08 The First Degree – Yves Black



“Did you see his face?!” Elsa is almost in hysterics, barely able to walk straight due to her mirth.
I laugh, “he was pretty shocked…”
“So was I! I thought it was a rat or something!”


The play was an absolute snore. No wonder they were giving away free tickets, I’ve never seen anything so abysmal in my entire life… the only thing which has made this evening slightly more bearable is Elsa’s company – as we were late in and the last to find our seats, Elsa had somehow managed to accidentally knock an elderly gentleman’s toupee from his head, swiping it to the floor. In her attempt to find the hairpiece she’d then managed to get it caught in her nail. The man was panicking and trying to yank it off her and in all the commotion she’d managed to elbow him in the eye. Suffice to say he didn’t stay to watch the production and I think we managed to aggravate the entire procession unintentionally. Still, it was pretty hilarious.


“Do you want to come in for a bit?” I ask, unlocking the front door to the house.
Elsa nods and follows me in, she whistles, “Wow, this place is stunning!” she spins on the spot, eying the expensive décor and furnishings.


“It’s not mine…” I say, placing my keys on the kitchen work top, “It belongs to my best friend; I’m just staying here for a little while…”
“How long?”
“A couple of weeks…”


Elsa nods in recognition and I pass her a glass of rosé wine.
We make our way to the sitting area, “So tell me your story,” Elsa sits and takes a small sip of her drink.
I shrug, “You really wouldn’t be interested… it’s sort of cliché…”


“Whatever,” Elsa giggles,”Just tell me, we all have cliché stories, that’s why they’re called cliché!”
I frown, supposing she’s right…
“Well, I sort of got dumped…”
“Sort of?”
“I’ve been left completely to my own devices… Apparently we’re on a break… but It feels more permanent that that – apparently I’m too much of a child…”
“Wow, that’s lame…”


I nod.
“Well, if it’s any constellation – I’m too clingy…” Elsa chuckles, “At least that’s what my boyfriend – sorry – ex boyfriend says…”
“People suck…”
“They sure do… I’m moving away in a few weeks, need to get away from this place… my driving school isn’t going so well so I think I’m going to go back to college… not sure what I’ll do though…”
“That’s great…! Won’t you miss your ex?”


“Are you kidding? I already miss him… but it’s not going to work, so…”
“You’re so positive, aren’t you scared to move away? Leave all this behind?”
Elsa shrugs, “I suppose, but I’m not going to move forward if I stay here… I have the opportunity to leave and so I’m going to take it…”
“I find that very admirable…”
Elsa smiles and her eyes sparkle.


“Well, it’s getting pretty late…” Elsa stands, “Thanks for tonight, Yves, this has been the best ‘non date’ ever…”
“Haha, likewise… and thank you! You’re the one that’s done me a favour with the driving lesson and providing me with company for the evening… I’d be in bed right now if it wasn’t for you!”
“Haha, you granddad!”


I stick my tongue out at her.
“So I’ll see you Monday morning?”
“Sure thing.”



“Hurry up! I have another lesson after!” Elsa calls to me from the hallway.
I got up late, my lesson was at 9 but I somehow managed to sleep in until 9:30 and Elsa’s business has started to take off again, she has 4 other people to take out today… her next one is booked in for 11 so I won’t be getting my 2 hours.


This will be my fourth lesson with Elsa… and I have my test booked for a week today, to say I’m nervous would be an understatement, but Elsa has a way of calming me.
I pull on my socks and grab my hoody, scrambling it over my head as I make my way down stairs.


“I’m sorry!” I say breathlessly and she wags her finger in my face. “Tsk, tsk, Mr. Black!” I give her a playful shove and we both chuckle as we make our way to the door.


I’m just about to lock up when I hear a shrill tone emanating through the house – the telephone.
I frown, I gave the number to Becky and Dad – plus Fin already had it and they were given implicit instructions not to contact me unless there was an emergency.
“You can get it,” Elsa nods at me, “It might be important.”
I dash back into the house and glance at the caller ID – it’s a number I don’t recognise – the phone has Dad and Becky, plus Fin already programmed in.


I leave it to ring off.
“Who was it?” Elsa asks as I duck into the driver’s seat of her car.
I clip my seatbelt securely in place and check my mirrors – “Not a number I recognised,” I say, turning the key in the ignition, I check my mirrors once more and pull away from the curb.




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