How I Learned to Drive

Peck is the only other principal character in the play (the various others in Li’l Bit’s life are played by the male, female, and teenage Greek choruses). He is a middle-aged man who, on the surface, is handsome, affectionate, and considerate. According to his own words, he has loved Li’l Bit since the day she was born, when her whole body fit in one of his hands. When Li’l Bit offers to meet once a week with Peck to talk in exchange for him tackling his alcohol problem, his attraction towards his young niece grows. Offering her driving lessons, he uses these as an opportunity to touch her. He manipulates her emotionally, often appealing to her sense of moral decency and framing what they’re doing as “nothing wrong,” particularly in how he frequently persuades her that anything that happens is her own choice. It is strongly implied that Peck has his own repressed trauma, the nature of which is only ever hinted at (it could be his experiences during World War II, or rejection from his mother). Peck’s obsession with his niece reaches an unhealthy peak when she nears turning eighteen, at which point he intends to propose to her and legitimize their relationship. When she rejects his offer of marriage, Peck returns to heavy drinking, ultimately losing his wife (Aunt Mary; played by the female chorus), job, and driving license (a symbolic loss of his power over Li’l Bit). He dies from a drunken fall down his basement stairs.

Uncle Peck Quotes in How I Learned to Drive

The How I Learned to Drive quotes below are all either spoken by Uncle Peck or refer to Uncle Peck. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Theater Communications Group edition of How I Learned to Drive published in 2018.
How I Learned to Drive Quotes

It’s 1969. And I am very old, very cynical of the world, and I know it all. In short, I am seventeen years old, parking off a dark lane with a married man on an early summer night.

Related Characters: Li’l Bit (speaker), Uncle Peck
Related Symbols: Driving/Cars
Page Number: 9
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other How I Learned to Drive quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!

PECK. Don’t change the subject. I was talking about how good I am. (Beat.) Are you ever gonna let me show you how good I am?

LI’L BIT. Don’t go over the line now.

PECK. I won’t. I’m not gonna do anything you don’t want me

to do.

LI’L BIT. That’s right.

PECK. And I’ve been good all week.

LI’L BIT. You have?

PECK. Yes. All week. Not a single drink.

LI’L BIT. Good boy.

PECK. Do I get a reward? For not drinking?

LI’L BIT. A small one. It’s getting late.

Related Characters: Li’l Bit (speaker), Uncle Peck (speaker)
Related Symbols: Driving/Cars, The Line
Page Number: 10-11
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

FEMALE GREEK CHORUS. (As mother). And of course, we were so excited to have a baby girl that when the nurse brought you in and said, “It’s a girl! It’s a baby girl!” I just had to see for myself. So we whipped your diapers down and parted your chubby little legs — and right between your legs there was—(Peck has come over during the above and chimes along:)
PECK. GREEK CHORUS.
Just a little bit. Just a little bit.

FEMALE GREEK CHORUS. (As mother). And when you were born, you were so tiny that you fit in Uncle Peck’s outstretched hand. (Peck stretches his hand out.)

Related Characters: Uncle Peck (speaker), Female Greek Chorus (speaker), Li’l Bit’s Mother (speaker), Li’l Bit
Page Number: 12-13
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

PECK. Your grandfather’s ignorant. And you’re right — he’s going to die soon. But he’s family. Family is... family.

LI’L BIT. Grown-ups are always saying that. Family.

PECK. Well, when you get a little older, you’ll see what we’re saying.

LI’L BIT. Uh-huh. So family is another acquired taste, like French kissing?

PECK. Come again?

LI’L BIT. You know, at first it really grosses you out, but in time you grow to like it?

PECK. Girl, you are... a handful.

Related Characters: Li’l Bit (speaker), Uncle Peck (speaker), Li’l Bit’s Grandfather
Page Number: 15-16
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

And dramaturgically speaking, after the faltering and slightly comical “first act,” there was the very briefest of inter missions, and an extremely capable and forceful and sustained second act. And after the second act climax and a gentle denouement — before the post-play discussion — I lay on my back in the dark and I thought about you, Uncle Peck. Oh. Oh — this is the allure. Being older. Being the first. Being the translator, the teacher, the epicure, the already jaded. This is how the giver gets taken.

