Third Car's the Charm
The first time I met that asshole, I was driving my sweet sixteenth birthday present from my parents, a beautiful Red Volvo V50 T5 Turbo. Picture this: Gorgeous blond with wavy tresses- the wind doing that whoosh thing with her hair (like the ones you see in shampoo commercials), lovely tanned complexion, hot pink sunglasses, and all that glamorous stuff. Comprende, si?
Okay. It's brown, not blonde. It's just pale skin (and occasionally red with rash,) not tanned. It's a pair of dorky glasses with blue metal frames, not the Gucci pink sunglasses.
And the car? A dumb, ancient van from the 1980's with more scratches than the number of zits on my face.
But that's beside the point.
It was a hot day. The sunshine was literally flooding in through the car windows, and the air conditioning system was broken (again.) The only way to keep cool was to roll down the windows and feel the wind whip against my face as the car sped down the road (well, as speedy as old grandfather cars can get.)
If the situation allowed, I would've let my tongue hang out of my mouth like our family's golden retriever.
Finally reaching New Park Mall, where I had to pick up my mom's skirt, my eyes scanned the parking lot for the ideal space... There, right next to the entrance!
Seized with a sense of urgency to take that spot before anyone else, my foot pressed down on the accelerate pedal, and I zoomed towards it like a madman.
It's mine, mine, mine!
Yeess!! Nearly there!
Just a bit more till...
Suddenly, a large honk startled me out of my intense concentration, and my head snapped up just in time to see a blue Porsche speed by in a flash of lightning.
And fit snugly into my parking space.
My eyes bugged out, and my jaw dropped to the ground.
A guy stepped out of the Porsche.
Unwittingly, I took in his dark shades, his tall frame with rippling muscles, clad in an Armani shirt and Calvin Klein jeans. Noticing me giving him a once-over, a lazy grin spread across his face. "Like what you see?"
Anger bubbled uncontrollably within me.
So, first he stole my parking space. Yes, that already got me quite mad.
And, like that's not enough, he has the nerve to fish for compliments?! Can his ego blow up any bigger?!
The dude is totally pushing my buttons.
Hot or not, I'm going to send his arrogance and dignity plummeting down below to the depths of hell!
"Sorry to break it to you, but I've seen better," I replied sweetly, flashing a malicious smile at him.
He seemed taken aback for a second (maybe because of the strong light rays bouncing off my braces), before reassembling his 'cool' countenance and shrugged. "Whatever, sweetheart. You might want to go to the car park across the street, because this one's full." He took off his shades, revealing devious green eyes which flashed brightly.
Oh, how I wanted to punch that stupid smug look out of his face.
"Later, then," he called out as I stared - so furious I couldn't even talk - at his retreating back.
He swung his keys around his fingers triumphantly. The guy walked with a lazy swagger, occasionally pausing to chat up girls with either make-up caked faces or abnormally large boobs.
Huffing, I revved up my engine and headed to the aforementioned car park.
A fifteen minutes walk away from the mall.
By the time I had reached the air-conditioned vicinity, I was literally frothing at the mouth with a sheen of sweat on my face, and passerbys glanced at me with distaste when they noticed my dripping wet armpits.
All because of that stupid asshole.
Just thinking about him made me want to poop on his (admittedly) handsome but spawn-of-Satan face.
Someday, I will get my revenge.
A few weeks later, I saw him again.
This time, my mom was driving and I was sitting in her nice, silver Toyota Sienna, with fully-functioning air-conditioning, radio, and whatnot. We were on our way home from Wal-mart, where we had bought daily supplies like food and necessities (toilet rolls, toothpaste, etc.) Mom was singing along with Michael Jackson's 'Dangerous' (albeit off-key, but I'm too nice to point that out,) and I was pondering about whether toothpaste or herbal cream should be applied to my athlete's foot.
Or maybe specialised athlete's foot cream would be more suitable.
The point is— it was a nice Saturday's afternoon and we were on our way home, when we stopped at a redlight.
And I so happened to casually turn my head to the left, only to find myself looking at...
A blue Porsche.
The instant the image processed into my brain, I threw myself against the window and pressed my face against it, trying to get a closer look.
There was no mistake.
It was him.
"Debby, your breath is getting the window all foggy," Mom said irritatedly, before resuming to singing to Celine Dion's 'My Heart Will Go On.'
And, just like that, I experienced an epiphany.
