The World Music Created: “Alone Together”

A series of short fiction pieces continuing the stories told in concept albums. This week’s article is inspired by Fall Out Boy’s “Alone Together.”

He didn’t remember why he had to leave.

It might have been because it was too suffocating in his room, too small in his house. He ended up walking along the highway. It was empty at this time of night. Not even 18-wheelers ventured the narrow lanes after the sky changed from ultramarine to obsidian. Even the moon hid herself tonight.

He saw the lights before he heard the car. They pierced the night and brought him down, out of his mind. It wasn’t much of a decision, more of an instinct to put his arm out when he could feel the warmth of the lights against his back.

The car, already ambling, slowed easily at his gesture. Like the driver was waiting, knew he would be on the highway, trying to remember how to breathe. They stared for a moment through the glass. Her wet eyes and his shadowed ones. Then he got in the passenger seat, and she took off without a word.

She didn’t know these roads.

She had taken lefts and rights and run lights until she could actually see the stretch of highway before her. Until the tears streamed down her face instead of blinding her. Her foot eased off the gas as her breathing evened.

The car rolled on and she followed the twists and turns almost mechanically. She let herself become part of the path. As the lines in the road grew closer together, the streetlights on the median became further, and further, and further…Until the road before her turned into a secret to be discovered again, and again, and again.

She watched the way her car lights cut through the dark until their path was obstructed. A shape took form, and it was human. She had already planned to stop before they had stuck their hand out. His eyes were dark around the edges, the way she knew hers were red. A moment passed, and then he was slipping into her car. She didn’t hesitate, and pulled off as soon as he closed the door.

He didn’t ask where they were going, and she didn’t have an answer anyway.