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

Chequered Flag: Heading Home Again.

“How was your day babe?” Tracey said as Danny walked in the door.

Although Danny had admitted he still had feelings for Tracey to nearly everyone but Tracey he still didn’t feel ready to reciprocate with the niceties. She still hadn’t given him the true reason for her absence in fact she’d flat out lied to him under the guise of telling him the exact truth. There was also the uncomfortable feeling in his mind that he’d also done things he couldn’t admit to her, things that revealed her lie to him.

“Was ok, but you know me, I’d rather be racing.” He replied deliberately not telling her about his day.

Even as recently as six months ago Danny would have happily told Tracey about his day at work, however he wouldn’t have needed to give her the full run down of things because he’d have spoken to her during the day, some days more than once. But as he walked into his house at that time his interest in sharing his day with her was non existent. A big part of that was laziness, talking just seemed like too much effort.

Danny had thought about that ‘laziness’ more than a few times in the months Tracey was absent. It went both ways, but if he was forced to admit it he’d have to say more of it, especially in the early days, was from his side. He come home from work and talking just seemed like too much effort. He and Tracey of course shared words but that’s about all they were, they didn’t really have meaning and they certainly didn’t have depth. Even when they shared moments of passion there was emptiness between them but they both lived each day seemingly without worrying about it.

Despite such thoughts about their shared laziness Danny still didn’t blame himself, or the laziness for Tracey’s disappearance, there was something more to it and that was why he was so quick to hire the private detective to track her down. What had happened after that with the private eye was why he knew her story about falling for a rival team manger was a lie, a lie he was still waiting for her to come clean with.

It was during dinner, a dinner Tracey was cooking when he walked in the door, that Danny had the thought about laziness. Their dinner was being eaten in relative silence with only a few words spoken between mouthfuls but it was that silence that forced Danny’s mind to remember the past and before he knew what he was doing he was looking for topics to break the silence between them.

“Hey, I’m sorry I asked that question about the reporter yesterday.” Danny said trying to open up the lines of conversation.

“No problem babe.” The words sent a little chill down Danny’s spine. “I understand you needed to ask the question. I don’t hold that against you.”

Not quite what Danny was expecting but he reminded himself it was him that tried to start the conversation. “Ok I’m glad, I just didn’t want you to think I was blaming you.”

“I didn’t. Honestly, telling any reporter such stuff would be just as embarrassing and hurtful to me as well as you. I couldn’t do that to us.” Tracey replied.

Danny believed what Tracey was saying, he believed it the previous night and he believed it again as she said it over the dinner table. The reporter could have got the information from all manner of sources, that was their job, digging in the piles of shit others leave behind for just a little sniff of something they can feast on. Far more of a concern to Danny was the efforts some of them, like Helen, who were willing to lie, cheat and even threaten legal action based on those lies to get what they wanted.

“Yeah well we found out today that that woman has a few more issues than writing stories about us.” Danny said opening the floor for a conversation. It took Tracey several seconds to reply, enough time for Danny to wonder if it was worth the effort but when she did reply he was somewhat relieved he’d tried.

“Oh yeah? What sort of issue?” Tracey asked.

“Yeah she’s a lying bitch.” Danny replied still leaving his comment open for Tracey to reply.

Danny was in one of those situation that he knew neither him or Tracey particularly liked but it served a purpose, at least he thought it did. The idea, no matter how misguided, was to try and keep the conversation running by only letting out small parts of information and inviting the other person to ask questions. It often frustrated Danny when Tracey did it but he himself used it for the same reason, to gauge how interested the other person was in the conversation, the problem was it often left the conversation dead as one person got sick of asking questions and digging for information.

“Did something else happen today?” Tracey asked.

Danny was just about to answer with another open ended line when he decided it was time to just cut the games and talk to his wife and see where things went. He told Tracey about Helen’s threatened law suit, the way Dave had torn him a new arsehole and the happenings of the office where Helen’s case fell apart before her eyes thanks to the CCTV footage. Tracey listened and asked questions where Danny’s information was lacking and before either of them realised it the evening had reached 8:30pm and they were still sitting at the dinner table talking. It was the longest single conversation the two of them had shared without feelings of discomfort since long before Tracey’s disappearance.

In the world of car racing a night of peaceful, two way conversation between a husband and wife barely rated on the excitement meter but by the time Danny was readying himself for bed he realised just how much he’d enjoyed the night. Sure it wasn’t the adrenalin rush of coming down Powers Straight at 304 kilometres per hour and running back through the gearbox and riding the brakes to slow the car down for the 60 kilometre per hour hair pin, but it was the most enjoyable night he’d spent at home for a very long time.

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