Peter slammed on the brakes. The fucker overtaking pulled in too soon and almost clipped the front of his car.
There would have been a time, when he was younger, when he’d have rammed up the rear of such an arsehole, or overtaken him and nearly clip the front of his vehicle.
But something has changed. And he seemed to only notice it now. He pulls his foot off the accelerator. This is not a game. He simply wants to get home to his wife and kids. Alive.
Is this what maturity brings? For a moment, he felt wise. And then he thought of Matilda and the type of boys she’s interested in. And then the thought that she’d be getting into their cars one day.
That if an arsehole like the one in front tried to overtake them, they’d react. They’d be putting his daughter at risk.
At the dinner table, he recounted this story and for the first time in a long time Matilda didn’t roll her eyes. She listened.
She assured him this would never happen and before he could interrupt her; she told him about Dale. When he was fifteen, Dale had had a fight with his parents, took the car keys for the family car. He rolled the car off a bridge and spent the next three months in a coma. He’s now back at school, but with less than half his brain. Everyone knows to not risk things on the road.
Peter asked when did this occur, and Grace responded it happened last year. He knew not to ask why this was the first time he was hearing about it, because he knew the answer. He hadn’t been listening.