The radio crackled on a calming frequency in the otherwise silent car as it sped along the quiet country road. It was midnight. There were two people in the old Volkswagen; a young woman with shoulder length fiery red hair was driving and a young man with an angular face was sitting in the passenger seat. He sat facing forward, watching the road markings fly under the car. He nervously tapped his foot. They had been driving for hours now and were in the middle of nowhere. The dark road was reasonably straight and with the full moon high in the sky he could the peaceful land surrounding them. She hadn't turned the wheel for many a mile. Why won't he say something the woman thought to herself.
The speedometer read a steady 40 miles an hour.
The song on the radio changed to a soothing, seductive track. However, it did nothing to change the atmosphere in the freezing car. Neither of them had spoken for over 20 minutes. This was supposed to be the trip that saved their relationship. They had grown apart over the past few months. He continued to tap his foot whilst the woman stared ahead at the dead road. The silence was overpowering. The music became louder but still soft, the light percussion sounded like the now light rain pattering on the rooftop.
"Why are you doing this?" the woman in the car whispered as if not expecting a response. Her voice penetrated the stale air of their speechless drive so suddenly that he jumped.
"I'm not doing anything" he replied as his voice cracked. He had suddenly become very anxious. He watched the speedometer moving slowly up to 50 miles an hour. She had become tense, her eyes widened and her grip on the steering wheel tightened. The man noticed her knuckles had become white too.
"This is what's best for me, for you, for us." The words barely slipped out of her mouth. Or, maybe just me she thought as she pressed down on the accelerator. She didn't even believe what she had said. The man leant back in to his seat and closed his brown eyes a small fraction. Please, he thought. Let her come back to her senses. 55 miles an hour. He knew he should say something...anything but he couldn't.
She looked down momentarily and closed her eyes for a bit more than a standard blink. It was all she could see, every time she closed her eyes she could see… she gulped. Them. The man could sense something was wrong. Still, he didn't move. "We will get through this." His words were meant to sound comforting but they were out of place and free from emotion. He could feel tears forming and sliding down the side of his face. Once again the speedometer crept higher.
"What do you mean?" Her words sounded as cold as ice hard and as hell. It sent a chill down his spine. He felt as though his heart had stopped.
The man shifted his position in the car. "Well," He began to say, his throat was dry and he could barely speak. "We were so perfect... so happy" The woman flinched. He wished he could tell her how he felt. They had been together for many years. He could remember only smiles, laughter. Love. She shook her head and turned to face him. "We were meant to be together." The comforting words fell on deaf ears. He reached out to touch her arm. She flinched. They were now travelling down the road at 70 miles an hour. He started to panic.
He coughed nervously and immediately she glared at him. Her eyes were full of loathing and anger. She started crying and then she began shouting. She was a raging lion set free from her cage and he was the lowly tamer praying for his life. He had never seen her like this before. All of her repressed thoughts had finally been verbalised. Before he could think he was shouting too. And then they were both pouring confessions of past years. She hadn't known what her lover had done; she was shocked, angry and hurt. Tears were streaming down her face and she had given up on focussing on the road. A wave of guilt washed over him. He felt as though his heart had been ripped out, his breath caught in his chest. He hated seeing her like this and yet it was all his fault.
He remembered it all. Their relationship had become what he would call stale however he couldn't say anything they'd been together for so long. That's when he started to notice her.
"Hey there stranger." She would say as if she hadn't seen him for years and as though there was something between them. He began to ignore her but then she hugged him. It was obviously meant to hint something.
"Please Veronica, you know I don't want you." He tried to push her away, she resisted and slowly put her finger to his lips. She silkily slipped around his still body and opened her mouth, but before she could speak he interrupted. "I'm warning you. Leave. And stay away…" Before he could finish they were embracing one another. That's where it had all started. They began meeting up in private; having friends cover for his disappearing acts. She never suspected anything until he began coming home later, happier and began to bring her presents. It was to cover his guilt. Then she found out. Veronica had come round to his house whilst his other half was at work. Then she came home for lunch.
The woman in the car looked at him and closed her eyes once more. She could hear their hushed voices in her head, playing over and over. "Veronica, please. We need to stop this. She could come home at any minute." He didn't sound as though he meant it. She remembered pressing her ear to the door eager to hear more. That was until she recognised the next voice.
"But, honey we're only just getting started!" Veronica's voice was full of lust and want, then she began to laugh. By that time the woman had heard enough. She walked in.
The man's eyes flickered towards the speedometer. A single bead of sweat slid down his pale face, his breathing had become shallow and fast. They had picked up speed. The woman's head snapped back to the road. She leant forward over the wheel and attacked the accelerator. The man was thrown back in to his seat.
The passenger's eyes were glued to the speedometer. 80 miles an hour. He briefly looked at the road. Up ahead there was a curve approaching. He then looked at her. She made no indication of slowing.
85...90...95...100...105 miles an hour.
The man gripped the side of his seat until his knuckles felt as though they were about to rip through his pale skin.
115...120 miles an hour. The man shook his head. The little car couldn't go much faster.
The curve was so close now he could see it reflecting the moon light.
125...130 miles an hour! The corner was so close the young man could just about see the sheer drop on the other side and the crystal blue water down below. He couldn't help but let out a scream of fright. The woman began to scream too.
An old man and his daughter burst through the hedgerow just in time to see a car hurl past. It was a Volkswagen and he could see two people inside. Screaming.
The man in the car closed his eyes; the last thing he saw was the speedometer. It read 130 miles an hour.