Alice awoke with a start to find herself slumped over in the passenger seat.

“You awake?” Joseph asked.

She rubbed her eyelids and groaned. “No thanks to your fucking music.” He had, at one point, paused at a stop sign to put his Rippingtons album into the CD player. Now he had been playing it for the past hour, and the sweet tones of their smooth jazz stylings were enough to convince her to take a nap in the car – up until every time it looped onto this one fucking track, where a loud bell sound would play and disrupt her sleep.

They had been driving for what felt like an hour or more at this point, though she had lost track of time within the first five minutes, and every now and then Joseph would stop to tell her they would be at their destination any minute now. She had stopped believing him after the third time he had repeated it.

The mission was simple enough: go to the pharmacy and pick up a refill on Alice's meds. The problem was, her medication had been sent to the wrong location again, and now they were tasked with going to the pharmacy on the far side of town. This would have been a 10-minute affair, if either of them were good at directions… but here they were.

Alice had prepped for this by printing out the route directions, and even bothered to go over it again in marker just to make a point. It was intended as an emergency option, but they had consulted this map at least half a dozen times by now, and they had settled for setting it on the center console, so that Alice didn't have to keep fishing it out of her pocket at every intersection.

An image of the map.

“Well, don’t fall back asleep just yet. We’ll be there soon,” Joseph said.

“Bet.” Alice briefly fantasized about gripping both sides of his head and squeezing until his head popped, like a watermelon wrapped in rubber bands. Then she remembered that was an absurd thought, and for the first time in years, decided to quietly put it aside instead of dissecting it for proof of if she was the kind of person who would act on that kind of thought or not.