
"I don't know, Jay," Daisy wails, turning to look at him with sorrow in her eyes. "I don't—"
A loud thump and a girl's scream. Daisy turns her head back to the road just in time to watch a woman's head disappear beneath a yellow bumper. The car rocks dangerously, and Daisy screamed, a noise like broken glass.
She slams on the brakes, swerving and screaming. The car jerks to a halt at the same moment Gatsby reaches to grab the wheel. Startled, Daisy hits the gas pedal, and, with two sets of hands on the steering wheel, the car speeds off through the cooling twilight.
Silence once again surrounds the two in the car, but unlike the awkward silence of before, this silence is tense and unsure.
"Promise me," says Gatsby, in a voice that both wishes the previous moment had never happened and also somehow knows exactly what occurred, "promise me, Daisy, that if he hurts you..." He doesn't seem to know what else to say. "If he hurts you, Daisy, promise me that you'll lock yourself in your room, and if he comes in to hurt you, promise me you'll turn the light on and then off again. Promise me, Daisy, and I'll be waiting outside, and if he hurts you I'll come and save you and we'll run away."
The silence absorbs his words, and Daisy makes no move to fill the stale air.
"I...I promise, Jay." But it doesn't sound as if she believes it, either.
Gatsby clings to her words like a drowning man. "Thank you, Daisy." Then, "I love you."
The silence fills the car, smoke-like, for the remainder of the trip.