Monday morning dawned wet cold and miserable. Great claps of thunder reverberated through the house. Forked lightning cracked and tore the sky in half. But weather or no weather, school was still on.
Jill said a silent prayer to Thor the thunder God, asking him to desist, at least while she was out. She didn’t fancy starting the day wet, for her or the kids.
Breakfast over, school bags packed and in the car, squash racket thrown in the luggage compartment…they were ready.
‘Oh my god we are never going to make it. This thing doesn’t like good weather, let alone Armageddon,’ her daughter bemoaned. ‘We’ll be wet as shags before we get to class. Really Mum can’t we stay home?’
‘Really Megan, ah no, and this thing hasn’t missed a beat for days.’
‘Mum for goodness sake, it’s an antique and it’s pink. Do you have any idea the crap I’ll get at school?’
‘It’s a classic and it’s purple. Your friends will be jealous. Besides, they aren’t going to be looking at you in this weather.’
‘Yea that’s it Mum, jealous…jealous of what I don’t know.’ Her son chimed in.
‘I’m not interested in your whingeing. In the car both of you. I have a squash game at 9.30.’
She said a prayer to Saint Christopher and reversed from the garage.
Rain fell like stones. The windscreen wipers were useless. Thunder rumbled and boomed. It rattled the doors and the heads of its occupants.
She made it to the intersection. The lights turned green. She put her foot down. A cough, a splutter, the car rolled to a standstill.
A collective sign came from the back seat.
She pumped the accelerator, turned the ignition switch…please God, please. The motor came to life. Not before a terrible screech was emitted from somewhere.
‘Oh god Mum, the cat’s stuck under the bonnet.’ Both children fell about laughing.
‘Very funny you two.’ But the screech was still there. She let go of the key. The screech stopped. She hated these old style cars with a key. She liked the modern ones…no key…just a button.
She raced through the amber light continuing on her way.
‘This reminds me of the little engine that could, ‘I think I can, I think I can,’ her son chimed in again.
She pulled into the school grounds.
‘If this is Dad’s classic purple Ford Zephyr Mum, why are you driving it? Give it back to him.’ This from her daughter. Was it a statement or a question, she wasn’t sure?
‘Have a nice day.’
‘Love you Mum.’
‘Bye,’ but they were gone, running to the nearest cover.
She knew her daughter was right. She looked at her watch. There was time. She would drive to his work; demand he give back her car. She was the one with the children.
She smiled as she imagined his new girlfriend in her tight dress and stilettos climbing into the clapped out Zephyr.
The picture was priceless.