He lost control of the Jag at the solitary stretch of the highway where passing was legal. Not a cloud in the sky, white-lined pavement's pores were parched, but he had caught a glimpse where she had her second button unfastened. Deep beyond the white blouse and name tag he spotted flesh in a flash and it was over in that moment as he was mentally listing the possibilities.
He had made another pass a half hour earlier. In the roadside diner all he had to do was nod his head to the left to set her gaze over his left shoulder. Parked out front it shone, a beautiful silver, '57 Jaguar XKSS convertible. That's all it took, she quit her job athazagoraphobia free, and she was pushing wild hair out of her face at ninety mph on cue.
It was the completion of a one-eighty where they stopped, looking back into the sunset in the blinding dust storm, hands-free off the jerking wheel not to rip fingers from their sockets, spinning to a stop. He said, 'whew' in quiet confidence like Steve McQueen, and when he looked at his passenger she was laughing. She let him unfasten button number three. It tore loose, he pushed the orange button into his front pocket, telling her it was the Chinese coin missing from his prized collection. She tore off the other two coins and handed them over in dumbfounded awe.
photo by Steven Kelly