The sunlight is slowly disappearing, day by day. Sarah and I are driving down the emptiest stretch of Nevada highway to be found. It's somewhere around the middle of September--I'm getting worse at remembering specific dates anymore--and I suddenly take notice of the greying sky. Why is it getting dark? It's only seven--much too soon for this.
Sarah hands me one of my bottles of pills. They're all so identical--that same medicinal-orange, stuffy white typewritten label and stupid meaningless words strewn all over them--it was if I were taking the same thing over and over again. Well maybe I should.
"It's time," Sarah says. I nod and dump three of the half-yellow, half-white pills into my palm, studying them there for a second.
"Maybe I should be done with all this." I look over at her.
She looks back at me, unsurprised. "No. We've come way too far for this now. Cut that out and just take them." She looks back to the road. "What do you expect me to say?" She lifts her hands a little, frustrated, then slaps them back on the steering wheel.
"That you agree with me. That this is worthless and not getting us anywhere. Isn't that why we're going back to California anyway? So we're just conveniently visiting family, right? I'm not stupid." In the distance I can still see the uppermost peak of the sun, rounding its way behind those hills.
I start rolling down my window.
She sighs and looks at me as if I'm already dead. "Don't throw them out the window."
I slip my hand out and open it wide; they stick there for an instant until they're wrenched off by the wind. I picture them bouncing, breaking across the Nevada blacktop, crumbling into whitish dust under the tires of the next semi.
"You idiot. Why'd you do that? We're going to have to get more now, first thing when we arrive. You know your supply's running low. Now take three more. And don't even think about getting rid of these." Steering with one hand, she takes her eyes of the road and pours three more into her own hand. I open wide for her, and she shoves them into my mouth. I swallow them dry.
She sighs again. "Sorry George. It's just that this is so hard, you know, for all of us. You don't think this is easy for me do you? You remember Beth, after all those complications? I barely made it in to see her. I made it right before they locked the door--a split-second later would've been too much. See, some things just happen that way, even though we wish they wouldn't." She smiles uneasily. "Nothing like waiting until the last minute, huh?"
I don't care what she's saying. I'm watching the billboards as they stream pass. There are some great ones.
"Sure, Sarah. Sure."
I can't see the color of the pill bottles anymore. The sun is completely gone now, having just sunk behind those brown hills with little flourish.