The Driver

It's a long drive to nowhere. You might as well strike up conversation.

Who are you?


Who else is in the car?, I'm not anyone important. But you've heard of the Steams, right? Maggie and James? I'm their son.

Oh, them. don't look like their son would.



I'm not sure there's anything left but a name that keeps us related, not anymore. You know, I never actually thought I'd do this. I'd wanted to get away for years now. Only seriously considered it two weeks ago. Just... never mind. 

How old are you?

Twenty in May. Don't laugh at me. I wanted to go to uni straight after school. But that was such a mess that Mother was too worried about me. She didn't think I could cope with it.  She might be right. But I couldn't stay at home any longer.


Why what?

Why wouldn't you cope?

I don't know, too many people, too much pressure, apparently I can't take care of myself. They both say I was never quite like everyone else, but not in a bad way, of course. One day I asked why they just said the word 'autism', or maybe get diagnosis which would let me get the support to 'cope'. But Mother never liked to be straightforward, just thought giving a word to something made it worse. I have to settle with being 'different' and 'alternative'.

Been there.

That's what she said the day she found out about, you know, the whole thing. Dad too. A long chat about 'suspecting something for a while' and that I shouldn't take things the wrong way because 'we love you anyway' and the problem 'absolutely wasn't to do with living a particular lifestyle'...

Oh Lord. 

I know. 

Don't turn on the radio. 


It's fine. It's just I don't feel like music right now.

This time of night it's the news.

Even worse.

We might find out what happened to him.

I doubt it. Face it, he's nobody to them. Not when what's his name's dead. You know the one.


He had a wife and kids. The youngest saw him die. Apparently she wouldn't stop screaming.

It's weird, isn't it? Everyone always says, after some kind of trauma, the morning where everything was still alright feels thousands of years ago. But to me it feels have a second ago. It's hasn't really sunk in yet. That's what I'm scared of. I don't know what I'm going to do. 

I'm scared too. I'm so, so, so scared. He was my best friend since we were five.

Don't talk about him like he's dead.

He could be. He could be dead already-

No. He only got taken for information, didn't he? He's brave. He can get through what ever is going to happen to him. I just know.

Are you saying that to reassure yourself?


I'm sorry.

....Where are you driving to?

I'm getting out of London. Towards Essex.

Do you think anyone's chasing us?

This isn't some movie. I'm nobody too.

...Do you have a family?

I've got Mum and Dad and my little sister. They live up north, I'm not going that far. This isn't leaving him behind, but that would be.

We''ll get him back. If he doesn't get out himself. 

We're going to bloody well try. I know you think you know everything about him, but you don't. 

I don't know anything about you.

I'm God. 


For now, I'm the Driver. Let's leave it there. I don't have much backstory. This is probably the saddest thing that's ever happened to me. What about you? Who are you, the you without parents?

I don't really know. I was only parentless, at the home, as a really little kid. I've never really been interested in finding my 'real parents'. The funny thing is, before getting involved in politics and all, my dad ran a little pub north of Cardiff. We still owned it until a couple of years ago. It burnt down.


We got all the drama hushed up, though. That's a whole other story. At that time, I only had one friend. I don't think I have any left now. Felix was beginning to get on my nerves anyway.

What did he do?

He just kept making fun of me, you know? He just kept talking so much about some girlfriend I never met. I think he made her up, actually. Just made me feel bad about not having one. You know, I like girls as well, but Felix didn't believe me- I don't know, something about one or the other.

I understand.



He...told. I guess it was my fault for telling him.



You know Ev talked-talks about you all the time?


Yeah. When did you meet anyway?

New year's eve. I worked at the Waterstone's and was the only one left there. It wasn't even late. I was about to close then he walks in. Tipsy already. 

I remember.

I thought he was really annoying, at first. I told him to leave. He does. Few days later comes back, says sorry, we're on good terms from then on. Friends even. And... yeah. I never lied about anything to him- not about who my parents were. He didn't lie to me either. 

But this all happens because your parents don't approve? a way.

That's not normal. 

I know. I think half of it's come about because Mother doesn't want anyone to know how she treats me. It all causes each other.

A vicious circle, maybe. A self fulfilling prophecy.

Yeah...have you worked out where we're going yet?

I think so.


You like the sea? Ev will know. It's somewhere for emergencies. I suppose this applies. Pretty sure most of the people who got out of what just happened are on their way.

I suppose that's good?

Well, we'll be better off there than where Ev is.


You all right?

I think the shock is sinking in, that's all.







The End

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