Chapter Seven: Driven By Coffee

Chapter Seven

Driven By Coffee

            Jeo was a nice man. He really was. Over the hours, up until now, we bonded really well. It was nice actually, to have an actual friend here that I could go to for help when I need it. I learned a lot of things about him as well. Things that he said, the others don’t even know. Though I have to wonder why he would tell me these things.

            For example, Jeo wanted to be a doctor before all this happened. Secondly, he didn’t want to be in this. At first, anyways. He says that he won’t ever touch a gun, but he loves the cars. The bunch, including my little sister, apparently steal cars quite often.

            It’s around six o’clock in the morning, and I’m tired. I didn’t get much sleep at all, even though I slept close to my newfound friend. I still didn’t believe that the bearded guy, who I have yet to learn his name, wouldn’t try to kill me. Or worse. He was a scary dude.

            The ground was hard when I got up- around five thirty in the morning, and the grassy part in which I laid on was dewy. The sky was still dark, very few clouds.  I could see the stars, which always made me happy.

            “Sydney?” Jeo had asked, rolling over from his position a couple feet away.

            I stayed silent.

            “What are you doing up?”

            I sighed. “I can’t sleep. Keep thinking someone’s going to kill me. I mean, if one of your ‘crew’ doesn’t, a rabid animal is a better bet.” I place my hands on the ground, letting the cold soak through the skin.

            “Tough.”

            “What are we doing today?” I asked him quickly.

            “I don’t know. We’ll find out soon enough. The others will be up at six. They have to be.”

            “Why do they have to be?”

            “It’s a solid time that we all know. Believe it or not, some of us are Wanted. So we sort of need to move when we wake up, making sure everything is okay. The more we move, the better. It makes it harder for people to find us.”

            “Got it.”

            “I know you do.” And he smiled. I laid back down for the couple more minutes that I had left, falling to sleep instantly.

(*)

 

            “So what are we doing later?” Jeo asks the crowd. He was standing next to me, which was actually a miracle. He had to literally drag me over to the group. And I’m no light person.

            Jerry looks directly at me, and then at Jeo, making a face. “We have to do something with her- that’s for sure.”

            “Well we can’t hurt her or do anything bad.” Jeo tells them.

            “And why can’t we?” The bearded man asks, his weird sparkly eyes staring at me. It was creepy.

            “Because she’s Jerry’s sister. Whether they get along, or not. We have to look out for both of them.” Explains Jeo.

            This gets Jerry’s attention. “I don’t need to be looked after.” She snaps.

            Jeo puts his hands up in surrender. “Sorry to offend. But you are technically family. She’s your family. That makes her part of the family too.”

            Jerry’s eyes turn icy cold. “So you sleep with family?”

            My mouth drops open. “He-he didn’t sleep with me! Just near me! I promise!”

            Jeo, looking just as shocked, points to me. “What she said.”

            “I don’t give a damn about what she said.” Jerry growls.

            “One, what Do you care about? And two, why do you care about what happened? Three, who made you boss of this group?”

            Jerry looks stunned. Probably no one from this group ever talked like that to her.

            “Fine. Sydney? Today we will start your training, okay? First will be driving, because this mission thing we’re going on involves it.”

            “Okay.” I say with a shaky breath.

            “We have to go to the arena though, where all our good cars are.”

            I look to Jeo. “Arena?”

            “It’s what we call this big abandoned factory where we keep our cars. It’s a pretty good race track too. It has a parking building too, spiral, so you can practice drifting. It’s great.”

            I shake my head, pretending as though I know what I’m talking about.

            “Uh- okay.”

            “That’s probably all the practice your going to need. Your going to most likely be behind the scenes. Someone as inexperienced as you shouldn’t be in the field doing everything.

            I shake my head, signaling that I heard him.

            “So are we going there now?” I ask him.

            “Yeah.”

            I look to Jerry, seeing her glaring at me. I look at her, mouthing ‘what?’. She just keeps glaring though.

            “Wait, who will I be riding with, and in what?” I ask Jeo, fast. I didn’t want to be riding, in whatever we were riding in, with Jerry or even the bearded guy. Or any of the other people for that matter.