I rubbed my hands delightedly as I eyed the blue Porsche. The dude hadn't noticed me yet — his attention was on the road in front of him.
Lowering the window so I had a clearer view of the asshole, I turned my eyes on Mom.
"Mommy dearest," I said seriously, looking her right in the eyes. "Your maternal love is so great that you'd sacrifice anything for your daughter's happiness, correct?"
Confused by where the conversation was going, she nodded carefully. I could see the doubtful look crossing her face. "Yes... but darling, I don't understand why you're saying this— "
"Then you definitely wouldn't mind sacrificing ninety-nine cents worth of eggs bought at a discount, right?" I said gleefully, and before Mom could stop me, I dug my hand into the plastic bags and fished out the egg carton.
"For your daughter's happiness," I said somberly.
Then I turned to my target, and hollering a war cry at the top of my lungs, I shouted, "Revenge is MINE!" before proceeding to bombard his flawless, two-hundred-thousand dollars Porsche with chicken eggs.
As each egg hit his window and windshield with a splat!, white-ish gooey liquid spilled out and cascaded down the car.
In all honesty, the stuff resembled birdshit.
"What are pidgeons eating these days?" I wondered aloud as my feral grin widened, and hurled a few more eggs.
"What are you doing?!" Mom shrieked, immoblised in her seat with shock.
And I repeated, "For your daughter's happiness."
She was too appalled to reply.
Finally, as I had eagerly anticipated, the expensive, bullet-proof window lowered and the asshole's angry face appeared.
"What the f—"
My last egg hit him square in the face.
He coughed and spluttered as he furiously tried to rub off the raw egg, but to no avail. Through the blanket of sticky-white covering his face, he glared daggers at me.
I blew a kiss towards him. "Ooh, sweetheart, I sure like what I see now."
A maniacal laugh escaped me as the light turned green and my panicking mom sped off. I heard the angry horns blaring because of him lagging the road.
So long, sucker!
It was pouring outside. My eyes were bloodshot from crying as the salty-tears left my eyes and contributed to the average 15mm rainfall in the drab suburban area during July. Although I'd been huddle up in the front passenger seat of my rusty heap of a car for God-knows how many hours, I was entranced by the rain droplets on my window, which had me hypnotised as I watched two droplets coalescing together to form a single, watery tube.
The reason I'm so gloomy?
My boyfriend of one year, Percy Hoffman, Captain of the school's chess team, had dumped me for the nerdy whore from debate team.
He said that the Fates proclaimed we weren't meant for each other. That whenever I was with him, it felt like 'the opponent's queen was directly above the king, but the castles on either sides were like brick walls, preventing the king from absconding elsewhere and thus, checkmating him.'
In his words precisely.
Had I ever cornered him like that those chess pieces had done to the poor king?
Well... I'd politely inquired him numerous times whether there was something going on between him and his science project partner, Martha, or that russian girl from his internal Chinese martial arts class. But that was only out of curiosity! Maybe I'd been a bit loud with the questioning, but... oh!
A choking sob broke out of me as I blew my nose into my last tissue, which I had refolded and reused a million times in order to save the trees.
I'll cherish all those memories of my first love, from the time we performed the macaroni dance at the school fair to our amazingly sweet first kiss when our braces got stuck together.
My eyes were so clogged up with tears that I ceased to notice bright headlines flashing in my face, only reacting when a loud horn blared.
- BEEP -
I rolled down my window and shook my fist at the stupid, ignorant prick. "WHAT? Can't a girl even cry in peace?! Just 'cause you've got a nice, expensive, blue car doesn't—"
I stopped myself suddenly, and my eyes widened in horror when recognition dawned on me.
Blue Porsche. Mean asshole. Eggs.
But I was too disheartened to even shield myself from potential dairy products he could pelt me with.
He backed his car to a position next to mine, and to my surprise, he wore a rather concerned look. "There's going to be a storm out here tonight, girl. You sure you wanna be caught in the middle of it?"
I sniffled and muttered, "Leave me alone."
"Look, sweetheart." He ignored my scowl at that endearing term. "Heartbroken or not, I don't want to have a guilty conscience when your car gets blown away to the next town over 'cause I abandoned you."
"Where d'you live? It's getting cloudy now, I'll guide you back home."
"I don't need generosity from you, stranger! You don't want to face my wrath when I'm mad!"
