And then , one night , there she was:
Sitting on the front seat of my car, leaning the seat back with legs tucked under her in a campfire style position. Eyes closed, listening to music and letting the breeze blow her hair all over her face.

And I should have just let her be, I know. Just enjoy the moment and be grateful that she was there, amazingly there with me, for this afternoon, this finally cooling off, turn off the A/C watch the lightning bugs summer's evening. But I didn't .

I reached over and turned off the radio and watched her. Uncoil.

What is it? She asked, eyes adjusting to the fading light. Do we need to go?

No, I said, I just want to listen to you, I don't want any background noise anymore. She pulled herself close, sweeping her hair over one shoulder; a silk veil. Staring into my eyes with a hand on my chest. What do you hear, now?

Just this , I said, putting her hand underneath my shirt so she could feel the panic there. Her eyes grew wide and she smiled to herself as she put her head against my shoulder and wrapped herself onto me, whispering:

Shhh! Not so loud!

And later, pitch dark, I could hear crickets, and frogs and the high pitch squeal of teenage boy tires. The only music now was the sound of her breathing, as she slept; head on my lap, waiting for me to wake her up so I could take her home to her parents' porchlight and a subdued goodnight.