Posted by Jamocha, Jun 4, 2011. 1210 views. ID = 4670
This post was written in 70 minutes.
|This was inspired by a prompt I received, courtesy of creative-writing-now, and though I'm not particularly proud of it, it did help exercise my brain. Prompt: "A taxi, an old enemy, and Valentine's Day."|
The wind had been uncustomarily mellow as the winter season steadily regressed into the past as suggested by gradually warmer temperatures and equally as progressively melting snow; the weather, despite this, was still uncomfortably bitter, though it was less pursuasive as to encouraging hands turning beet-red to keep hats on heads, collars being turned up and tighter at the occasional gusts and breezes that reminded everyone of the yet-retired seasonal climate. The weathermen and women hadn't much difference to report as to the warming of the months as spring too slowly approached, and with Christmas well out of the way, decorations and goodwill had mutually receded, diminishing anything that was particularly enjoyable about the shiveringly chilly time of year.
Tomorrow was Valentine's Day.
Irene had regarded in her bitterness, that Valentine's Day was the least sensible holiday of the year; an excuse for people to love each other, and buy candy and flowers, because heaven knows that's not at all ordinary between the relationships that were anything more than platonic, married or not. She often contimplated upon just that, despite the contradicting notations of others. She herself was not pretty; sharp chin and short forehead, perched upon a long craned neck alined to the conspicuous presence of a long widow's peak, dark brunette in correspondence to the rest of her straight dark hair that lacked any and all volume whatsoever, falling limply to her shoulders. Crow's feet riddled her eyes and prevaded the sides of her nose, her age much younger than what her appearence suggested. Reagardless, she was proudly oblivious to her flaws, and her confidence was not fragile despite her agitatingly large ego, plainly showed in her shortness of acquaintances poor communication skills.
Her hood and collar were turned up on the particular day that everyone had been bustling and the streets, heretofore, were uncomfortably crowded and noisy, conversation and other acoustic phenomena like the ringing of store bells fluctuating frequently in the atmosphere, and flooding the sidewalks with the ever numerous cluster of feet. Irene, being as anti-socail as she was, found the presence amidst so many others inwardly disturbing, and provoked as she was because of which, her head was turned down, and her fists pocketed harshly inside her coat pockets, so that her shoulders were stiffly turned up, and coexisted uncomfortably-looking next to her jaw. Taking long strides in her gait, her mind pecked its mental strain in reframing from screaming at the miserable conditions she was forced to exist in.
'If I just took the car...'
With the economy in its weak state, and budgets demolishing, Irene found it presumably handy to walk instead of driving, allowing the thought of lack of gas bills and unwarranted bottle-neck traffic pursuading her to follow through. She predictably regretted her decision, and her walk home from the office late afternoon was tortutingly miserbale, among the many uncourteous passersby, and stingingly low temperatures to boot.
"Taxi! The never stop when you need them. Taxi!"
The roads were surprisingly clear at the hour of workman returning to their aboads, save for the occasional vans and busses that moved down the street at illegal speed to acquire immediate presence in their destinaiton. Taxis were idle and constant in their courses up and down the avenue, Irene thereby convinced to drop the budget-cutting act, and submit do relative luxury--or so it seemed--with a ride home.
One had stopped at her reluctant hand-flailing flagging, and at its hault, Irene wordlessly climbed in without thought to her bill that awaited in the future.
"Where to, miss?" The driver's voice was hoarse, intimidating as it was masculine and accented with a twang from Brooklyn. That certain speech--the lack of strength in the voice, and yet the intimidating presence of it--it was awfully familiar.
Her eyebrow arched at the eerie, but misplaced recollection, as Irene slugged her shoulder to allow her purse to fall on the seat, and buckled herself in before her weary response was made."47 East Summit Ave., sir. Hurry, I have to feed my cat."
Irene couldn't surpass the casual lie that assisted the remark; she had no pets, and wished not to have any, assuming they were pests and offered nothing with their conspicuously bothersome presence. Something about the driver made her yearn for home, or at least retire her presence from the creepy familiar-ness she sensed. The unconscience channels of her mind said otherwise; 'Stop being paranoid. These taxi drivers are all the same to you.'
The thought-upon man behind the wheel sat idly in his slouched position, and given her industrious thoughts, Irene had not noticed the daggering stare he was giving her in his rear view mirror.
"Do you need directions, sir?" Irene inquired, as the lack of movement registered. "It's not far."
"No, no," the stare from the mirror quickly recoiled. "47 East Summit Avenue. I know exactly where that is."
That same indication was made when the emergency break was pulled up to release the car, and the started off the shoulder of the road, directions unneeded. With the implication fully in put, Irene's face regressed considerably from its stiff expression, and fell into a concerned glance, one that increased the yearn for exit of the vehicle. Looking unnervingly out the window, she had contimplated she would undoubtably jump out, had the car not be moving. "Do I know you?"
An unsettling chuckle prevaded the expanse in response. "I think I've seen you before, Irene Louise Miller."
The referred-to's eyes widened notably, and her spine met the back of her seat heavily, as if she felt in silent panic she could no longer support it, herself. "Who are you? I demand to know."
"Why, it's me, luv. Christopher Williams." his hoarse voice seemed to soften as his words were spoken, providing Irene the impression she was able to relax, entertaining the notion that perhaps he was friendly, and not of rivalry.
"I'm...I'm not sure I recall that name..."
"What ashame. I remember you, Irene. You sure have aged. It's sad to see you with those bags under your eyes."
"How dare you--?"
"Don't start with the threats, Luv. No sense in pretending to be lethal."
"I wish you'd tell me who you are. If you try anything...I'll call the police. I have a phone."
"Why would you do that? Just because you don't remember my name, doesn't mean you don't remember me. Do you remember in 1992--"
"By George! I know who you are, Christopher, my old boss...We...How did you end up a cab driver?"
"None of your business, Luv."
"Don't call me that; you've lost your privilages. We stopped dating a long time ago."
"I bet you haven't dated since."
"Why you--Where's the next stoplight? I'm getting out. Forget the stoplight; pull over now!"
To Irene's surprise, Christopher did as told, and the shoulder of the road was occupied once again. "Before you get out--" he said, observing Irene's violent rumaging in the rear end mirror in her endeavor to slip her shoulder bag over her head and be on her way in the fastest pace she could muster, "I want you to have these..."
As Irene's hand met the cardoor's handle, she found that she was curiously greeted with a bouquet of flowers handed to her courtesy of her former enemy. "What--" she observed them admiringly; contrary to what she would have liked to believe, they were numerous, and expensive-looking, colors of every hue gathered in the roll of paper. 'How could I accept these?' she thought. 'From this hoodlem?'
"You keep your flowers! I'll be on my way..." she had stepped onto the sidewalk as the last word of her remark was made, but was unwillingly met with the bouquet, as it had been thrown through the window, and into her arms when they instinctively raised to allow such reflex.
"Happy Valentine's Day!" was the last of Christopher's voice Irene could audibly make out, before the yellow taxi was on the main rode, once again.
Sniffing the bouquet, Irene couldn't help but surpass a smile at their admirable scent; she was only left to wonder a bothersome inquiry she would have wished to ask upon the primary source; "How did he know I'd be in his taxi on Valentine's Day?"
Upon contimplation, Irene couldn't help but notice the biting cold, couldn't help but notice the disturbing crowd of predestrians--
"Taxi!"Copyright 2011 Jamocha. All rights reserved. FifteenMinutesOfFiction.com has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.
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