SignalMature

A piece I wrote for my final manuscript in my Imaginative Writing class last semester. Have you ever taken Driver's training? It's boring, but imagine how the Professors feel. In this story, a Driver's Ed teacher gets a chance to spice things up.

Driver’s training. It was a terrible place and time. I had a student today, some hotshot stud who thought he would pass because he had previous experience with a car. We got a lot of those. He was fifteen years old. What could he possibly know? He couldn’t even tell if something was wrong with the car by the way that it sounded. All cars were perfect. He just needed to get behind the wheel of one. If I had things my way, I would have made sure that the little runt had a car that need transmission fluid, a wheel alignment and probably needed some break work, too. That’s how you teach a kid. That’s how I taught my son. Or have them drive in winter snow. Whichever you can get to first. Anyone can drive a car that’s perfectly fine. But how many people can afford a perfect car, and can spare the money to keep it perfect? Eighty percent of drivers in the United States spend most of their lives driving a used car or own a car that would be considered unfit for driver’s training instructors. Ridiculous.

…almost as ridiculous as the woman that pulled up at our stop light. I wasn’t even paying attention to the light. The youngster would be all right on his own. After all, I was still in the car and he wasn’t paying attention to me at all. Too busy trying to sneak the radio on in a low volume when I wasn’t looking. But the woman in the car to our right…jeez. She was a trainer, too. A gentle looking girl, rather nervous though, in the driver’s seat her car. This girl was older than my kid, but she looked three times more uncomfortable. I winked at the woman in the passenger side, as she was lazily gazing in my direction. She was a red hair, with longer hair and longer legs it looked like. Not an oversized chest, but one that I was already imagining holding in the palms of my hands. I couldn’t believe it. Another instructor who looked that good! I gave her my best “interested” look. The woman caught my eye and gave me a wink. My heart began to pound.

“…I let them turn first?” I heard in the back of my head.

Crap. The kid. “Oh? Yes. Be polite.” I said. He actually listened, and let them pass. The woman waved at me as their car went by. When we turned, I told him to step on the gas just a little. “You don’t have to drive like an old woman,” I added. He sped up just a tad. We went a block up, and halfway through the second I spotted that Subaru. Excellent. We caught up with them at the next light. The kid’s stop was way too sudden, but I didn’t say anything about it. I told him that he was “doing good.” He rejoiced, and accidentally hit the horn. I glared at him for a moment, then looked over at the dame to see if it got her attention. It did. I searched for a logo on the side of her car. There wasn’t one. Damn. I needed to figure out who she was working for.

“Do you want me to turn right or left?” the kid asked.

“No. It’s straight from here to Terry and then you make a right. That’s the route. I’m not allowed to tell you more until we get to that point.”

“How am I doing?”

“Good enough to stand to lose point for asking that question.”

The kid fell silent. That entire exchanged had occurred without me even looking at him. The woman was making cute faces at me. She could have just been a tease. But I still wanted her number. Cars were turning from the cross section into the next block, and as the light turned green and the kid drove, our cars were stuck next to each other. The girl in the other car made a gesture toward me and a disgruntled face, but I actually heard the woman tell her to be quiet and focus on the road. It was sexy and authoritative. Just what I liked. It only took me a few moments to put two and two together—she wasn’t a trainer. That was her daughter. The sign above her car said, “Training a future Driver!” Some of our cars had those, but there were several phrases that could be ordered for signs. Suddenly, the woman put a sheet of paper on the dash and began to write, pausing as the girl hit potholes every once in a while. Her number? Would I actually get it? I thought I was good looking enough, and I gave her my best charming smile. I waited patiently. We were still going down the road.

“Don’t forget to make the turn, kid,” I mumbled while I was waiting, peaking a glance at him. He seemed alright. I tried to encourage him, since his outing with me was earning me a date with a redhead. “I do this every day, so I mean it when I say that you’re good. Very good.” He bought it, and his lopsided smile reminded me of my own charm as a boy. He actually wasn’t doing too bad, outside of the cockiness that emanated from his being. But when the kid turned his blinker on, just at that moment, I snapped. “We’re not even there yet. Don’t turn the light on too early.”

“Uh? Dude, we’re right there.” As he answered, I realized with horror that he was right. I turned to the window, that light of desperation in my eyes. The girl looked livid, like she couldn’t believe her mother was giving out her number to some stranger who was driving next to her—well, wasn’t driving, technically. She blushed a horrible shade of red, almost as red as her mother’s hair as the woman handed the girl that slip of paper to hand to me. “Hold on a sec,” I said to the boy, leaning out of the window.

“Do you know her?” he asked at first a bit naïve. It didn’t take him longer to put the scene together. I was still reaching, the girl looking away from me. Honestly, we all deserved terrible marks, but I could honestly care less because that number was always in my grasp. “Oh god! You’re serious,” he said in disbelief. The passenger in the car behind us was getting impatient; I saw him from the mirror on side. It only took a second longer for me to have the slip of paper I my hand, to have my eyes confirm the etched numbers written on the bumpy pattern of the dashboard surface. Dana was her name. “I can’t fucking believe this,” the kid said under his breath.

I turned to him, right as he made our turn. “You passed.”

The End

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