It happened too fast, faster then Mike or Caroline expected. Whole Germany they drove without a stop, covering a huge gap in their journey on the fine asphalt road. They were almost at the end of the country and were closing into the border. No one knew how exactly close they were, or how long they’ll have to drive. Signs with name ‘Amsterdam’ written on them was gone and only memory for distance remained. For some reason, Matthew knew how long they have to go, but before reaching border decided to steer off the highway. Caroline sat beside him completely shocked. His unexpected action left her in shock and she was trying to figure out what’s gonna happen. Without a second guess, she knew that Mike has to be involved in this. Although she was with Matthew for past hours, and it couldn’t be that Mike convinced him. She thought that they probably shared an eye contact through the back mirror. Caroline was getting anxious. Her head turned to back, but she could see that Mike is on his back, deep into the mattress and bubbling some words quietly under his nose. Matthew looked like he knew what he’s doing; like he’s been here before and knows some hidden path which only smugglers use. Caroline couldn’t stay silent once the road turned from buttery smooth to bumpy countryside looking one.
“Matthew! Where are we going? Why the hell you steered off the highway if we were just a couple of hours away from the border?” Caroline slightly jumped up and raised her tone at Matthew
“It hardly matters, but if you want to know details. I wanted to take a small break before going through the border, take a leak and some other human stuff.”
“It’s weed, isn’t it?”
Her face twisted into a serious grimace, she didn’t look lovely anymore. Out of nowhere, Mike came tot heir argument, interruption Carolines interrogation.
“Come on Carol, why you always think it has to do something with Matthew smoking weed?”
“Because he is going to get in trouble because of it.”
“Oh come one, everyone gets in trouble eventually.”
“Are you encouraging him?”
For a while, they argued. Mike being between Matthew and Caroline made the whole thing more dramatic. Matthew tried to not pay attention to it, and just keep steering the wheel until the place he imagined in his head would appear in front of him. Trees were passing by – one by one. Matthew was hoping for their argument to end, but it never did. He tried turning up the volume, but their voices were too loud for music to overcome them. Matthew knew which part of this whole argument is right and felt like he has to step in, end the endless arguing.
“Guys. Guys. GUYS!” he shouted and instant silence occurred between them “Gosh, finally. I am going for a smoke and you two are the reason why, because every time one disagrees with the other, there’s an argument and you keep shouting through the whole van until one of you wins. Which most of the time happens with you, Caroline.”
Matthew poked his finger into her chest. For some time on the road, Matthew stood in silence between them, but couldn’t take it anymore. Mike stood between the two of them, without knowing what to say. He stood quiet, but deeply he was smiling about Matthew and his final decision to stand against Caroline. Caroline and Mike were silent while Matthew was telling them everything that was piled up on his mind since day one when they left Baltic countries. Everyone forgot about Carolines shouting at Matthew after he raised his voice. None of them liked it, but they couldn’t do anything about it either. All they had to do was to sit through and see where this goes. Mike wasn’t against anything. Being pushed away because of Caroline, turned Mikes emotions into stone and without thinking of what could go wrong he went back where he came from – vans mattress. Van was about to stop and Mike was about to fall into the mattress. While Caroline was trying to talk her opinion into this whole thing. Mike was slowly preparing filter for a joint. Mike knew Matthew, and he knew when he has to start preparing for such spontaneous ideas. The problem was. Mike always thought that Matthew has a spontaneous idea on his mind. Without moving back up Mike awaited the words which would eventually leave Matthews mouth. The words that would stop this van and Matthew would come over to join in the rolling process.
Finally, he noticed the quietest spot in the whole forest area. Sun was about to start descending down to the ground, leaving final hours of daylight. In Matthews’ head, they could manage to get to Amsterdam by midnight if they’ve wanted to. Caroline wasn’t sure that Matthew wanted it at all now. She was starting to think that they would only leave this place in the morning. Skipping the whole night and emerging in early light to meet Ruth after these couple of days. Some part of her though that she isn’t there anymore; that she is long gone and Matthew is chasing a wild goose.
Van stopped with easy. Matthews tendency to put in neutral gear before stopping was the reason for it to stop smoothly without making any kind of harsh moves. Matthew got into a back and joined Mike once the van stopped. Caroline was left in the front, without a word of explanation why Matthew suddenly did this. She was trying to put dots together, but then it hit her. Mike. Mike was the reason why Matthew suddenly decided to get high and could start talking with him again. It really mattered for Matthew that he can talk with Mike and the other way around it. Thinking that this joint will establish the lost relation, he decided to take off the highway. Going to Amsterdam with Mike was Matthews long gone dream and he couldn’t just go there without speaking with him. After a while, when joint was ready to lighten up they started to argue where they should smoke it. Every time Mike wanted to smoke inside the van while Matthew was against it, but then unexpected happened.
“I think we can go outside,” Mike opened the side door, and couldn’t stop smiling “I should be grateful that you decided to take a smoke with me, in the first place. Right, Caroline?” he mockingly winked at her.
“Enjoy your weed mates, I’ll look for a bottle which we didn’t finish, right Matthew?”
“I think it’s somewhere in the back, but I’m not sure.” He evasively answered her and turned his attention to a freshly rolled joint.
“Yeah, whatever mates.”
Caroline carelessly, with an ignorant face, left them two outside and went into the van to look for the bottle. She was sure that they didn’t finish it and it has to be somewhere there. Being rejected left her sad, but she couldn’t express that she’s sad, because of being afraid of how they would react. Knowing that Mike would probably mock her if she’d tried to make a sad face. Stuff flew around the car while Caroline looked for the unfinished bottle. Mike with Matthew stood outside, watching how stuff flew from one side to the other and wondered if she needs help with something. For a moment Matthew thought that she might be addicted to booze, but he couldn’t twist his finger around that idea. Perhaps she was the one who had problems with escaping the reality, not Mike or Matthew; Matthew kept thinking that perhaps she was pushing him away from weed for a reason. He couldn’t find a reason from countless reasons and that left him to wonder – if he was the one who had problems.