            “You’ll ride with me. It’s not like Jerry can say anything about it anyways. She has her car, I have mine. It’s not like I can drive mine while in her car, you know?” I look at him. Did they have a history? And the more I thought about it, the more I could swear at myself for being the stupidest person alive. When she got mad earlier, why didn’t I ask that first thing?

            “Okay.” I signal, breathing out. I would ask him if they had a history later in the day.

            All the other people start heading to their cars which are parked a little a ways in the woods. Jerry takes off too, and Jeo and I start walking towards what I assume is his car.

            The walk to the car is silent, I only stumble on a rock about once, which is a good number for me. It’s hard though. My feet hurt because of my lack of shoes.

            We get to the car, which is a beautiful 69’ Mustang, might I add, and I jump into the leather seat.

            All of a sudden, as Jeo gets into the drivers seat, I get a panic attack. What would happen during this training? What would they make me do? Would I pass the test? Or would I fail desperately. Desperately enough to where the people want to kill me? I know I’m being irrational, but who wouldn’t be in this kind of situation? It was a freaky one! There was no way that I would be as good as the other people. So why would I even try? Bearded guy might even eat me. Who knows really?

            “Jeo? What happens if I’m not good?” I ask solemnly.

“I’ll train you. Promise. I won’t let anything happen to you.”


“Okay.”

            “So-” I ask.

            “So-”

            “Do you um, have a history with Jerry?” I ask him.

            Jeo stiffens, but keeps his calm. Both of his big, muscular hands are placed firmly on the wheel, his knuckles whitening. He stares out the window, watching what looked to be Jerry’s Camaro in front of us.

            It takes him a moment to relax, and respond.

            “Yes. We did. But we don’t anymore.”

            “What happened?”

            “We just- had different views on things. She wanted to take it fast, I wanted to take it slow. She likes to harm people, I don’t. I guess I’m just soft. I don’t want to be, but I am. I guess I wasn’t manly enough for her. That led to our downfall.”

            “Oh.”

            “You on the other hand, your nice. You seem like the person who gets what they want my working hard-”

            “Actually I’m just a-”

            “And I like that. You seem to like going slow and just enjoying time with people. Though your scared a lot, it’s okay with me. No one is perfect. But it would be a great way to make stories, right? If, um, you were to say yes?”

            Wait.

            “Wait-” I say out loud. “Are you trying to tell me that you like me?” I ask.

            He looks at me, his face red. “That was kind of the point. But I know, I’ve only known you for about a day. And I know, I was just saying how I like things to go slow. But I feel as though I’ve known you for a really long time.”

            I feel my eyes droop a little. It happens whenever I get really nervous, or don’t know what to say.

            “So you want me- to be with you?” I ask him.

            “That would be what I was wanting to ask, yes.”

            “Jeo, I would. I really would. But as you have seen, I have way too many things going on right now. I don’t think I can handle someone significant, love wise, in my life right now.” I whisper. I hope it doesn’t hurt him.

            But he’s silent.

            Completely, utterly quiet.

            “Jeo?” I ask.

            His façade suddenly becomes playful. “It’s fine Sydney. I promise you, I’ll get you one way or another.” He chuckles, turning back to the road.

            I smile too. I like seeing him happy and joyful. It’s something that I love to see everyday. Though I’ve only known him for one day, but you get the picture.

            “Hey Jeo?” I ask.

            “Yeah?”

            “Can we get coffee?”

            “Why?”

            “Because I want some.”

            “Will it get me higher up on the pedestal?”

            I pause. “What?”

            “I mean, will it get you to like me as more than just a friend faster?”

            “If I say yes, will you get me some coffee?”

            He gives in, telling me that indeed, he will get me some coffee. We just have to be quick so the others won’t notice we were gone that long.

            We drive up exit 6, pulling up to a Starbucks.

            “Wait here-” He commands.

            “Yes sir!”

            “Exactly what I want to here.”

            I roll my eyes. Dramatically.

            As Jeo is in the shop, I have to think about what he asked. What was I supposed to do? Accept? The fact that he was my sister’s leftovers didn’t make the deal sound any more promising. He was a nice guy though. Really, he was. I really liked him as a friend. But what would Jerry do to me too? Would she try to kill me? And why, if she dumped Jeo, would she have acted the way she did when Jeo was talking to her. And sleeping together? Excuse me, but no. I don’t sleep with guys. I slept near him, but no physical- things, happened.

