car racing, driving, events, Stories, writing

Chequered Flag: Off To Bed

It wouldn’t be enough for some people just to hear Tracey say that it wasn’t her the gave the snippets of their private life to the reporters but Danny wasn’t some people. Danny had spent more than ten years with Tracey, he’d never kid himself that he knew her better than she knew herself but he did know two things, firstly when she was lying and secondly when she was keeping something from him.

Her little tells as she spoke gave away the lies, the way she moved her fingers through her hair or rubbed her left eye while she spoke, that speech usually longer and drawn out as her mind assured her the story was believable where her two main tells. While it was what she didn’t say that gave away the presence of secrets. Unfortunately for Danny he still hadn’t worked out how to read what those secrets were and whenever he did accidently stumble upon one Tracey usually treated him as if he’d been snooping. It wasn’t that Tracey thought he was too stupid to figure things out it was just easier to assume he’d been snooping rather than her slipping up. From what Danny had been able to work out by talking to his mates at work it was a common female trait, their secrets were guarded by a security unknown to any male and if those secrets leaked the male must have picked the lock.

So for Danny as he sat at the kitchen table sipping his second beer he’d gotten his answer relating to Tracey and the reporter, it was the one he’d wanted and believed he would get and that was the end of it. He wasn’t going to lose any sleep over where the female reporter got the information, she’d been threatened with legal action and for him the issue was over, if anything else was tried the legal department could handle it.

“I’m sorry you had to go through whatever happened with that reporter.” Tracey said as she wandered around the kitchen.

“So am I,” almost immediately Danny’s mind told him to throw a line at her about how if she hadn’t have walked out on him, such half arsed interviewers wouldn’t have the shit to throw around but he decided against it, he wasn’t in the mood for a fight.

“So what else filled your day?” Tracey asked from the kitchen, she was pouring herself a wine.

As Danny thought about his answer Tracey walked towards the table and sat down opposite him. It was the first time in what had to be close to eighteen months she’d specifically asked him about his work day and sat down to listen to what he’d had to say. He could tell she wasn’t entirely at ease with doing it, it was like she’d rather have just sat there in silence and waited for him to speak. Danny knew how she felt, because it was how he felt.

“The usual.” He was going to leave it at that and in the brief moment it took to take a breath and a sip of his beer he decided against it. She’d taken the time to sit down and talk, it may not have been the topic Danny wanted to discuss but it was talking, he shouldn’t let his own discomfort override what it was he wanted and she seemed to be attempting. “The interviews this morning…”

Danny ran through his day and the things he’d gotten up to, Tracey not only listened she even asked a few questions along the way showing that she was paying attention. Once Danny’s blow by blow account had finished he got up from the table and headed to the fridge to get himself another beer, at the same time he asked about Tracey’s day.

Although there was still something slightly discomforting between them as they sat and talked like a married couple they both put in the time and effort and when it was time to start cooking dinner Danny actually felt some what relaxed. He could talk to Rick on the phone or at the pub all night after work, but there was still something relaxing about coming home and talking to Tracey and while she seemed to feel the same way he couldn’t help but wonder where that left them.

Tracey offered to cook dinner, which Danny didn’t argue with, he’d finished shuffling through the pages of the newspaper but he was happy not to have to get up and cook. When dinner was put on the table in front of him it tasted better than anything he’d cooked himself in the last three months. It wasn’t that he was a bad cook simply the fact that if someone else cooks when your tired is better than what you’d cook yourself.

After dinner and the dishes were finished Danny retired to the lounge room with a bourbon and coke, he wasn’t a heavy drinker after he’d eaten but evening TV was also getting harder to stomach as reality shows and reruns of twenty year old TV shows became the norm. Figuring he’d just fall asleep if he sat in the reclining chair Danny absent mindedly sat on the couch and began flicking through the TV stations. When Tracey walked in the room, wine glass in hand Danny got the shock of his life.

“Do you mind if I sit next to you?” She asked.

With two reclining chairs in the lounge room over the years they’d just gravitated towards a chair each, whereas when they were first married and their lounge suite consisted of two couches they spent all their TV watching time sitting together. Hearing that Tracey not only wanted to sit next to him but made the first move and actually asked if she could threw Danny completely, but he said yes anyway.

The two of them sat next to each other and watched TV, as the night grew older they grew closer together and by the time the 9:30 movie had started Danny had his arm around Tracey. Despite putting his arm over her shoulder and letting her lean into him Danny still felt a little strange. It was what he wanted, he wanted Tracey back, he wanted to hold her, but there was still quite a bit of water flowing under the bridge.

As the time crept on Danny began to feel less awkward and he began to enjoy holding his wife, it still felt strange but it was enjoyable. He found himself wondering if maybe holding her as they watched TV might encourage her to talk but when she got up at 11:30 and said she was heading to bed without saying anything Danny had his answer.

He knew she was as uncomfortable telling him her secret as he was telling her his and although there was a little resentment towards her for not talking it was only a little bit. He briefly wondered if maybe telling her his secret first might allow he to open up but he quickly gave up that thought knowing that if his secret came out she would explode with anger, and rightly so.

Instead of thinking about it any more Danny decided he too would go to bed.

Previous Racing story here.


  1. Hmmm, late to the party, having problems with leaving comments. Still irritated about Deans story….and I looked up Steve Earle. Ok, but not my fave. I was listening to Joe Cocker singing tonight. I’ll have you know he had a restaurant close to us in CO.So when are the secrets coming out?

  2. Well you do sound a bit weirder than normal.

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