Laura dreaded hearing the alarm go off because today was the day she would have to
take her driving test.
She hadn’t told anyone she was sitting it, not even her partner because she knew if she failed she’d never hear the last of it.
Success and Laura rarely went hand in hand. She got by with most things but never really excelled at anything and she was content with that, but learning to drive was another matter. It wasn’t she had something to prove to everyone else, she wanted to succeed for herself, to feel she wasn’t an also ran.
She had taken to driving like a duck to water, and her instructor could not believe she had never been behind the wheel of a car before when on her first lesson, she pulled away from the curb with no kangaroo jumps or grinding gears. The engine purred effortlessly and the hour was soon over.
Everyone knew she was taking lessons, but no-one knew when her test was.
Today was the day.
Her stomach full of butterflies, she had her pre-test lesson and her instructor told her not to worry, to just relax and imagine it was he sitting beside her, not an examiner.
An hour later she was being scrutinized by a short bald man in horn-rimmed glasses who was forever staring at her over the top of them like some four eyed owl.
She smiled nervously and they got in.
Checking seatbelts, adjusting mirrors and her seat (totally unnecessary as it was the driving school’s familiar car she was driving), they set off in silence apart from a rustle of paper or scribble of his scratchy biro.
His voice grated as he gave her instructions, but she knew the route though as warned, she didn’t anticipate where they were going.
The three point turn was a doddle, as was the emergency stop when she nearly catapulted him through the windscreen. Junctions, roundabouts, hill starts, traffic lights, everything flowed, but she tried not to get overconfident because she knew it could all change in a heartbeat.
Reversing round a corner was a little more complicated as it was uphill as well, but the sticker on the rear window was so placed to line up perfectly with the curb and she did it with no problems at all.
The worst bit was the Highway Code questions. Anything that had to be read and learned was always difficult for her and she knew this was what could let her down. She thought about her answers, and was dismayed when he said curtly ‘Thank you Miss Evans.’
Sitting quietly she waited for the bad news as he closed his file and handed her a piece of paper.
‘I’m pleased to say you’ve passed. Congratulations and good day.’
Then he was gone.
Written for Fandango’s Story Starter 22nd February