When he offered her a lift home she wanted to say no, but the weather was awful out and she really didn’t fancy a walk to the station in the rain. “Go on then” she responded reluctantly, “but just a lift okay, nothing more.”
James grinned that stupid boyish grin she had seen too many times before in married around the office. “Cool” he replied “I’ll grab my coat and we can get off, won’t be a minute.”
She watched him scurry over to his desk, throw his laptop into his bag and pull on a dark raincoat over his well fitting navy suit.
“Thanks for this” she said as he walked back over. He was an arsehole, she knew that too well after last year’s Christmas party, but he was an arsehole with a car and it had been a long day and she really didn’t fancy getting soaked.
“I’m parked in the exec section” he said smugly, “we can get the lift down.”
She followed him to the lifts and they stood saying nothing waiting for it. Once inside, doors closed he spoke again “So are you seeing anyone?” he asked “it’s been ages since we chatted.”
“It was the Christmas party” Sarah answered sharply.
“Oh shit yeah” he replied awkwardly. “Look I’m sorry about all that really I am – you know how it is when everyone’s had a drink.”
For a moment she actually believed him then remembered what had happened “How are the wife and kids?” She asked. It was a bit of a low blow but he deserved it.
He shuffled uncomfortably but didn’t get to answer before the lift stopped, the doors opening with a ding.
“After you ” he said, allowing her to get out before him. “I’m just over there” he said pointing towards a rather nice silver car. She didn’t know anything about cars but it looked expensive. He clicked his keys and the alarm beeped and lights flashed once.
“Nice car ” Sarah remarked, opening the door and climbing inside. A lot nicer than the bus she thought to herself.
He threw his bag onto the back seat and climbed in next to her. “You still up near the school?” he asked starting the car.
“Please” she answered pulling on her seat belt and clinging to her bag.
“Cool, it’s on my way not a problem at all.” He smiled again.
She had grown to hate that smile, he was so certain of himself, so confident. It hadn’t always been that way though, she’d been out with him and a few friend after work a few times after she’d first started working at the practice and he was never an arsehole.
“They’re all arseholes” her mum would tell her, “especially the married ones.” She really was not good at taking advice.
James turned on the radio as they drove through the rain heading up through the town centre. “So, you never answered my question” he said looking across at her.
“And you never answered mine.”
“Oh come on” he replied laughing “you aren’t still cross with me are you?”
“Are you serious?” She really wished she’d caught the bus.
“It was just a bit of fun” he insisted “you know how it is.”
“it really hurt ok, you shouldn’t have done that to me, not in front of everyone.”
“I know I know” he said turning down the radio as they left the business of town and turned onto the bypass. “I just thought you wanted to you know.”
“Jesus James” she snapped “I was drunk – everyone saw us!”
“Sarah, I know I was wrong okay, I’m really sorry.”
She stared out of the window watching the lights of the passing cars stream by, rain running down her window.
“Forgive me” he asked gently, looking across to catch her eye.
“Fine ” she said looking back across at him, she smiled. “You can give me a lift next time it rains as well” she joked “then we’re quits okay.”
“Deal” he grinned turning the radio back up a little “you can have a lift anytime you want.”
“Just next time will be fine” Sarah answered, for the first time loosening her grip on her bag just a little. “Take the next left” she instructed “it’s a bit quicker.”
“No problem” James replied indicating and taking the corner then pulling to a stop.
“What are you doing?” Sarah asked pointing up the hill, “It’s still a way up there.”
James turned off the engine. “Can I be honest with you?” he asked, one hand on the steering wheel and the other on the back of her chair.
“James, can we just go please” she snapped “I need to get home.”
“Just let me say this, ” he insisted “Ever since that night I’ve thought about you a lot okay.”
“Jesus Christ!” she exclaimed “are you serious?”
“Oh come on” he continued placing a hand on her leg “no one needs to know, it’s no big deal.”
Sarah quickly unbuckled her belt and slapped his hand away from her leg, grabbed her bag and climbed out of the car into the rain.
“You’re an arsehole!” she shouted, “an absolute arsehole!”
“Sarah, come back please” he shouted. She stood staring at him saying nothing, watching the rain fall onto the car seat through the open door. “You’re getting my car soaked!” he shouted “are you getting back in or not?”
He didn’t wait long for an answer and reaching across the passenger seat he pulled the door closed. “You mention this at work and I’ll just deny it!” he shouted through the still open window. “No one will believe you” he continued, his face angry and his eyes narrowed. Without waiting for her to answer he slammed the car into gear and roared off, leaving her alone again in the darkness.
Sarah pulled the belt of her coat tight, watching the red lights of the car shimmer in the rain and disappear into the night. This time, she decided, this time she wouldn’t cry.
Want to read more of my stuff? No. Don’t blame you, no offence taken.