The Test

“This is it, then!” Mikey beamed, his elbows on the roof of the car.  Shona sauntered down the garden path and opened the driver’s door.

“This is it!” she grinned back and got in.

Mikey got into the passenger side and buckled the seat belt.  “They grow up so fast!”

Shona frowned.  “Who do?”

“No,” Mikey laughed.  “It’s a joke.  I’m just saying how quickly people come and go.  You spend time with them, get to know them and then they’re off.  Some take a bit longer than others, mind, but they all go eventually.”

Shona nodded.  “Well, once they’ve got their licence you can’t expect them to keep booking driving lessons.”

She buckled in.  “Where to, boss?”

Mikey shrugged.  “Driver’s choice.  This is your last lesson before your test.  So, let’s just pootle around town for a bit and then we’ll go over all the manoeuvres, any last-minute problems, questions…”

“Sounds like a plan,” said Shona.  She started the ignition.  Checking the rear-view mirror, she activated the indicator and pulled into the flow of traffic.

“Have you noticed anything?” Mikey asked.

“Oh, God, no!  I haven’t run over the neighbours’ cat!”

“Ha, no.  But you might be pleased to know you are in complete control, i.e. what I mean is this car has only one set of controls.  So if you throw a wobbly, I can’t step on the brakes or anything.  My life is in your hands.”

“Good,” said Shona, setting her jaw.  Her foot pressed on the accelerator.

“Steady on!” Mikey laughed.  “Remember to observe the statutory speed limit.”

Shona ignored him.  She continued to accelerate, toward a junction.  “I think I need more motorway practice, don’t you?”

“It’s not necessary,” Mikey found he was pressed back in his seat.  “But, Shona love, you need to bloody slow down.”

Shona turned angry eyes at her passenger, her teeth flashing in a snarl.  “And don’t you ‘love’ me!  It’s too late for ‘love’.  Where were you when I was growing up?  Didn’t ‘love’ me then, did you?”

“Eh?  Shona, l – what’s this all about, eh?”

“If you shut your cake-hole I’ll tell you.”  The car veered across the lanes, arousing beeping horns from several motorists.  “We’ve spent time together.  I’ve got to know exactly what kind of man you are, Mikey Dunn.  And now you’ve taught me how to drive, I’m going to use my new skills to give you what you deserve.”

“You’re not making any sense, chick.”

“I’ll tell you what doesn’t make any sense,” Shona roared.  “A grown man abandoning a young woman because she’s going to have a baby.  Broke my mother’s heart, you did.  More than that, you broke her spirit.  I spent my childhood years caring for her, a shadow of a woman.  What kind of life is that for a child?  In the end, she couldn’t do anything for herself.  No interest in looking after herself or me.  After she finally gave up the ghost, I was sorting through her things.  Found some papers, didn’t I?  Tracked you down, found out you were a driving instructor.  So I booked some lessons, didn’t I?  And I found out you’re a sleazy, sexist, racist braggart.  You make my skin crawl.  You probably voted for Brexit, didn’t you?”

“Well, I – I – you’re Linda’s girl?  Clearly, you’re round the twist just like she was.  Bloody hell.  The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!”

“Her name was Lindsey.  And you just failed your test.”

She pulled the steering wheel almost all the way around.  The car skidded, tyres screaming, a full 360 degrees, and into the path of an oncoming lorry.




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