Sickness and Health

It was a lovely day, at least for March. It’s always the young ones that cannot wait for a better time of year. They always want to get married, because the ring makes their relationship better, until it doesn’t. At least my job’s the happy beginning and not the sad end. 

Today’s happy couple, as per usual, were giggling in the back. They always do, especially with the younger couples. I wonder how long until they start complaining about me. They always do. Today’s batch included a brown-haired, around six-foot-tall, pretty average 25-year-old. He didn’t exactly rub off as a genius. The girl was blonde, of similar age, and very pretty. She was fiddling with her oversized engagement ring, sizing it up against a different gold ring. She was tall for a woman, around 5’8″. She was laughing over proposed plans for the evening. The usual post-wedding “ritual”. They seemed happy, but, then again, every time they do. 

Complaints about my driving rattle off from the husband in the back. I only think to myself that I must be good as I am a professional. He leans forward to say that his phone says that it would be quicker to go a separate way. The complaints start to distract me from the tortuous tarmac. I don’t even notice the switch to sand. Another meander, and there’s a man. One old man, skin shimmering in the Sun, blocking me. I throw the husband back and stamp the brakes down hard. Each piston firing sounds like an earthquake. The sand doesn’t grip. Potential outcomes flood through my mind. Both sides are blocked off. Lamp-posts fly by, at speed yet so slowly. Stupid, arrogant idiot. By wanting to get somewhere a sixty seconds earlier, he created this awful position for me. The man was hardly moving. Petrified, as if by a gorgon, his eyes stare blankly back at me. A Thames-mud brown. A decision made. A heavy thud.

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