Here we go again. Its Friday night and I am in my usual place, the supermarket. After a hard week at work the last place I want to be is Tescos. Why should I have to do it anyway? Well according to my family it’s my job. My mood was not improved by the way that the trolley had developed a mind of it’s own. I struggled to steer it across the car park to my car. I popped the boot and heaved the heavy shopping inside. I was so fed up by this time that I could not be bothered to return my trolley to the trolley park. Instead with determined defiance I parked it in the space next to my car. If I was to be inconvenienced then so were other people.
I sat in the car and turned on the engine. I continued to sit for a few minutes listening to the purring of the engine and trying to relax. I remembered that I had a new classical CD in the glove box so I reached over retrieved it and put it in the stereo. As the music started I took some deep breaths and made a conscious effort to calm myself down.
I looked around the car park. It had grown quite dark by now. The front of the supermarket was illuminated and casting a gloomy light over the rest of the car park. I flicked on the headlights and snapped the seatbelt into place. I reversed the car out of the space and drove to the entrance. I felt good now. My Friday night ordeal was almost over and I was looking forward to opening the nice bottle of white wine that I had in the boot when I got in.
I pulled out onto the dual carriage way almost in time with the music. Automatically I reached to the stereo and turned it up a little. The car picked up speed and cruised towards the roundabout.
I knew that I was going to fast but I didn’t want to slow down. The tempo of the car felt good and I felt the tension filter from my body. I pulled onto the roundabout. All of a sudden I heard the screech of brakes and the long, loud beep of a horn being pressed continuously. With a sharp intake of breath I hit the brakes, slowed down and looked around me.
I could see headlights flashing behind me. Oh dear, I thought, realizing that all the noise was for my benefit. I had obviously cut this other car up but it wasn’t intentional. Looking in my rear view mirror it looked as though the car was increasing its speed and coming up behind me. It came up so close that I thought that it was going to hit me.
I gently hit my accelerator and my car pulled away. I breathed again, it felt like I had been holding my breath for ages. However, looking in the mirror again I was sure that I could still see the other car flashing, but I could no longer hear it’s horn. I was not overly bothered that I had caused a problem for this driver, it was just one of those things.
My car moved to the right, hugging the roundabout as it went. Nearly home now I thought. “BEEP BEEP!” I couldn’t believe! The car that I had annoyed was behind me again, following me! It was flashing its lights again and in the shadows I could tell that the person was quite big. I squinted my eyes and tried to get a better look in my rear view mirror. I couldn’t tell what sort of car it was or whether it was a male or female driving. The car kept flashing its lights. My heart seemed to be trying to beat it’s way out of my chest and I was feeling very vulnerable. In a car on my own, with a potential lunatic following me. This was definitely road rage. Or was I just being paranoid, it couldn’t possibly be following me, or maybe it was, it is hard to tell in the dark. My skin began to feel clammy and I was uncomfortably hot. With my mind set in full panic mode I sped up and went over the brow of a hill.
Quickly I threw a left without indicating and raced towards my garage block. There were no cars behind me now, it looked all clear. I spun the car into the open garage and flicked off the lights and turned off the ignition. I exhaled slowly. I felt so stupid. I had almost certainly made a mistake. I was being pathetic. There was nothing to worry about, after all I was just yards from my home. Cross the road and I would be indoors.
I climbed out of the car and lifted the shopping bags from the boot. I placed them on the concrete path at the side of the garage. I locked the car and the garage. Picking up the shopping bags I had an eerie feeling again. I looked cautiously around the dimly lit street. I breathed in deeply and exhaled slowly. I was being very silly, I was not going to allow my mind to start playing tricks on me now. There was nothing to worry about, I was virtually outside my house.
I began to walk across the garages and reached the road. As my left foot lifted from the kerb and touched the road I turned my head to the right. I was blinded by a dazzling set of headlights that flashed on with their beam full. There was a car parked in the middle of the road with its engine running softly, just twenty feet from me! It couldn’t be. Could it?