Her father placed his shotgun on the dashboard of the car.
“You want anything?”
Miranda fidgeted in her seat, staring out over the parking lot. The flickering light of the open sign collected atop an oil sheen. She gazed out over the stretch of empty highway beside the gas station.
“No. I’m fine.”
He rubbed his beard and jiggled the car door. Miranda starred down at her knotted hands, and he swung open the door.
“I want to go to the dance with Tom Wilson,” she blurted out. “He asked me at school yesterday. You’ve seen him around the garage, I think. It’s just one evening, you know, next month.”
He froze and turned around, shutting the door. Miranda shrank against her seat, her toes curling in her sticky tennis shoes. Her father’s eyes were black, like burnt chestnuts.
“You would hurt me like that, Miranda?”