This is older fiction project that eventually got scrapped due to lack of time, it’s still good though, enjoy!
It was early autumn, and overcast during my first week in America. I had flown in from London just a few days before, and was trying to secure more permanent living arrangements from my hotel room. The trading firm I worked for had promoted me from their London office to their head quarters in Chicago IL, and so far, I was making great progress in adjusting to my surroundings. Driving was still to hazardous to attempt alone, my first attempt had nearly claimed the small airport rental I was using, and convinced me that I needed a driver for a few days or at least someone to ride with me and keep me from reverting back into my London driving habits. This particular day, I was to accomplish two things: first, walk across the hotel parking lot and wait for my “Designated Driver” at the “Starbucks” coffee house. Second, he and I were to drive to the apartment complex, the one I had just finished speaking to the manager on the telephone. As I walked the twenty yards or so through the lot I wondered what sort of person I would be meeting in a few short minutes. No amount of imagination would have been sufficient enough to conjure up the character I was about to meet. I entered the coffee house, and the pleasant aroma of freshly brewing coffee filled my senses. I was one of the few Londoners who rather enjoyed coffee, a departure from the normal British stereotype as depicted in America. I purchased a cup; a ‘Mocha Latté’, and found an unoccupied seat near the front. A few minutes later, after I had consumed about half of my drink, a subtle vibration from my front pants pocket alerted me to an incoming message on my new “Smart Phone”. It was succinct enough, “I’m here. I’m in the brown ford pickup.” I looked up from my seat next to the entrance, and lo and behold, there was an oldish, brown truck with a single occupant in the passenger side. ‘Driver’s side, you loon.’ I chided myself mentally.
I walked over to the running vehicle and knocked on the real passenger’s side window. A noise that I could only think resembled a dull thud told me the door was now unlocked. I opened the door and was immediately blasted by the sounds of some 1980’s hard rock song. The Shock on my face must have been visible, because he grimaced apologetically, and muttered a quick, “Sorry!” He quickly turned toward the radio and adjusted the volume back down to human tolerances. That quick motion allowed me to get a good view of his profile, which was as follows: A strong jaw-line lightly covered with a few days worth of stubble, thick dark brown hair and eyebrows. He turned to face me again and examined me with a simple onceover with his Greenish gray-hazel eyes. I already knew what he was seeing, a man in his early to mind twenties five foot eight with a true runner’s build, two fiery green eyes that peaked out from underneath longish light brown hair, all in a unimposing package weighing about 130 pounds. He Looked me in the eye and said, “I take it your my charge for a time,” I gave a half smile and extended my hand,” Gregory William Hansen, at our service.” He arched an eyebrow and stuck out his lower lip, and took my and shook it, “Hmm, Nathaniel Dominic Blake, at yours. But please call me Nate. Where are we headed?” I told him the name and the address of the apartment complex, “Ok,” he replied,” That’s only, like, five miles from here. Hop in, Greg.” He furrowed his brow slightly, “May I call you Greg?” he asked, I replied in the affirmative. “Alright,” he turned attention to getting out of the parking lot, which required very little on his part. “Ok, two things you need to know about me. One, I’m only slightly insane. I don’t know whether that comes from the time last year I tried to have both good grades and a good social life, or from when I was dropped on my head as a newborn, either way I pretty much only retain about 25% percent of my sanity. Number two, I haven’t had my daily coffee regimen yet, so I might just doze off at the wheel.” It took a full second for me to realize that he was “Pulling my leg”, as the Americanism says, so I decided to play along. “Coffee, you can actually stomach that grimy filth?” He put on a look of mock insult, and pantomimed holding a tea cup and saucer, “Well; You English have your tea and crumpets,” he countered with a passable oxford accent, while taking a sip from the cup. He then surprised me by switching accents to a thick southern drawl, “While us ‘Mericans have our cauffee n’ donuts.” We both laughed heartily at our childish mock argument. While he pulled to the exit point, and sopped at the stop sign. After looking both ways and seeing there was no one coming, Nate pushed against the steering wheel while flexing his hands. He took in a deep breath, and let it out again, and said almost to himself, “Alright, let’s do this,” He gripped the wheel, made a final traffic check, titled his head back and yelled at the top of his lungs, ”LEROOOOOOOY,” the floored the gas pedal while snapping his head back to focus of the road, ”JEEEEEEEEENKINNNNNNNNNNSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!”
It was in that instant, that I had a sinking feeling , yet not the unpleasant sort, that this Nate fellow and I would get along rather well.
Perhaps a little too well