First up – Apologies for the delay! I’ll have another part up for you this Friday, PROMISE!
Also, I’m sorry the pictures in this part aren’t great… my photoshop skills leave a lot to be desired and not just that but there’s a distinct lack of driving poses. I wanted this part out ASAP as it’s already late, and yeah.. the pics sort of suck. Sorry about that 🙂
I book the flight that evening; I fly on Friday night and arrive in Sunlit Tides on Saturday morning.
Sure, my mind tells me that this is a bad move – that I should stay in Maybury and win Maya back, but my gut tells me that if we’re meant to be then it’ll all work out in the end.
Dad drove me to the airport and I left my mobile with him. I don’t want to be disturbed and there’s a working phone at the house if anyone needs me desperately.
I think leaving Tori was the hardest, her crumpled frown is etched into my mind, but I don’t plan on being gone long, maybe a week or two.
The first thing I’m aware of upon my arrival is the heat, back home in Yorkshire it’s probably around 15 degrees centigrade max, but here it feels about 27 degrees. Barring my Jim Morrison sweater, I packed mainly t-shirts so it’s no big deal, but the majority of my clothes are dark and I know that I’m going to be sweltering.
I pay the taxi driver and step out of the car onto the pavement, taking in the building before me.
Amazing doesn’t even begin to sum it up.
The white exterior gleams blindingly in the bright sunshine – it almost hurts to look.
Reflecting the blue of the sky, a tempting pool sparkles invitingly before me… I can just make out an outdoor gym towards the back of the house which faces the sea front… and I bet that’s nothing compared to the interior.
I’m about to make my way inside when a noise behind me causes me to jump and I turn to see a car ride up onto the pavement and come to an abrupt stop a few feet away. It appears to be a learning vehicle.
A young teenage girl exits and slams the driver door in some sort of blind rage… she then proceeds to sit at the side of the road in front of the car and wail miserably.
“Hana…” a women appears from the passenger side and approaches the girl.
“I… can’t…” Hana sobs.
“You can! You need to be positive,” the woman bends down and touches Hana’s shoulder, Hana shrugs her off.
“I CAN’T!” she yells in the woman’s face and she comes up to standing.
“You’re the worst instructor I’ve ever had! Daddy said you’d have my test passed by now!”
“I’M NOT!” Hana stomps her feet and then spots me watching, I quickly look away.
“That Goth is probably a better teacher than you!” she gestures my way and I cringe. Why do people always assume I’m a Goth?!
“Now come on…” the woman says, “Let’s just calm down and try again…”
“NO!” Hana screams into her face, “YOU’RE FIRED!” and with that she flounces away, head held high.
I smile weakly at the woman who is still crouched on the pavement, she sighs.
“Bad day?” I manage.
“Just a little…” she replies, standing up, her accent is American, her hair a strawberry blonde.
That’s when the thought occurs to me that perhaps I could learn to drive whilst I’m here… I’ve sold the engagement ring so I have a little money to spend… plus it would please Maya when she sees I’ve taken some initiative and finally started driving.
“How much are lessons?” I ask.
“At this stage I’ll accept $20 for 2 hours… business is pretty bad…”
“Wow, bargain…” I smile.
“Are you a beginner?”
I approach her. “No, I can already drive; I just need to pass my test… I’m a little shaky on manoeuvres…” I dig out my wallet and show her my provisional licence.
The woman’s face brightens, “My name’s Elsa,” she offers me her hand which I shake.
“Yves, Yves Black.”
“When do you want to get started?”
“Now’s a good a time as any… if you’re not busy?”
“Sure,” Elsa smiles, “Do you need to sort your luggage first?”
“Yeah, gimme 10 mins…”
I spend the rest of the afternoon driving around Sunlit Tides.
It’s true what they say about driving, it is like riding a bike… I had taken some lessons a year or so ago… but driving is not really my thing. I mean, I’m good at it… but I don’t particularly enjoy it.
After my time is up, I pull up beside my temporary residence and turn off the engine.
“Well, this has been good,” Elsa smiles brightly at me, “How many lessons have you had previously?”
I can tell she’s surprised, I’m a confident driver.
“Yeah… I kind of just took to driving… I’m not sure how…”
“Wow, you’re a natural…”
“We’ll have your test passed in no time! This is brilliant!”
“So, when’s the next lesson?”
“Well, I can’t do tomorrow… I’m expecting a late night tonight, I’ve got a date…!” she winks and smiles at me.
“Sorry,” she says, “I’m just excited, haven’t had a date in a while…” then she frowns, “Oh my god, sorry… too much info, right?” she laughs nervously. “Erm… so shall we say Monday? Monday morning?” Elsa passes me her card.
“Great, I’ll see you then…!”
I watch her drive away before I head into the house.