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The guard rail had gone, flown off into the scrub somewhere and green weeds lay smashed flat by the red car’s passage. An indicator winked at me suggestively through its cracked casing.

And I’m sorry to be crude but Jesus; the kid had punched clear through his fly! Silvery threads ran everywhere, a Pro Hart spatter on the speedometer’s incriminating face. A desperate ejector reflex, last ditch effort to share his middle class DNA with the world. I resisted a niggling urge to dip a gnawed fingernail in and taste it.

I remember that back in the old days Johnny-boy’s issue was sour, a bit nasty and gag-inducing. He would gasp that I was the first ever to swallow it, like I had touched his damned soul. Perhaps that’s why he married me. It later negotiated a merger with my body, John’s sourness, and made my Becky.

But this boy – no woman would choke his ‘wurst now, love it and become his wife. Look at his ride! Slung right to the blacktop, as low as his jeans (with the obligatory white shorts peeping out the top). Custom sprayed a man-whore red, as bright and hard as a cock crow. Collision came free in every millimetre of design. I can picture him now, exhorting mummy and daddy to splash out on such a ridiculous car while behind those pleading eyes the brisk crack of teeth on windscreen played over and over.

My Becky drove no such monstrosity; had she been so inclined she could have screamed for one until her head fell off. I shelled out for a nice hatchback, easy as pie to insure. Ok, so she decked out the inside with a selection of fluffy smiley crap but I must have had inane toys grinning from the dash too when I was her age.

I was never a nervous driver ‘til she got her plates.

Suddenly I wanted John, his warm living flesh and never mind what he’d say seeing the red car crumpled up like trash thrown away in the scrub, one indicator still winking steadily. His office remained on quick dial, a throwback to the old days, but as I tilted my aching neck against the headrest my reflection came up too clearly in the rear vision mirror.

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