The overtaking lane

Trees whip past in walls of blur. Leslie turns up the CD.

Last time she travelled this road she was hitching. There was no rush. She stopped in a town near the border. Got a job picking fruit. That’s where she met Jason.

The towns all get bypassed now. This new highway’s made for speed.

A slow moving truck looms as she flies over a rise. Pretty soon she’s on the brakes, stuck behind half a house on a prime mover. She changes down. Settles back, tapping the wheel—half to the music and half in frustration. The trees no longer blur. They wave to her passing. She wants nothing more than to be back in overdrive on a clear road.

She remembers Jason’s skin smooth and sunbrown. The strength of his embrace, solid as if he meant her to understand him by it. He made no small talk. When he unbuttoned her, he uncovered feelings in her that had been dormant in the arms of every other boy.

Round a bend the road opens up. The lane divides. Leslie plants her foot, takes the truck in a moment. She’ll be in Melbourne by sundown. Her thoughts turn from past love to tomorrow’s presentation. The trees blur again around her.


2011—Richard Holt / small stories about love (