I’d been driving up from the valley three or four times a week for three years. For three years Jim had been promising he’d get his licence. One night, after a long day at the office, I put my foot down. I told him either he let me teach him to drive or we were through.

A couple of months later I was questioning my judgement. His progress was painfully slow. We’d bunny-hop a few metres then stall. He’d get angry and tell me it didn’t make sense. We’d calm down and try it again. And again.

It took another nine months before he was ready to face his test. Or so he thought. I was actually angry when he scraped a pass. And he was annoyingly victorious. He insisted on driving home. But he took a wrong turn onto a freeway exit and finished with me screaming at him while cars whizzed passed, horns blaring.

‘That’s it,’ he said. ‘I tried. You drive.’

I climbed over him and backed all the way up the ramp.

The oncoming traffic wasn’t the only thing I needed to extract myself from. I looked at Jim and he was shaking all over. When I patted his leg to comfort him I felt more like his nurse than his lover.

2011—Richard Holt / small stories about love (smallstoriesaboutlove.wordpress.com)

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