I actually did some rewriting today, wohoo! First is the rewritten version, and then the original, with notes in red. If anyone's confused, tomorrow is the anniversary of their dad's death.
Elle followed me and sighed into the may air, it had gotten warmer while she was asleep. I quickly rolled the windows of the car down, letting the wind sweep out the car's constant smell of just having been vacuumed.
"When I get a car," Elle told me, propping her feet up on the immaculately clean dashboard, "It's going to be messy."
"Of course," I agreed. I could imagine it perfectly-- paint splotches on the seats, clothes she'd forgotten about discarded in the backseat, and paint brushes lodged in every spare space.
"Your dream car?" she asked me, and I smiled.
The streets rolled by in silence, Elle with her faced turned towards the wind and me staring unseeingly ahead. I wondered what she was thinking about; art, or Jake's birthday, or tomorrow's anniversary, or the cake-- and she looked at me and bit her lip like she always did when she was about to ask something.
"Are you nervous for tomorrow?" I blurted before she could say anything.
"Erm," she said non-commitedly, playing with her bracelet. "Not nervous, no. There's no reason to be, right?"
"No," I sighed, her logic making me slightly irritated. "It'll be just like every year." That was not a comforting thought, true as it was.
"I don't want to think about it today though," she said, leaning forward to turn the radio on. I didn't get how she could put it out of her mind so easily, but I fought with her about what station to listen to and tried to forget as much as I could.
Elle grabbed a sweatshirt and followed me, and sighed when the warm may air hit her face.
“When did it get to be so lovely out?” she murmured.
“While you were sleeping,” I told her, and got in the car. It was immaculately clean, everything in it’s proper place like mom would want it and I made a face. It always smelled like it had just been vacuumed.
“When I get a car,” Elle said, hopping inside and following where I was looking, “It’s going to be messy.”
“Of course,” I agreed, I could see it now. There would be paint splotches everywhere on the seats and paint brushes lodged underneath them and clothes she’d discarded and forgotten everywhere. Just like her room.
“When I get a car,” I told her, pulling out of the driveway and down the street, “It’s going to be purple.” That was all I wanted. We both fell into silence, staring into our futures and our dream cars, and Elle yawned. This seems a bit random/ “look at me I’m telling you about the characters!”-ish.
“Are you nervous at all?” she asked me abruptly, without turning her head.
“For what?” I asked, though I knew. She blinked, irritated, and I said softly “Yes. If I think about it, which I’m not going to.” I don’t know how she did it, going one second from the silliest of things to the most serious. To switch over so abruptly left me reeling, even though I hadn’t completely stopped thinking about it since I’d remembered. Maybe that meant she had been half thinking about it too. “Are you?” I asked for something to say, glancing over. She shrugged and looked down, playing with her bracelet. “Hey, you can’t just shrug,” I insisted. “You brought it up.”
“Never mind,” she said. “Forget it. It’s not like there’s a point in talking about it right?”
“It’ll just be like every year,” I said, though that was not a comforting thought. She nodded and turned on the radio, a sure way to distract us both.
“Oh God,” I said at the same time that she yelped “I love this song!” She grinned at me and I sighed, shrinking slightly in my seat.
“Turn it off,” I begged her, fighting the urge to cover my ears. I had to keep looking at the road even though I wanted to run out of the car. She was laughing and I persisted, “Turn it off! I’m allergic to love songs!”
“That’s nothing new,” she remarked, but sighed and finally turned it to a different channel. I straightened up immediately and sighed with satisfaction.
“Thank you,” I told her politely and she snorted. This new song was about lovers fighting, which wasn’t wonderful either but it was better at least than someone crooning their adoration to the world. Same thing here :/
And then I was thinking that I might just cut this section entirely, since I don't want to play up the anniversary too much. We'll see, at least I can move past this part now!