Related Characters: Li’l Bit (speaker), Uncle Peck
Page Number: 29
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

LI’L BIT. 1967. In a parking lot of the Beltsville Agricultural Farms. The Initiation into a Boy's First Love.

PECK. (With a soft look on his face.) Of course, my favorite car will always be the ’56 Bel Air Sports Coupe. Chevy sold more ’55s, but the ’56! — a V-8 with Corvette option, 225 horse power; went from zero to sixty miles per hour in 8.9 seconds.

LI’L BIT. (To the audience.) Long after a mother's tits, but before a woman’s breasts:

PECK. Super-Turbo-Fire! What a Power Pack — mechanical lifters, twin four-barrel carbs, lightweight valves, dual exhausts —

LI’L BIT. (To the audience.) After the milk but before the beer:

PECK. A specific intake manifold, higher-lift camshaft, and the tightest squeeze Chevy had ever made —

LI’L BIT. (To the audience.) Long after he's squeezed down the birth canal but before he’s pushed his way back in: The boy falls in love with the thing that bears his weight with speed.

Related Characters: Li’l Bit (speaker), Uncle Peck (speaker)
Related Symbols: Driving/Cars
Page Number: 32
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

PECK. So if you’re going to drive with me, I want you to take this very seriously.

LI’L BIT. I will, Uncle Peck. I want you to teach me to drive.

PECK. Good. You’re going to pass your test on the first try. Perfect score. Before the next four weeks are over, you’re going to know this baby inside and out. Treat her with respect.

LI’L BIT. Why is it a “she?”

PECK. Good question. It doesn't have to be a “she” — but when you close your eyes and think of someone who responds to your touch — someone who performs just for you and gives you what you ask for—I guess I always see a “she.” You can call her what you like.

LI’L BIT. (To the audience.) I closed my eyes — and decided not to change the gender.

Related Characters: Li’l Bit (speaker), Uncle Peck (speaker)
Related Symbols: Driving/Cars
Page Number: 35
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

PECK. For a thirteen year old, you have a body a twenty-year-old woman would die for.

LI’L BIT. The boys in school don’t think so.

PECK. The boys in school are little Neanderthals in short pants. You’re ten years ahead of them in maturity; it’s gonna take a while for them to catch up. (Peck clicks another shot; we see a faint smile on Li’l Bit on the screen.)

Girls turn into women long before boys turn into men.

Related Characters: Li’l Bit (speaker), Uncle Peck (speaker)
Page Number: 41
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

PECK. Well, Li’l Bit — let me explain it this way. There are some people who have a... a “fire” in the belly. I think they go to work on Wall Street or they run for office. And then there are people who have a “fire” in their heads — and they become writers or scientists or historians. (He smiles a little at

her.) You. You’ve got a “fire” in the head. And then there are people like me.
LI’L BIT. Where do you have... a fire?

PECK. I have a fire in my heart. And sometimes the drinking helps.

LI’L BIT. There’s got to be other things that can help.

PECK. I suppose there are.

LI’L BIT. Does it help — to talk to me?

PECK. Yes. It does. (Quiet.) I don’t get to see you very much.

Related Characters: Li’l Bit (speaker), Uncle Peck (speaker)
Page Number: 46
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

LI’L BIT. — Well, what the hell were those numbers all about! Forty-four days to go —only two more weeks.—And then just numbers—69—68—67—like some serial killer!

PECK. Li’l Bit! Whoa! This is me you’re talking to—I was just trying to pick up your spirits, trying to celebrate your birthday.

LI’L BIT. My eighteenth birthday. I'm not a child, Uncle Peck. You were counting down to my eighteenth birthday.

PECK. So?

LI’L BIT. So? So statutory rape is not in effect when a young woman turns eighteen. And you and I both know it. (Peck is walking on ice.)

PECK. I think you misunderstand.

LI’L BIT. 1 think I understand all too well. I know what you want to do five steps ahead of you doing it. Defensive Driving 101.

