Runaway Highway

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Chapter 10 - Music

Johanna’s POV

I left Sam’s house soon enough and headed home. I didn’t want to tell him that the reason I didn’t want to have lunch at his place was because my mum needed my help to prepare her food. When I got home, my mum bombarded me with questions.

How is the house? Was he nice to you? Did you meet his parents? What is he doing besides racing? How rich is he? And how old did you say he is again? Did he make you uncomfortable in any way?

“Mum, calm down! I’m happy to see you so energetic but is there a reason why you’re like this? You’ve never had so many questions about other people I’ve worked with.”

“Well the other ones I knew and I’ve never heard of Sam. I’m curious, that’s all.”

While we had lunch I told her everything. From Sam’s expensive cars to his enormous white contemporary house to his butler George. She listened attentively and wanted to know more about his parents, but I could give her no information on them because I hadn’t seem them.

“In fact, George called Sam to go upstairs because, and I quote, his mum was there to see him, which implies that she doesn’t live in the house. Sam spoke to her for five minutes and when he came back his mood had changed completely. I bet he hates her but I don’t know why.”

“Interesting...” she said, chewing her food.

I left the house after tidying up the kitchen and giving my mum her lunchtime medicine.

At three I arrived at Sam’s house, just as planned. I texted him to tell him I was outside. While I waited, I paced the pavement beside my car, stepping on dry, crunchy leaves. A few moments later his garage doors opened and Sam emerged on the driver’s seat of his spare car. He stopped next to me on the sidewalk and rolled down the passenger’s window.

“Don’t just stand there, get in.” He said, the sound of the car doors unlocking.

I stood there, confused “Uhm, I might as well just take my own car.”

“What for? We’re coming back here anyway to drop the stuff.”

I couldn’t argue with his argument. After all, I wouldn’t admit that the reason I didn’t want to ride with him was because I didn’t feel comfortable with him to share such a small space. I turned around and locked my car. I reached for the door handle of Sam’s car and got in.

Sam asked my what was the address and after I gave it to him we didn’t talk.

Sam drove with his eyes fixed on the road. I just sat there with my legs crossed watching the scenery go by. The silence was getting extremely awkward.

“Hey, wanna listen to some music?” Sam asked at last.

“Sure,” I simply replied. He signalled the glove compartment with his hand.

“Pick whatever CD you want.”

I opened the compartment and looked inside. He probably had ten CD in there (the small space didn’t allow for much more) so I took out one at the time to inspect them.

My heart skipped a beat when I saw one of my favourite albums. “No way, Aerosmith?”

“You like them? I’ve never seen them live but it’s definitely on my list.”

I turned to him for the first time since I got inside the car. He had a smirk on his face, his eyes never leaving the road. My anxiety dropped significantly now that I was holding something that was so familiar.

“Let’s see what else you got here... Stealy Dan, Queen, The Beatles, Earth Wind and Fire... You Sir are a man of taste.” I said, a genuine smile spreading across my face.

“Ah, I knew there had to be something that would loosen you up. Go on, choose one.”

“What do you mean loosen up?” I asked in an amusing way. I know what he meant, but I wanted to hear his explanation.

“Well, you’re a little quiet and reserved, you can come off like you wanna be left alone. I get it though, it’s a tough world and we only have ourselves.”

I was caught back by his spot on description. Was it that easy to read me?

“You also come off as a true badass, I’ll give you that.” This time Sam turned to me to say this.

“I just do what I have to do.” I simply replied. I put Aerosmith’s album in the CD player, selecting my favourite track.

As soon as the first note of the song “Fever” was played, Sam made a face.

“No sorry, if we are going to listen to Aerosmith we have to chose their best song,” he said, changing the track. He also turned the volume way too loud. I already knew what was coming judging by the legendary intro. The initial drums of “Crying” hit us like a slap. I covered my ears and laughed.

“It’s too loud!” I shouted.

“No it’s not! You have to listen to it loud or you’ll miss the guitars.”

And so we kept the music loud. I couldn’t even hear myself sing the overly dramatic lyrics of the song. Sam did the same, making exaggerated gestures as if he was broken hearted. When the guitars picked up, however, he’d press down on the accelerator suddenly. I burst into laughter every time he did that, my stomach flying into my mouth at the sudden speed. It was the same feeling of being in a roller-coaster.

“Hey, slow down!” I said, gripping my hands to my seat. Sure it was fun the first couple or times he did it, but it was quite dangerous.

“Relax Johanna, it’s fun!” He instinctively put his right hand on my thigh. Once he realised what he had done, he pulled it immediately away. I chose to ignore it and not make too much of it.
But oh did my heart skip a beat.

“It’s not so funny if you crash the car.” I commented, ignoring the residual heat his hand had left on my thigh.

He puffed and shook his head. “When have I ever crashed a car? Even running away from the cops I brought the car home in one piece.”

“Sure, but it’s simple probability. It hasn’t happened yet, but the more you risk it, the higher the probability of it happening.” I said, the next song on the album coming up.

“The way I see it, I have to live my life as if every day is my last... If I live thinking that this or that might go wrong, I’ll end up not doing anything and that for me is what’s most terrifying.”

I didn’t reply. I was thinking about his comment and relating it to my mum. For my mum, every day could indeed be her last, and all she wanted to do every day was read books, watch some good TV, eat good food, and spend time with me. I bet if Sam (and anyone who thought like him) was sure every day could potentially be his last, he wouldn’t care for living in the fast lane. All he’d want was a simple, happy afternoon.

All of a sudden a wave of sadness came over me. I turned to the window so Sam couldn’t see my expression and tried to think of something to distract myself from my mum.

“Well, if I were to die today, I’d like to die at an average human speed, thank you very much.”

He chuckled. Good job Johanna, hiding sadness with humour was my speciality.

I calculated in my head how many parts we’d need from the scarpyard. If we were lucky we’d take them all home with us in one trip, but you just never knew when it came to the scrapyard.

We drove for about 25 minutes until we reached the site. The huge mountains of junk came into view before we entered through the metal gates. Kevin, the scrapyard owner and manager, walked towards us. I rolled my window down to speak to him.

“Oh Johanna, good to see you. What brings you here today?” The middle aged man said, playing with his cigarette.

“The usual, need to look for some parts.”

“Suit yourself, but I have to warn you, Lickety is here with some guys.” He said, tapping the window ledge of the car.

I instantly tensed up. Holy hell. I haven’t spoken to Lickety yet about working for Sam, so I’d have to break him the news right now. I looked at Sam and he seemed likewise uncomfortable.

“Let’s just get this over with. And don’t you dare start trouble with him. Kevin is a good business partner and he doesn’t like conflicts.”

“Yes ma’am.” Sam said, sighing. Kevin raised the gate and Sam drove inside. I told him where to park and walked out of the car to talk to Kevin inside his caravan. Sam followed behind me, taking in his surroundings.

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Hello everyone! Double update today! I hope you enjoy this chapter and the next one! Please be sure to tell me what you think so far! Is

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