            The door to the car opens. “Here you go- pumpkin spice. That okay?” He asks.

            “That’s great.” I smile. It was my favorite.

            “Ready to go then?” He winks at me.

            “I was born ready.”

            “Really?”

            “Oh hell no.”

 

 

(*)

 

 

            When we finally go to the ‘arena’, I found out what they were talking about.

            It was a huge, concrete building with a huge parking building to the left, which was circular and had about twenty levels going up to the top. The building itself had a huge ramp leading up to huge doors where the big semi-trucks would pull up into the building to unload. The ramp could probably fit ten of our cars across, and thirty or even more going down it.

            Jeo sped up the ramp, into the building through the now open doors.      

            “We had a key made for it. Illegally of course, but this building isn’t even listed as being redone. So it’s the perfect place. No one comes here anyways. So we’re good.”

            I’m barely listening though, because I am so wrapped up in how big the place was. It’s huge. Literally. We pull into a great big second floor that wrapped around and had another ramp that led down to the first floor, the basement, which you could look down on from a one hundred by one hundred foot hole that was in the middle.

            “Wow.” I whisper.

            “I know. The others are in the basement level though, so let’s go.”

            We drive down to the first level, me almost slamming my face into the glass because of how the ramp was angled. It was probably an eighty degree angle. It was fun though.

            The basement level, or first level, as I wanted to call it, was just as big, but even bigger if you really think about it. The whole in the second floor took some of the area out, but the basement was full size.

            “This is SO freaking cool!” I yell.

            On all sides were cars. Cars of all types. It was mad cool.

            “Is that a stingray?” “I ask.

            “Yup.”

            “Wicked.” I think that was the first time I have ever, in my life, said that word like that. It was scary.

            The middle was a huge track laid down with what seemed like spray paint. There was dark scuff marks from where tires slid on the concrete. The effect was awesome though.

            Jeo drove into the center, where everyone else was already waiting. There was Jerry, the bearded man, and a couple of others that I hadn’t really met before, or really paid any attention to. They had made themselves scarce. There was five men, all tall, big, and burly, and three other girls. All covered in tattoos and had multiple piercings. The one girl, a dark black-haired women, had a skirt that very well could represent a belt, as well as what seemed like fluorescent pink go-go boots. Great.

            I wave at them all, hopping out of the car, leaving my coffee in the seat so it would stay warm. I somehow got it to stay there without it spilling. Success.

            “Can Sydney pick a car? Just so that she’s more comfortable?” Jeo asked the group. Jerry rolled her eyes flicking her hand as if to say ‘whatever’.

            I don’t even wait for someone to tell me something- I just glance around the huge room. The whole perimeter was filled with different types and colors of cars. None had license plates, I realized.

            But then I see it. IT. The car that I would take with me forever. The one I could very well fall in love with. It was a car I knew well. An author had one, and my boss made me park his car. It was awesome.

            “Is that- is that a Miclaran mp4-12c?” I scream.

            “That would be it.” Jeo laughs.

            “Oh my god it’s blue!” I yell again.

            “Why yes it is!”

            “Can I drive it?”

            “Sure!”

            I run over to it, trying to open the door. It was jammed. I look at Jeo, who goes over to the west wall and retrieves something. Walking to me, which takes ages, he hands me the keys.

            “We have other Miclarans, but lets not hurt this one, okay? If it’s anything minor we can fix it up though.”

            “Right. Just give me the god damn keys.” I yell.

            He chuckles, handing me the keys. “Drive responsibly.” He says, walking away with a wink.

            I hop in the car, seeing the almost circular steering wheel right in front of me. The bottom is flat, where the horn tower connects with the steering column. The horn was a circle, with a little circle in it with a red boomerang symbol. Behind the steering wheel, is the speedometer and- all that other stuff. To be honest, I don’t really know any other parts other than the main steering wheel.

            Forgetting I don’t know really how to drive the car, I push the keys into the key slot thingy, and turn. The car rumbles to life. It was a lovely sound.

            Clutching the stick shift, which again, I have no clue how to use, I try to put it into the backwards gear.

            Thinking I have it there, I push the gas pedal.

            And go forward.

            Into the concrete wall.

            I guess I need some lessons.

            I look through the rear-view mirror, seeing the group laughing hysterically at me.

            Because you know, me crashing is so hysterical.

           

The End

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