Related Characters: Li’l Bit (speaker), Uncle Peck (speaker)
Related Symbols: Driving/Cars
Page Number: 49
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

LI’L BIT. Uncle Peck — I’ve been thinking a lot about this — and I came here tonight to tell you that — I’m not doing very well. I’m getting very confused — I can’t concentrate on my work — and now that I’m away — I’ve been going over and over it in my mind — and I don’t want us to “see” each other anymore. Other than with the rest of the family.

PECK. (Quiet.) Are you seeing other men?

LI’L BIT. (Getting agitated.) I — no, that’s not the reason — I — well, yes, I am seeing other — listen, it’s not really any body’s business!

PECK. Are you in love with anyone else?

LI’L BIT. That’s not what this is about.

Related Characters: Li’l Bit (speaker), Uncle Peck (speaker)
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

PECK. Li’l Bit. Listen. Listen. Open your eyes and look at me. Come on. Just open your eyes, honey. (Li’l Bit, eyes squeezed shut, refuses.) All right then. I just want you to listen. Li’l Bit — I’m going to ask you just this once. Of your own free will. Just lie down on the bed with me — our clothes on — just lie down with me, a man and a woman... and let’s... hold one another. Nothing else. Before you say anything else. I want the chance to... hold you. Because sometimes the body knows things that the mind isn’t listening to... and after I’ve held you, then I want you to tell me what you feel.

LI'L BIT. You’ll just... hold me?

PECK. Yes. And then you can tell me what you’re feeling. (Li’l Bit half wanting to run, half wanting to get it over with, half wanting to be held by him.)

LI’L BIT. Yes. All right. Just hold. Nothing else.

Related Characters: Li’l Bit (speaker), Uncle Peck (speaker)
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

LI’L BIT. Now that I’m old enough, there are some questions I would have liked to have asked him. Who did it to you, Uncle Peck? How old were you? Were you eleven? (Peck moves to the driver’s seat of the car and waits.) Sometimes I think of my uncle as a kind of Flying Dutch man. In the opera, the Dutchman is doomed to wander the sea; but every seven years he can come ashore, and if he finds a maiden who will love him of her own free will — he will be released.
And I see Uncle Peck in my mind, in his Chevy ’56, a spirit driving up and down the back roads of Carolina — looking for a young girl who, of her own free will, will love him. Release him.

Related Characters: Li’l Bit (speaker), Uncle Peck
Related Symbols: Driving/Cars
Page Number: 54-55
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

FEMALE GREEK CHORUS. (As Mother.) I am not letting an eleven-year-old girl spend seven hours alone in the car with a man... I don’t like the way your uncle looks at you.

LI’L BIT. For god’s sake, mother! Just because you’ve gone through a bad time with my father — you think every man is evil!

FEMALE GREEK CHORUS. (As Mother.) Oh no, Li’l Bit not all men... We... we just haven’t been very lucky with the men in our family.

LI’L BIT. Just because you lost your husband — I still deserve a chance at having a father! Someone! A man who will look out for me! Don’t I get a chance?

FEMALE GREEK CHORUS. (As Mother.) I will feel terrible if something happens.

LI’L BIT. Mother! It’s in your head! Nothing will happen! I can take care of myself. And I can certainly handle Uncle Peck.

FEMALE GREEK CHORUS. (As Mother.) All right. But I’m warning you — if anything happens, I hold you responsible.

Related Characters: Li’l Bit (speaker), Female Greek Chorus (speaker), Li’l Bit’s Mother (speaker), Uncle Peck
Related Symbols: Driving/Cars
Page Number: 55-56
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

TEENAGE GREEK CHORUS. Am I doing it right?

PECK. That’s right. Now, whatever you do, don’t let go of the wheel. You tell me whether to go faster or slower —

TEENAGE GREEK CHORUS. Not so fast, Uncle Peck!

PECK. Li’l Bit — I need you to watch the road — (Peck puts his hands on Li’l Bit’s breasts. She relaxes against him, silent, accepting his touch.)

TEENAGE GREEK CHORUS. Uncle Peck — what are you doing?

