Grace opened the window the moment the fields opened up. The dregs of civilisation, the cheap petrol stations and agriculture depots, whizzed past, and she was officially out of the city.
This was to be a weekend of indulgence. A holiday home overlooking the beach, spas and dinner with friends.
The freeway curved the coastline, and she felt free.
Until, in the distance, she saw the rectangular shape of the drive-thru screen. Memories of her childhood flooded her, of Friday nights watching whatever screened, of them all crammed into the back with the smell and steam from freshly baked pizzas adding to the sensation of listening to the mono-speaker play out of sync with the action occurring through the back windscreen.
Her father would recline in the front seat, not interested in the movie. He’d drink from his beer. Once he’d finished the six-pack, he’d leave the car and wander off towards the bushes.
As soon as the car door slammed shut, Grace and her brothers would turn and watch their father.
He wasn’t too drunk, as evidenced by his walking in a straight-line. At the edge of where the tarmac ended, not too far from the toilet block, he’d approach a tall woman with a mini-skirt. He pulled out his wallet, give her some money, and then fade out of sight.
Her brothers lost interest, but Grace climbed into the front seat and watched the bushes for any sign of her father.
As soon as she saw him emerge, often adjusting his pants, she’d quickly climb back to where she’d been.