Chance Encounter

'For God's sake mum!' I shouted through the phone while closing the several tabs open on my laptop screen. 'It's just 500 meters. I am sure he can walk 500 metres to get back home…?'

'It's a kilometre, go pick up your bother. Now!' She replied with a stentorian tone.

'Yeah, yeah…he'll be here before I get down the road'. I was still in my pyjama, comfortably lying into my bed under the covers while reading slash fiction online. With a sigh, I hanged up and rolled out of bed. Without bothering to switch off the computer, I grabbed my black trousers and a belt and went to change. I didn't need a coat, the air was warm despite it being early January.

I grabbed my driving licences and keys and ran downstairs. The car was in the parking around behind my house and I quickly got in, checked the seat and secured my belt. I started the engine with a bit of haste, trying to catch up with my brother walking on the road, possibly waiting for me. While waiting for the main gate to my house to open I sent him a text. I'm coming. I didn't know if it was too late already but I went out anyway.

Taking care when coming out of our private road, I turned the wheels all the way right, keeping myself close to the short brick bench surrounding my house. Thankfully, there was almost no car passing through that small side road at that hour. A pedestrian, my neighbour, was walking on the road right at that moment. I stopped the car, the road was too narrow for two cars to pass through and I had to wait for a car which had just appeared in front of me. He mistook it as a signal to open the door and say hello to me. The car behind me impatiently overtook me and I panicked. 'I need to go pick up my brother,' I told him with a note of urgency in my voice.

He bid me good-bye and I accelerated even though there were two cars coming in front of me. Not sure if we would fit in the tight gap between the houses, I slowed down just a little bit. It all went fine, though, and in less than 30 seconds I was on the main road.

I did not speed up too much, however. I suspected my brother might have been close by. I glanced behind me, fearing there might have been a car wanting to go faster but saw no one. Luck seemed to be on my side that day: perfect weather conditions and no car on the main road.

Regretfully it did not last long; I suddenly slowed down while trying to change the song on my phone, but had to give up as a huge black car almost hit me. It was one of those cars with a powerful engine and stable wheels; you would probably use it on a road trip on the mountains. By definition, I expected some hot and rich playboy in his forties to be driving it.

A few meters later my brother appeared, on the wrong side of the road. I slowed down and signalled to the car behind that I wanted to approach the right side. Since the road was branching into two different smaller streets, I still kept moving forward. I planned on stopping just after the split but my brother did not understand my intentions and crossed the road, sideways. I was forced to an abrupt stop in order not to hit him, but I would have gladly walked on him right then.

The black car behind me did not understand my intensions either, as the driver probably expected me to turn right, onto the other road…

To my surprise, looking back though the mirror I saw two young girls about my age in that car. The one who was driving had a confused look on her face as if trying to figure out what I was doing. Upon realising I was waiting for my brother to climb up into the car she turned to her friend and laughed, I do not know if at my incompetence or because of the unexpected turn of events.

Normally I would have yelled at my brother to hurry, but this time I hoped he would take his time getting inside. I took the chance to study her glossy lips, her perfectly white teeth and her lightly tanned skin; surely it was the make-up which gave her that tonality. Her friend wasn't less attractive, with her long dark brown hair and round cheeks. In the less than a minute which took my brother to enter the car I pictured her stopping by and hailing at me from the car. I would then make a sarcastic comment about my own inability to drive well and we would laugh it off together, only to go for a coffee soon afterwards and maybe meet up later on.

'Close the door'. I mumbled to my younger brother. 'And fasten your seatbelt'. I started moving as soon as his door was closed and drove for 200 more meters before slowing down again. This time when I checked there was no sign of the black car behind me. A pity, I thought, she must have turned onto the road on the right from before. Maybe my indecisiveness in driving put her off. Maybe it wasn't my lucky day, after all. Either way, it was still I nice encounter, at midday on this almost desert sunny road.