The smell of grease and oil wafted through my nose as I bent to inspect the cause of that grinding noise. I grabbed the ratchet to remove lug nuts, the caliber came off and then the brake pads.
Rotors and brake pads are both in bad condition, they won’t last much. I thought.
“Hey Austin! Can you get me rotors and brake pads for malibu 2012, please?” I hollered to my assistant as I started to clean the dried up grease.
“Here,” Austin said, passing the rotors and brake pads, “anything else?”
“Grab me a grease can. After that, stay here and watch and learn. I want you to do it next time,” I said sternly.
He nodded happily before running away to grab grease. I cracked a smile at his enthusiasm. He’s only 17, freshly graduated, doesn’t have a clue about repairing and does errands here and there. But I can see the spark in his eyes when he watches us working on different cars.
“Grace, I’ll be leaving now,” I heard someone say when. I was busy training Austin. It was Josh, my senior mechanic’s voice.
“Oh, little Austin is learning,” he smiled at Austin, his eyes crinkling at the corner reminding me of his old age. He used to work with my father.
“I am not a little kid,” Austin replied pouting, making Josh laugh.
I craned my neck to glance at the clock in the corner, to find it’s 8 pm, still an hour to go.
He grinned at my questioning stare, “I have a date,” he said, making me smirk.
“With Mrs Russell?” he nodded, slightly flushed. My smirk widened, finally the florist and mechanic’s romance is blooming.
“Have fun,” I chuckled and got back to work.
“You should try this fun too,” Josh grumbled at my teasing tone. I resisted the urge to roll my eyes at this. He knew well about my nonexistent love life and my career driven mind.
“Do you want a lift Austin?” he asked.
Austin doesn’t have a car and both of them live in the same area.
I saw him hesitating but I smiled assuredly at him.
“Go, I’ll teach you the rest tomorrow.”
After wrapping up the Chevy, it took me more than an hour to clean up the garage. Tired and sleepy, I changed out of my overalls before locking up everything and called it a night.
It was a big comfort that the workshop was located next to my house. My father built it from scratch. I used to hangout here after school, seeing my father work, and treating cars like newborn babies. Somehow that craze about cars transferred to me.
I smiled at the memories of my father teaching, the five year old me how to change oil. I used to get under the car and come out with all grease stains on my face and clothes to find my mother’s horrified look and father laughing hysterically. I don’t even remember how many dresses I have ruined because of it.
As soon as I reached my room, I shredded my clothes and hopped in the shower. After a long day of working in dirt and sweat, cool water is like heaven on my body. I sighed in bliss.
Smell of grease and oil always lingers on me, no matter how many times I shower or bathe. But it’s not like I mind. I feel at home, I feel like my father is with me.
I looked at the mirror as I wrapped the towel around me.
My blue eyes are the same as my father’s, the only thing I share with my mother is my wavy brown locks. Apart from that I am the same replica of my father with feminine features.
My stomach growled loudly, pulling me out of my reverie, reminding me that I didn’t have lunch. I needed a big meal. I padded back to my small kitchen and opened the refrigerator to find yesterday’s pizza sitting comfortably, waiting for me to eat it.
I smiled at it, your wish will be soon granted. I thought to myself happily.
After reheating the pizza, I ate all of it with some juice accompanied. I was washing my plates when I heard the phone ringing.
I furrowed my brows when I realized it was the extension to our workshop’s official one. I had insisted on one since sundays come with granted holidays but that doesn’t stop cars from breaking down. We are often called in for cars breaking down on holidays.
I hurriedly wiped my hands on the kitchen towel and made my way to the living room.
“Tennyson’s Motors,” I said tiredly.
“Oh, Thank god! You picked up the call. I was worried that no one would,” I heard him sigh in relief, as I waited for him to continue. “Uh, actually my car broke down in the middle of nowhere and I’m unable to reach anyone at the moment. Can you please send someone to have a look at it?” he pleaded, sounding desperate.
“Sorry sir, but working hours are over,” I said, massaging my temples.
I can already sense a headache forming at the back of my mind.
“I know, Miss. I understand it’s late and all but please try to understand, I’m really stuck in the middle of nowhere. Add to the fact, I am unable to contact anyone,” the guy said over the call.
