by Tina Freeth
THE Yaris was waiting on the other side of the street. Lena walked over, looking both ways.
Deepak was looking at his mobile when she opened the driver’s side door. He’d have to wait until after the lesson to check his latest Facebook posts.
‘Hiya,’ he said, looking up. He put his seat belt on and readjusted his trousers. ‘So pre-drive check then we’ll pull out and head towards the Kings Arms.’
Lena slumped down into the chair, moved it forward and back. Forward and back. Jolt after jolt.
‘This chair isn’t in the right position.’ she said. She yanked the lever and the chair shot forward. Lena eased it back slowly, then leaned over the dashboard and began to sob. She felt the baby kick and leaned back once more. ‘I can’t do this!’ she cried.
‘Lena, what’s the matter?’ Deepak asked. He didn’t really want to know, but having crying women in his car was not that uncommon, especially after failed tests and occasionally after passing too.
‘Nothing’s the matter. I can’t drive today. I’m too much of a mess. Can we do it next week instead? I don’t mind about paying for this lesson, here have the money now. ‘ Lena pulled out notes from her pocket and opened the car door to get out.
‘Wait a minute,’ said Deepak. ‘Text me if you feel up for the lesson next week, as long as I know the night before you can cancel without payment. Hope you feel better soon Lena. You’ve been improving loads.’ he said.
Deepak thought pregnant women were the best repeat customers, often they were too big to drive, or their hormones were a mess so they couldn’t focus. Then once the baby was born they were so tired they weren’t ready to take their tests for a few months but were so desperate to have a car to lug around all of the stuff that babies need.
‘Okay.’ said Lena as she got out shutting the door. She rushed back into her flat.
Once inside she began sobbing again. She knew Mika was seeing someone else but she didn’t know who. She’d been having suspicions but now she’d managed to read his messages she knew for sure. Some tart from work, Lena thought it could be that girl Mika worked with; the one with the orange face and permanent lashes. Lena read the texts over and over. Explicit trash regurgitated from cheap porn movies. It made her feel more sick. She rubbed her belly and let the tears fall. She picked up the iPhone again. ARCHIVE.
DEE: LOVE U BABY
MIKA: THAT WAS THE BEST YET
DEE: SAME TIME SATURDAY NIGHT?
MIKA: OF COURSE
DEE: BRING OIL NEXT TIME LOL
The mobile vibrated.
It was from her.
DEE: LENA ACTING WEIRD TODAY. HOPE BABY IS DOING OK. LOVE YOU D xxx
Lena stood up.
She looked out of the window.
Deepak was still parked, his mobile in his hand.
©Tina Freeth 2016