They say that writing is a muscle and it needs to be exercised otherwise it atrophies into nothingness and your forced to move like a worm everywhere. Okay, so it doesn’t really say that, but writing is a muscle and to work mine I’m writing a lil’ short small (anyother adjectives I can squeek in there??) tiny story. Here’s a piece (caution this is unedited, unproof read raw material… oh and copyright).
The rain hammered down on the windshield as Jenny and I made our way to the mechanic shop. I had been so relieved to finally find a BMW mechanic that didn’t have a drinking problem or was as deaf as a post from too many SCCA races to hear that I wanted the oil changed not a forty minute hand gesturing session and hollering only to have him replace my transmission fluid and brakes.
Earlier in the week when I’d been in my office reviewing the recent shoot for our May’s cover issue, I remember Jennie coming in. The office was wide, luxurious and I’d bitten and clawed my way to that corner office on the 34th floor and loved it. Plush grey carpet and dark panelling, furniture hand picked from the designer’s catalog – everything was sleek and modern. I had admired it for thirty seconds before work swallowed me up and I was immersed into running the magazine. Jennie my staff editor came waltzing in that morning and flopped down in the semi circle of chairs in the middle of the office while I scanned the cover options on the work table.
“You would not believe what I found.” She said smuggly.
Jennie was five foot five inches in her comfy ballet flats, and well rounded good-hearted person that I truly enjoyed but felt that somedays I wanted to trade lives with her. A huge family, modest job that allows for her to scrapbook and knit to her hearts content, like me still single and looking. Though I’m not sure she looks much past the perfect men in the books she reads – the one’s with half naked people in the throws of an orgasm on the covers. I’d probably read those books as well if I didn’t know that they were both sprayed down with baby oil to mimic sweat, breasts taped/air brushed so they popped like they did, and his body was replaced with the other models’ that had a great set of abs but not the face that worked with the shot angle.
“What’s that? And please don’t tell me it’s a new yarn color.” I said dryly.
Jennie rolled her eyes, “It wasn’t a new yarn color it was a new type made from alpacas from the Himalayas – they cost me a mint!”
“Right.” I said feigning that I even comprehended what she was talking about.
“Anyway, so you know how I’ve been on this trek to find the best import shop in the city right?”
“Yes, you and me both. Please tell me that your ancient Peugeot has found one.” I said with a laugh and returned to my work, red pen in hand.
“I did, and they do all years of BMW’s”
“Yup, and the one guy is a lush and the other is deaf, right?” I asked, not looking up.
“Nope. Young guy, newly opened shop off Sandy Boulevard-”
“I just saw that the other day, I thought they only did Honda’s and stuff.”
“Nope, they do it all. And the best part?”
I rolled my eyes, “They offer scrap booking while you wait.”
“The head mechanic is hot!” she pronounced ignoring my snarky comment.
That got a real eye roll from me, “Well did you ask him out with your oil change?”
“Uh, no – probably will work up the gumption to ask out one of the other guy’s there though he’s more my type.”
“South American, you mean?”
“Yeah.” She said with a mildly dreamy look then came back to the point she was trying to make, “The head mechanic actually owns the place and he’s not really hot per se but has that air about him that I thought would be perfect for you.”
“And what’s that?” I said stopping what I was doing, now thoroghly engaged with what she had to say.
“Dunno, actually, now that you’ve put me on the spot. He’s just has this air about him – unavailable, uninterested, but with him you sort of feel like you could take over the world. And even then he’s sort of dark – with a past you know?”
I arched a brow at her, “You just described, “complex” to a T my friend.”
Jennie laughed, like a chiming bell tower, loud and ringing, “Yes! That’s totally it. Anyway – didn’t you say your door has a leak?”
It was a nice shop off the main boulevard. I lived in the neighborhood once again with my father as he went through chemo sessions. It was a standard shop the office was up front with the parking lot and the four work bays stretched out next to it, the lot stretching back into the neighboring houses. In front of the open bays and next to the side street was extra parking and parking for the employee’s. Fancy euro cars dotted the employee lot, most of them at least a decade old except for two. A red Toyota family car and the other an indistinguishable black two door monster coupe at the far end at my right.
In the sheeting rain I could see my car sitting directly in front of us, the main office just off to the right. The sedan sat in the middle of the empty customer parking lot, motor on, parking lights working and I hoped the water seal at the rear door was fixed otherwise she was now officially a fish bowl.
Jennie pulled us up behind my car, “Okay, I bet he’s inside. Wanna borrow my umbrella?” she asked as rain sleuthed off the windows.
“No I’m good Jennie – I’ll just run inside.” I said coming back to the present, “I have to say, I’m impressed already that they have the car running – I bet the heater’s on too.” I said giving her a winning smile, I could just possibly have found a new shop, “I like the attention to detail – now I’ll go see what the damage is.”
Jennie grabbed my arm as I reached for the handle, “Omigod.” she said squeezing my arm.
“I didn’t even see him—he’s right there.”
I looked out the sheeting rain of the passenger window and didn’t see anyone, but leaned slightly and out the windshield. The wipers cleared away the water and I caught a glimpse of him.
Even though it was a glimpse of a man, tall in mechanic’s wear leaning against the side of the building under the scalloped awning smoking a cigarette like it was the last one he’d ever have. A sheet of paper in one hand and an umbrella under the other he looked straight into the car and into my eyes.
Realistically I couldn’t see that far through the rain and movement of the wipers, and his features shadowed under the awning, but it could have been pitch black and I’d still have known who he was.
“Shit.” I said like an oath under my breath.
“I know right?” Jennie said misinterpreting me.
“Wish me luck.” I said and got out of the car with my purse tucked wishing for all I was worth that Jennie had never found this place.
Nathaniel Vellanova pushed away from the wall and in one fell movement opened the massive golf umbrella and strode toward me.
Behind me I heard Jennie reverse out the driveway, leaving me to my past.