car racing, Daily Prompt, driving, events, humor, serial fiction, Stories, writing

Chequered Flag: In the Pits

Danny was feeling good as he wandered through the pits after the race presentations. He’d won the race after his main rival Sascha Fittzsimmons had shunted him into the wall on the third lap. He’d come from last position with the aid of well placed pit stops. He’d stood on the top of the podium as Fittzy rudely ignored him and he’d even resisted the urge to punch Fittzy when the guy came into Danny’s pit and tried to go toe to toe with him. But through all that the one thing he didn’t need was to be told his estranged wife Tracy was waiting for him in his trailer.

On the road Danny, and his racing opponents, all lived out of large B double trucks and transporters, kind of like a travelling rock band only these guys carted cars not amplifiers. In the front trailer was the smallish personal quarters, which would be shared by six to eight people and included beds, showers and a spa bath for the drivers to relax in. The rear trailer was the mobile workshop, all the tools, spare parts and the car which in transport mode was anchored down on its suspension allowing cars to be stacked two high on racks. On race day with the majority of the gear and the car in the pits the rear trailer opened up and provided sitting space for some of the crew and hangers on to watch the actions on screens. It was in the rear trailer with her eyes firmly stuck to one of the monitors, probably watching some stupid reality show and not the race telecast, that Danny knew he’d find Tracey.

Stepping through the door he was immediately bombarded by the stench of her perfume, why she insisted bathing in that shit he had no idea. It wasn’t that Danny disliked the smell of perfume, in fact he quite liked a subtle perfume, it was the fact that Tracey was one of those women who thought her perfume needed to be smelt by everyone within a 30 metre radius and it needed to remain in the room ten minutes after she left. Early on in their fifteen year marriage Danny had be known to say something about the perfume, but as the years went on Tracey began to take everything he said as an insult so he just stopped saying anything. In the last few years Danny used Tracey’s perfume as a pre-warning system to alert him to her presence in case he needed a chance to get out.

“Hello Tracey,” Danny said as he stepped into her view, with the TV as loud as it was she probably wouldn’t have heard Dave warn Danny she was there. He wasn’t upset to see her but he wasn’t welcoming her with open arms either. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”

Tracey sat in the reclining office chair, her blonde hair wavy and hanging down around her shoulders, the tight red dress, no doubt from some wanky fashion label he didn’t recognise, clinging to her body and so short that if she moved the wrong way she’d have shown off her underwear, if she was wearing any, her long tanned legs and 3 inch heels all a reminder to Danny why he fell for her nearly twenty years ago.

“Oh that’s nice Danny. Can’t I visit my husband at work.”

“Given how rarely you’ve bothered to show up at my work for the last five years I guess I was kind of surprised to see you.” Danny wasn’t irate and he was trying his best not to reach that point.

“Well if you bothered to invite me on the bus when you went to interstate races I could be at more races.”

“And where have you been the last three months? My last race was at the end of November and I haven’t seen you since the end of year team party where you got drunk and made an embarrassment of yourself.”

“You know that wasn’t my fault.” Tracey whined.

Danny remembered the phones calls the day following the party. Tracey had blamed everyone from the bar staff to the team manager for spiking her drinks. Her claims were baseless but in her mind the team wanted her off the scene because she was a distraction to Danny’s career, a career that probably only had another five years in it. The fact that Danny had won the championship and therefore any distraction from Tracey couldn’t have been much didn’t enter her arguments.

“Tracey, I’m not interested in fighting. Why are you here?”

Before he’d left home three days before Danny had thought about removing Tracey’s name from the guest list at the race venues but he had decided against it at the last minute. Partly because it was his home town race and he was wondering if she’d show up but also because she was still his wife and he couldn’t do it to her, not after only three months.

“I came to see the race.”

“Where have you been the last three months. You haven’t answered my calls, you haven’t answered emails, you haven’t been home, well at least not while I was there, you didn’t even visit your parents from Christmas.”

Danny had a fair idea where she’d been staying but he said nothing because her immediate reaction would have been to accuse him of spying on her, or hiring someone to find her but the truth was much more innocent than that. While Tracey hadn’t been answering his calls or emails from him she had been using her mobile phone and because Danny was paying her bills the itemised accounts always came to him and he could see where her calls were originating from. Simple deduction told him that the only person she knew in that part of town was Anne, a friend she’d found on the internet a few years earlier, and with no expenses for accommodation he figured it was a fair chance she was with Anne so he gave up looking.

“I needed some time to myself.” Tracey replied.

“Well you certainly got that, was three months enough was it?”

“You’re being so defensive.” she exclaimed.

“So how would you like me to react Tracey? You disappeared three months ago and haven’t even made a fucking phone call, yet here you are sitting in the transporter waiting for me after the race. How do you expect me to react if not defensively?”

“And you wonder why I needed time to myself.” Tracey was getting angrier.

Danny had witnessed her temper many times before, she wasn’t violent or crazy but she did raise her voice and swear more when she was angry. It wasn’t something Danny could tell her off for given that he did the same thing when he lost his temper. However while Danny had been getting help for his temper Tracey would barely admit she lost her temper and she definitely wouldn’t admit to it happening as often as it did or with and many curse words as it did.

“Tracey, you left me without saying a word, you’ve stayed away for three months and this is the first time you’ve even reached out to me, of course I am going to be defensive. I’m also confused as to what drove you away, why you refused to talk to me and most of all why you came back. Goddamn it Tracey I was devastated when you left, but I was hurt when you wouldn’t take my calls. Three months hasn’t changed that, yet here you sit as if nothing has changed. I really don’t need this shit, I’ve got a very important season ahead of me this year, it could be make or break for my career and I don’t want to ruin it by having to deal with this kind of hurt and stress.”

“I want you back!”

Previous Racing story here.

5 Comments

  1. So the grass isn’t always greener? What’s next?

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