by Miss Louise
Lois. A beautiful rose. . Or just covered in thorns?
|The night was eerily silent besides the drone of the police siren closing in behind us. Noisy wails willing us to pull the car over. That was never going to happen. He would never pull over.
Up, up and over the crest, the car bolted erratically around the corner like a fierce tornado. The bright lights of the seven series BMW pierced the pitch black darkness ahead, the wheels taking turns seemingly at whim. My stomach caught itself mid air and stagnated into a twisting knot of anxiousness. Memories of riding the Wild Mouse as a child at the Royal Show came flooding back. I recalled the feeling of panic when the track ostensibly would end, leaving no place for the cart to turn but tumbling down to the ground below. Thoughts flashed through my mind. What would it feel like to die? Would it be over soon? Or would the cart be sucked mercilessly down into the earth below by the forces of gravity, crushing into the ground, leaving me permanently scarred? Or even dead. Half the appeal of these rides is the ‘what if’ questions. Not knowing exactly will happen and always knowing that there are risks. Risks can be addictive.
The smell of burning tires grasped my thoughts back to the road ahead. My boyfriend slowed from the 160km/hr speed and took the corner at just under 100 kilometres on the speedometer. The over hang of the trees enveloped us into a dark cocoon. I should have been worried but I wasn’t, I was excited, enjoying it even. The smell of the expensive leather interior clung to my skin. Handmade black Italian-leather seats and leather lined dashboard had been recently installed. His hands gripped the steering wheel, completely dedicated to the road ahead. I realised it should not be something that I liked, but I did. His dark eyes pierced ahead completely caught up in the race that was beginning to unfold. I saw the blue and red lights flashing behind us. Getting arrested wasn’t part of the plan. Should I be scared? He always said he liked that I wasn’t ‘tainted’, whatever that meant. I have always believed I was tainted from the beginning. The lights ensued, it was becoming more real. The reality of the situation began to dawn on me. Maybe this wasn’t what I wanted. I could picture the headlines in the community newspaper now ‘university graduate caught in high speed police chase with drug dealer’, with a photograph of my disappointed parents on the steps of His Majesty’s Supreme Court. My mother’s worn face, lined with worry and wondering where she had gone so wrong in bringing me up. My nervous face would stoop with shame to avoid their pleading eyes when they demanded an explanation. There was no explanation for why I was with this person. I could not explain why I had done such things. I gripped the buckle of my belt as a symbol of hope. I prayed the police car behind us would take a wrong turn, to let us escape. How ironic, surely this safety device would do nothing to save my life if the car crashed. Or get us out of this mess.
For what seemed like the end of an eternity, the lights behind us became dim. The Beemer approached the highway. Taking a left turn from the forest onto the road leading to civilization, we entered the bright lights of the highway and began the decent into the fiery city below.
‘You okay?’ he soothed.
I bit my lip. The excitement had worn off; I was not sure about him anymore. So many feelings of worry, excitement and enjoyment had just pulsated through my veins in the last few hours. I felt like I didn’t know myself. I needed reassuring from him. When he spoke, things had a way of working themselves out.
‘Yeah’, I said. ‘That was full on’.
He grabbed my hand and squeezed hard, forcing the blood from my knuckles and rendering my pale hand helpless within his. It should have hurt but I was detached from my body. Like every living emotion had been spent and all that was left was an empty purse. Part of me knew this was wrong. The other part of me was completely hooked to the adrenaline of being around this erratic person. I could tell he was on edge. He didn’t speed which was not like him and his eyes darted from the rear vision mirror and back again, ever watchful for our pursuers.
‘We’ll go to this party. It’s a Playboy mansion party. Minus Hugh and the bunnies’, he joked.
I didn’t respond. I knew I would not have a choice in the matter. I felt like I was drifting in a sea of currents with no voice to help me save myself.
‘We’ve got to make a stop of at Nicolas’s house first though’, he said in his most relaxing voice.
I had no idea who Nicolas was, but at this point I didn’t care. We had made it out of the chase alive and not arrested. That was the most important thing.
It had only been two months since we’d first met and already we had been through so much. He must think this was too much for me. And he was right, sometimes it drained the life from me, but most of the time I felt more alive than I had done in a long time. If only he knew what was below the surface of this clean cut image I show to the world. No one knew. I look so innocent with my baby face and lithe frame. It wasn’t such a bad thing I decided. I wondered where my friends were and tried to decide whether I wanted to be with them. I did miss them. Through my old neighbourhood we drove. It was New Years Eve and the streets were littered with people rushing into bottle shops, all subconsciously looking for a way to forget their night with copious amounts of booze and drugs.
Or was that just me? Was reality that hard to deal with?