This has to be the worst day of my life. It’s over 10 p.m. right now and I’ve been up since five in the morning. This guy chose today of all the days in this world to have his car broken down.
“Sir, can you please try and locate some other workshop? We’re closed for today, I’m sorry,” I almost huffed at him.
“How can you be so heartless, mi amore? Can’t you see a man is stuck alone in the middle of nowhere and is in desperate need of help?” he sounded like a puppy pleading for help, “I, a helpless young man, in a world full of dreadful monsters, is pleading you to save this knight in distress,” he added, dramatically.
A chuckle escaped my mouth at his choice of words. What a drama king.
“Sir-,” but he cut me off.
“What sir? Can’t you really understand that this young knight needs rescue, Princesa?” he added
I really wanted to bang my head somewhere. What knight and princess is he going on about?
“Listen to me, sir-” again, he cut me off.
“No you listen to me. Please rescue your knight from this distress,” he pleaded, again.
I really wanted to laugh at this situation.
I didn’t bother trying to speak again as I was sure he would cut me off once again. I took a deep breath and sighed.
Well, let’s rescue our damsel in distress.
“Okay okay,” I said to stop him from blabbering, “Send me your location, I’ll send someone,” I added.
“Oh thank god. I thought I’ll have to keep going on for another hour,” I chuckled at this.
I gave him my number. He promised to send the location in seconds, literally promised.
Next, I tried calling my other workers to ask if anyone was available to work overtime. As luck would have it, everyone declined.
I don’t blame them. Today was a very hectic day.
I sighed and walked back to my room to get ready.
I arrived at the location after a successful mind-blowing ride of two hours. Note the sarcasm.
Bloody fucking hell, this location was in the middle of nowhere. How the hell did this guy end up here?
“You’ve arrived at your destination,” my Google aunt chirped.
I slowed down the car and looked around, hoping to see a car which was possibly parked somewhere around.
Driving on for a distance, I saw someone waving their hands in the middle of the road.
“What the fuck!” I mumbled to myself.
I honked twice. He didn’t move and continued waving his hands frantically.
I hit the brake abruptly and shouted, “Wanna die, dickhead?”
What kind of lunacy is this?
“Wouldn’t mind getting killed by the owner of such a beautiful voice, mi amore,” his lips tilted in amusement while his eyes were hidden behind his hand shielding them from headlights.
It was him. I can easily recognise that deep voice.
Seriously, I assumed that he was just messing around to convince me to send someone on the call, but it looks like he has a hobby of jumping on unsuspecting drivers.
“And I wouldn’t mind killing such a psycho either,” I retorted, faking a smile.
Crazy flirt! He could’ve caused an accident with his insanity and desperation.
“Harsh!” he chuckled. He tread away from the middle of the road, escaping the bright light of my jeep’s headlights.
“Pardon my stunt, I thought you wouldn’t stop,” he said, sounding not so very apologetic, “Actually my car broke down and I am in desperate need of a lift. If you could probably...” he trailed off, grinning like a ten-year old.
“Well, I’m not a chauffeur,” I said, smirking. His face fell in response. “But, definitely a mechanic, Tennyson’ motors,” I added, jumping out of my car.
The moon shone brightly surrounded by clear stars all over. This area was definitely less polluted than the city. The night is indeed perfect except for this situation I’m stuck in. I started fishing out my toolbox from the back or the car.
When I was back, he was still frozen on the spot I left him a few minutes ago, his mouth hanging open.
He’s really a drama king.
“What?” I asked.
“You are a mechanic?” he asked, emphasising the word mechanic.
“In flesh,” I replied.
His mouth formed an O.
“So, what’s the problem?” I asked, getting out of the car.
“No, nothing. I was just shocked. Haven’t met a lady so pretty before, add to the fact that she’s my rescuer in shining armour,” he said scratching his head.
Now, it was my turn to get shocked. I could feel my cheeks burning but it had nothing to do with this guy’s comments and everything to do with the weather.
I turned to face him and repeated my question, “Err...I asked, what’s the problem with your car?”
“Oh. I’m sorry!” he smiled, again. He was now looking around, scratching his neck. I gave him a quizzical look, raising an eyebrow. “Uh, yes. It’s parked there. Let me show you,” he said, pointing ahead.
“Lead the way,” I said, grabbing my tool kit.