PECK. Keep driving. (He slips his hands under her blouse.)

TEENAGE GREEK CHORUS. Uncle Peck — please don’t do this —

PECK. —Just a moment longer... (Peck tenses against Li’l Bit.)

TEENAGE GREEK CHORUS. (Trying not to cry.) This isn’t happening. (Peck tenses more, sharply. He buries his face in Li’l Bit’s neck, and moans softly.)

Related Characters: Uncle Peck (speaker), Teenage Greek Chorus (speaker), Li’l Bit
Related Symbols: Driving/Cars
Page Number: Book Page 57
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

LI’L BIT. The nearest sensation I feel — of flight in the body — I guess I feel when I’m driving. On a day like today. It’s five a.m. The radio says it’s going to be clear and crisp. I’ve got five hundred miles of highway ahead of me — and some back roads too. I filled the tank last night, and had the oil checked. Checked the tires, too. You’ve got to treat her... with respect.

Related Characters: Li’l Bit (speaker), Uncle Peck
Related Symbols: Driving/Cars
Page Number: 57-58
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Get the entire How I Learned to Drive LitChart as a printable PDF.
How i learned to drive.pdf.medium

Uncle Peck Character Timeline in How I Learned to Drive

The timeline below shows where the character Uncle Peck appears in How I Learned to Drive. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
How I Learned to Drive
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
...she “knows it all.” She is parked on a dark lane with her married Uncle Peck. (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
Peck and Li’l Bit are in his car. He tells her he loves the smell of... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
Peck insists that he has been “good” and wants to show Li’l Bit how good he... (full context)
Sexuality Theme Icon
Peck rubs Li’l Bit’s breasts, saying “I tell you, you can keep all the cathedrals of... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
...the appearance of her vagina when she was born. According to the female chorus, Uncle Peck could hold Li’l Bit in one hand back then. (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
As Li’l Bit gets increasingly infuriated with her grandfather, Peck cautions her not to “let him get to you.” Li’l Bit makes an impassioned plea... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
...in the present, she would then storm out of the house weeping. Her Aunt Mary, Peck’s wife voiced by the female chorus, would send him after her, commenting that “Peck’s so... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
Peck would then have a heart to heart with Li’l Bit, reassuring her while also insisting... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
...through the country, and, despite being drunk, “never so much as got a ticket. He [Peck] taught me well.” (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
...and the Reverse Gear.” In this scene, Li’l Bit is at a high-end restaurant with Peck, celebrating passing her driving test. He suggests that she have oysters to start as well... (full context)
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Back in the restaurant, Li’l Bit orders a dry martini, which Peck calls a “drink fit for a woman of the world.” Li’l Bit tries to question... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Li’l Bit has one more drink, allowed by the waiter because Peck implies that he will pay him extra. Li’l Bit and Peck discuss his mother. He... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Having left the restaurant, Li’l Bit and Peck sit in his car. He intends to take her home, but she asks if he... (full context)
Sexuality Theme Icon
Peck asks Li’l Bit: “have I forced you to anything?” He tells her that they are... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
The teenage Greek chorus then introduces an anecdote about Uncle Peck teaching cousin Bobby to fish. Peck plies Bobby with alcohol. When Bobby catches a fish... (full context)
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
...up having sex with him. Afterwards, she lies on her back and thinks of Uncle Peck, wondering if she feels the same “allure” that he did for her. (full context)
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
The choruses’ song fades into the same song playing on the radio in Peck’s car, in which he sits with Li’l Bit. It is 1967. As Peck talks enthusiastically... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
This scene is one of Li’l Bit’s driving lessons with Peck. He asks her what the first thing is to “adjust,” to which she quips “my... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
In a serious tone, Peck insists on how important it is to him that Li’l Bit learn to drive well.... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
Li’l Bit promises to take Peck’s teaching seriously. In return, he says, she’ll be able to pass her driving test the... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
...“Were You Prepared?” Li’l Bit is talking to the female chorus about feeling self-conscious. Meanwhile, Peck is setting up a tripod and staring at her. The male chorus plays an awkward... (full context)
Sexuality Theme Icon
...sound and Li’l Bit feels herself pulled by an invisible force towards both Greg and Peck. When Greg asks her to dance on a “slow number,” she rejects him again, the... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
