Roads Of Passage, Part 1

(by Blackbladder, 13 July 2003)


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Roads Of Passage
by Blackbladder
Part 1

"Have a great time, Rose!!" Mark grumbled sarcastically, walking towards his
car in fury.  Rose puts her friends before me all the time, He thought.

"Hey Mark, don't leave things like this?"  Rose pleaded, following her
boyfriend like a moth to a light.

Rose tugged his arm as he swung open the door to his racing car.  Mark stared
momentarily into her calming eyes....one of the main assets which attracted
him to Rose.  Taking a deep breath, Mark's tone was more subtle as he hugged
her.

"This weekend is really important for me.......it is not everyday you get a
chance to impress major F1 managers in this goddamn town.  Surely you can put
your friends off just for this weekend, right?  I really need you in my
corner."  Mark explained, hoping to convince Rose to abort her plans.  His
girlfriend broke their eye contact and switched her focus to the concrete -
not a good sign, Mark thought.

"Listen Mark, I arranged this with Maxine weeks ago.  Daisy and Pandora are
also coming.  It has taken weeks for Pandora's parents to come around and let
her go.  Even though I want to be with you, I would be letting everyone else
down..."

"Hey Bud, you got a cig?" Mark asked a local technician, who was working on
his tires.  The technician simply looked up and shook his head as a response.  

Rose frowned at Mark's request as he continued to gown up with his safety
equipment.  Mark had reluctantly agreed to give up smoking for Rose, in order
to bring themselves closer.  It seemed, though, that this effort in
strengthening their relationship would fold as Mark was going through a
stressful period in his life.  Intentionally avoiding the smoking situation,
she began walking towards her small white Ford in defeat of trying to reason
with him.  Things will be better after this weekend!, Rose thought.  As she
opened the door of her white Ford Escort, she turned to watch Mark psyche
himself up for this practice session on the circuit.  

"Good luck Mark.......See you on Monday.........and take care!"  Rose
shouted, wondering whether her half-hearted effort at appearing enthusiastic
about racing would compensate.

Mark sat in his car, his eyes staring openly at Rose, before shifting his
visor down and grinding the engine to life.  Rose had to keep pushing her
blonde hair out of her eyes with the cool breeze whistling down her back.
Within seconds, his car motored onto the driving circuit to join the swarm of
cars speeding around.  The carbon smoke from their engines creating a light
cloud over the Racing Club...

"What time is it, Pandora?" Maxine asked, impatiently pursing her lips,
releasing the smoke into the early evening air.

"Just turned two."  Pandora replied, glancing admirably at her new watch,
hugging her wrist.

The two girls leaned effortlessly against the shop window of Maxine's
employer.  The sun was hiding behind the grey, pillow-like clouds, only a few
of its rays penetrating through.  Pandora continued to monitor her watch
intensively as Maxine chain-smoked her way through this period of waiting.
Rose was supposed to be here five minutes ago, Maxine thought. 


Taking a final deep puff from her cigarette, Maxine slowly dropped the butt
to the ground, and watched as the smoke rose from the wafting, smouldering
butt.  Then with her heel, she applied pressure onto the discarded butt,
finally ending the life of the satisfying cylinder.  

"Here is some gum, Max." Pandora stated with sarcasm, handing her friend a
piece of chewing gum.  It did not take morse code to work out the real
incentive behind the offer of gum.  With Rose's well-documented disgust of
smoking,  Pandora was offering Maxine an opportunity to eradicate the
incriminating smell.  Maxine reluctantly removed the packaging and began
chewing on the gum, wanting to avoid another lecture from Rose.

The two girls were suddenly startled by the sound of a car horn as a White
Ford Escort roared and halted outside the Groceries store.  Armed with a
bulging plastic bag of groceries, Maxine sat in the back seat while Pandora
shared the front with the driver, Rose. 


"How you doing, Daisy?"  Maxine smiled, handing her black-haired back-seat
companion the groceries bag.  

"I am great, Max.....You cleared this with your boss?" Daisy responded,
whilst cleaning her glasses.

"Yeh, I got Jon around my little pinky!"  Maxine responded brightly.

"So what direction, Maxine?  This is your trip after all..."  Rose asked
plainly.

Overlooking the tension in Rose's face, Maxine signified to begin their day
trip by following the main road straight out of Everett.     


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