Just like many other households through out the country the ability to drive had formed more than it’s fair share of arguments in the Holmes household. There was little doubt that Danny was a good driver, he was a professional driver trusted to race at high speeds in expensive motorcars. He’d done many hours of defensive driving and racing under conditions most people on the road would never experience. He’d also taught Tracey to drive not long after they’d gotten together and she would be the first to admit the lessons did not stop the day she got her license.
But even with all that experience and expertise he never considered himself the best driver on the road, we not when he was in a sensible and calm mood. He would often drive the car from the passenger seat when Tracey was driving. At first Tracey resented it, thought he was picking on her every mistake as if he didn’t ever make them himself then about after a year or so of having her license she started to realise two things.
Firstly for Danny it was an automatic thing to comment on other drivers, including her, it wasn’t that he was telling people off it was his automatic racing reaction. A mechanism that helped him keep an eye on what other drivers were doing on the track and whether he had to take action to avoid something. Once Tracey realised how automatic it was and why he did it the only time she ever had an issue with it was when he did it because he was annoyed.
The secondly thing Tracey realised was that for the most part Danny’s comments were helping her. Not so much the direct and sometimes rude ones, but there was definitely times where Danny had noticed something Tracey hadn’t seen or would have seen too late. She didn’t live her life wondering what if Danny hadn’t been there in those times but she did know that it was situations like that which helped make her a better driver.
Danny’s alertness even from the passenger seat was something Tracey had grown to only resent when the advice it came with was delivered with venom. However Danny himself had also learnt that delivering with venom was not the way to improve things and despite the fact that even with his training in stress management he occasionally lost his temper behind the wheel it wasn’t something he did often. In fact neither he or Tracey could remember the last time it had happened it had been that long.
Whether it was the surprise she got when it happened or some idea that she needed to nip his anger in the bud immediately rather than at a later time Tracey wasn’t sure. However what she did know was that Danny’s outburst was not warranted. Maybe the woman should have kept her child restrained better, maybe if Tracey was driving faster she could have hit either one of them. But none of that warranted yelling and abusing the woman as Danny had done. Not even being in pain the way she knew Danny was could be excuse enough for abusing someone the way Danny did even if that person was in the wrong.
She wasn’t entirely proud of her reaction to his reaction either, whether it was behind the wheel or not loosing her own temper was not the way to handle the situation and she knew it.
Both of them sat in silence as Tracey steered the car home, both were lost in thought, both thinking about the same thing but from opposite sides of the fence. Tracey knew that if they arrived home and the two of them were still not talking Danny would hide himself, in plain sight, with the TV and high volume for the rest of the night. It’s not what Tracey wanted, she wanted to talk, be it about his rehab, his work or anything she didn’t want to spend the night trying to avoid a brick wall between them.
About five minute from home she decided to try and knock down the wall in the car.
“I’m sorry babe,” Danny cringed almost instantly at the term babe, but said nothing. “I didn’t mean to blast you like I did. The woman was in the wrong but abusing her and swearing out the window was not going to change that. I’m sorry if you feel different but that what I feel, however I am more sorry about yelling at you like I did. It was unfair.”
“You’re fucking right it was!” Danny thought but didn’t say. Instead he replied with. “Both of them could have been hit because she wasn’t watching her kid. At least next time she’s near a road she might think more about her kid and less about herself.”
Tracey didn’t expect Danny to apologise and she didn’t get one, but she did get him talking. She might not have agreed with Danny’s point of view but she did know that letting the situation drop was definitely better than keeping it going.
“So how was rehab? Things going ok? You are obviously in more pain that usual, is that a good thing?” Tracey asked changing the subject.
Again Danny stopped himself from telling her what his mind first came up with as an answer which was both crass and abusive, instead he answered with. “Rehab was rehab, there is always pain. But I think I pushed things a bit too hard in the simulator this morning.”
For the rest of the trip home and even once they got inside the house Danny and Tracey talked about Danny’s rehab, simulator session and how he was received at work. It never ceased to amaze Tracey how quickly Danny could change from hotheaded Danny to calm and collected Danny so quickly. She knew he wouldn’t have forgotten what happened, or her disagreement with him but for whatever reasons he had it was out of sight and out of mind.
Previous Racing Story here.