"Stranger? Wrath?" He snorted, but didn't say anything else. The wind was howling louder outside, and because of the open window, the interior of my car was getting sprayed with rainwater. It seemed like the rain was getting heavier outside; I could hear the droplets pounding like horse hooves against the roof of my car. Despite the strong wind and rain, the guy lowered his car window and leaned a muscular arm on it.
At least he knew to keep a metre's distance away from me. Any closer than that and I might've gotten claustrophobia.
"Hey, Anderson," He said suddenly, breaking the silence between us. "Don't you remember me at all?"
I frowned. How'd he know my last name? Remember what?
I repeated my last question aloud.
A disappointed look settled on his face. "Same class in middle school, taught by Ms Kirkwood?"
Bemused, I took of my tear-stained glasses and cleaned it with my shirt before fitting it back on the bridge of my nose. I peered at the sudden enigma before me.
After a minute of tapping my forehead confusedly and clicking tongues, a light bulb clicked in my head.
"Chase Kingsley!" I suddenly blurted out, and, just like that, my misery was forgotten.
He responded to my declaration with a crooked grin and stars twinkled in his kind-of-attractive green eyes. Something about the dark hair and striking green eyes struck a chord in my memory. I remember distantly that the teacher had announced he and his family left to another state (California, I think? That would explain his now bronze complexion), but I suppose, from the rumors recently circulating town, that Chase and his parents were back here for good.
I didn't remember much about him, except that he had been a girl-magnet even at a young age, always full of mischief (which resulted in many harsh admonishments from teachers and the Principal,) popular instigator of food fights, and constantly made fun of other kids.
Come to think of it...
"Weren't you the one who poured lemonade on my white shorts and told everyone else I had an 'accident'?" I narrowed my eyes at Chase.
He smiled sheepishly and admitted, "Yeah. I was kinda... uh, an attention-seeker back then."
"Still are," I corrected.
"Ah, well, all the good lookin' guys have attitudes, right?" He flashed a million-watt smile at me.
I was about to mouth off at him when an unexpected gust of wind whipped against my face, showering my glasses in water. Frustrated, I hastedly cleaned my glasses again.
"We'd better get going," Chase said, and revved up his engine. "D'you still live across from school?" At seeing my puzzled expression, he chuckled. "I've always paid special attention to you."
I didn't understand that.
He guided me back home through the heavy, gray fog, always keeping close. Contrarily, I felt impossibly trusting and protected with the very guy I had fought with. I think I'd have lost my way if Chase hadn't lead the way.
I killed my engine and pulled out my keys from the ignition, aware that Chase's eyes were on me. I suddenly felt self-conscious.
"Hey," he said softly.
I glanced to my right and noticed that Chase had scooted over to the seat next to him, and was now leaning as far out of the window as he could. He didn't seem to mind the now-gentle rain wetting his dark hair, which stuck to his scalp. It weirded me out that I found it such an endearingly attractive sight.
"I was a wimp in eighth grade," he started. "I never had the guts to ask you out but there I was, watching you crack math mysteries and pine after the chess geek."
My jaw dislodged from my face.
Now that's what I call an earth-shattering revelation.
He laughed. "I even thought it was cute when you threw those eggs at my car, which, by the way, I spent three hours cleaning off."
I blushed, and Chase continued.
"So, you owe me three hours... Well, uh, what about Friday night? Movies? You and I—me?" His tongue tripped over the last few words, and I registered with shock that he was actually nervous.
I couldn't deny that I enjoyed our past two encounters on the road. They were both lucky and unlucky, exhilarating and frustrating, stimulating and tiring. Despite my barbaric behavior towards him, he had still helped me out at my lowest (you have no idea how devastating the break up was) and distracted my thoughts from Lord Voldemort's spawn Percy Hoffman.
I pondered this.
Were Percy and I meant to be?
Did I contribute to the causes of our relationship breakdown?
Is Chase worth a shot?
Feeling bold, courageous and determined, I grinned as I inclined towards the window and leaned forward until my lips hovered dangerously close to Chase's mouth.
"I'd love to."
This was originally submitted to the Tough and Dirty July writing prompt (the story was based on a picture of a couple leaning out of each of their respective cars and kissing in the rain.)
Though it didn't win (awww) I decided to post it up anyways - to prove that I haven't disappeared off the face of earth.
. . .
Hopefully my lame attempt at humor didn't make you want to rip your hair out.