The first time I touched her was when I clipped her wing mirror while overtaking on a blind corner. She beeped her horn, which I took as a come-on, and when I got in front I checked her out in my rear-view mirror.
After 100 yards or so, I slammed on my brakes and she went right up the back of me. We got out of our cars to talk about insurance, and that was how I got her mobile number.
I accepted all liability for the accident and offered to buy her a new car. She said it just needed a new bumper, but I told her to keep the police and other official channels out of this and to choose whatever she wanted.
She texted the next day and I got in touch with a garage to order what she’d chosen. When it arrived, I called her to say it was on the forecourt, and hid in the boot.
But she didn’t come to collect the car, a man did. I could tell by the way he strangled the ignition and punched it through the gears. All his swerving was making me nauseous, and it wasn’t long until I heard a metallic slap and an angry driver sounding their horn, but his only reaction was to slam the brakes on as hard as he could. Someone went up the back of him and I was hurt pretty badly.
His wife texted while I was in hospital to say he’d got six years for causing death by dangerous driving and improper carriage of a passenger. I said I accepted all liability for the accident and would buy her a new car. I told her to choose whatever she wanted. She’s driving over to take me home in it tonight.
IAN SHINE lives in south-east London and works as a sub-editor. His short stories have appeared in publications including Litro, The Stinging Fly, three National Flash-Fiction Day anthologies, The Fiction Desk anthology Because of What Happened, Belleville Park Pages and Firewords.