Suddenly it’s 1965 and Li’l Bit is in Peck’s basement. Peck is adjusting the camera on his tripod. He puts on music that he... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
Peck trains the camera on Li’l Bit and asks her to respond to the music with... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
Peck tells Li’l Bit that “for a thirteen-year-old, you have a body a twenty-year old woman... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
As Peck tells her that she looks “beautiful,” Li’l Bit praises the beauty of Aunt Mary (Peck’s... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
“If we keep this up,” says Peck, “in five years’ time we’ll have a really professional portfolio.” Li’l Bit is shocked, wondering... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
Peck is adamant that there’s nothing wrong in what they’re doing. As Li’l Bit continues to... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Li’l Bit has her eyes firmly closed. Peck asks her to look at him and tells her that he loves her. This startles... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
...the audience “on behalf of her husband.” The female chorus/Aunt Mary praises the virtue of Peck’s character: how he does the chores round the house, helps out the neighbors, works overtime... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
The female chorus/Aunt Mary says that she knows Peck has “troubles.” She mentions Peck’s war experiences and how he never talks about them, “burrowing”... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
...the off-stage voice repeating, “You and Reverse Gear”). Li’l Bit is in the kitchen with Peck. The latter has an apron on and is doing the dishes, in a quiet “brooding”... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Li’l Bit seems concerned with Peck’s well-being. She asks him why he drinks so much. He explains that, while some people... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
Out of sympathy for Peck, Li’l Bit offers to make a deal with him. She proposes that they meet once... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
...Gear.” It’s late 1969. The male and female choruses read out notes and gifts from Peck to Li’l Bit. They are sent to her college dorm room, and include chocolates, roses,... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
The messages from Peck grow increasingly desperate, counting down the days to Li’l Bit’s eighteenth birthday (when he plans... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
...announces: “Shifting Forward from Third to Fourth gear.” It’s December 10, 1969. Li’l Bit and Peck are in a “very nice” hotel room, an ice bucket with champagne in the corner.... (full context)
Sexuality Theme Icon
Li’l Bit accuses Peck of wanting to her celebrate her birthday because it makes her legal to have sex:... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
Peck asks why—if she’s so “pissed off”—Li’l Bit wanted to meet in the hotel room instead... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
Peck toasts to Li’l Bit’s birthday and asks how her schooling is going. She explains that... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
The small talk fades away. After a brief silence, both Li’l Bit and Peck try to speak; they both have something to say. Peck goes first, explaining how much... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
Peck, hurt, asks if Li’l Bit has been seeing other men, and if she’s in love... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
Peck downs his champagne and asks Li’l Bit to open her eyes. All he wants, he... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
Peck and Li’l Bit hold each other on the bed. The male chorus and the female... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
Li’l Bit leans in to kiss Peck, but “wrenches herself free.” She lies in response to his question, saying she felt “nothing.”... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Back in the present, Li’l Bit addresses the audience. She explains how she never saw Peck again. Over the seven years after her rejection, she goes on, Peck drank himself to... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
...she’s old enough, says Li’l Bit, she has a question she wishes she could ask Peck: “Who did it to you, Uncle Peck? How old were you? Were you eleven?” She... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
...convince her mother (played by the female chorus) to let her spend more time with Peck—she says that he “listens to me when I talk.” The chorus insinuates that Peck’s motives... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
The action then reverts to 1962, the “first driving lesson.” On the backroads of Carolina, Peck offers to let Li’l Bit drive, even though she is well under age. For this... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
Li’l Bit can’t reach the car’s pedals, so Peck gets her to sit on his lap and steer. As he tells her what to... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Peck and the teenage chorus fade away. Li’l Bit steps out of the car as the... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
...back in the—" Li’l Bit checks her mirrors and adjusts her seat. The spirit of Peck seems to be sitting in the back of the car. She smiles at him, before... (full context)