“Let me change her. I have a change of clothes in the back for her.”
“No need,” the man said, and BRB caught something of a smile on
his face. “We’re almost there.”
“Can I put Moana on for her, please?” BRB had been sobbing for over
a mile. The man had told her to stop in that way that she knew meant she
could keep doing it. Even in a situation like this, she knew what a man
would let her get away with.
“What does it involve, to put the stupid shit on?”
“Um, I have to use my phone.”
“Fuck no. No!”
“OK, OK! I can do it, I think it’s on here, on the, um, on the source.”
“Don’t fuckin’ do shit on the radio that connects to your fuckin’
phone. I’m not dumb!”
“No, no! I won’t! I’m dumb, anyway, about this, I just know this, this.
How to get the song for her, please. It’ll calm her down.”
He didn’t say anything. She knew he was in the elated place men got
into when they were going to come. So she toggled the station to pick
up her phone. Her husband could find the car with an app, if she were
The car filled with the music from her daughter’s favorite movie. It
was the one that ended with the singer singing, I am MO-ANA! And that
was when either she or her husband would pump their fists into the air
and the child would giggle as she mouthed the words.
BRB looked at Madeline. Her face softened. She watched as the kid
fell into the safety of the song.
A few weeks back, BRB had seen the Australian on Facebook. He
popped onto her feed because he’d had a divine little boy with the exact
same smile as his father. He was married to a fellow ambo drivah. She
was not beautiful, but she was kind and fun-looking. Their little boy was
pictured drinking from a dog bowl, then walking down a kid-friendly
street with fat ankles, then eating blue ice cream.
She wanted to tell her husband about Justin and how he’d made her
feel. She wanted to say, “Let’s go and live by them.” Not because she
wanted him but because he’d made her feel safe. Their street in Victoria
was calm and peaceful, palm-lined, streets without accident or burglary,
without cancer or fear.
This was on one of those perfect nights that is not perfect until later,
when you have had a certain number of terrible days and the last day you
can remember that is not terrible, that day becomes holy.