Rachel maneuvered her Taurus off the highway while cars continued to rush by. You’d think it was the Autobahn the way people zipped through the stretch of highway. She turned right off the ramp and left at the first light. Construction signs flashed ahead and traffic was beginning to back up. Whe cranked her wheel to the right on to Maple instead of driving all the way down to Fairmont. She could take it a mile or two then take a connecting street over to Fairmont. The staccato ping of her cell phone’s ring tone pulled her eyes from the road for a moment. She reached down for her earpiece. Shannon Cell was on her phone display along with a picture of Shannon’s car.
“Hey former best friend.”
“Ha-Ha. You at your mom’s place yet?”
“No, you on your hot date yet?”
“I’ll bet.” Rachel slowed down and scanned the signs. She didn’t remember Fairmont being this far down.
“Have you seen…” Rachel’s car lunged forward and her phone flew off the seat ripping the cord out.
“Oh, no.” Rachel looked in the rearview mirror at the shocked driver behind her then groped around on the floor until her fingers wrapped around her phone. She opened it. “You still there Shannon?”
“Yeah, I’m here. What happened?”
“I think someone just hit me.” Rachel eased her car off to the right. The curb was almost completely blocked with cars so she double parked. “I’ll call you back.”
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. I’ll call you later. Bye.” She closed the phone and opened the door. A young man jumped out of his pick-up and nearly ran to her.
“Are you alright?”
“I’m fine.” She walked to the back of her car and rubbed the scuff above the wheel well.
“I got your tail light too.” His voice was young, a bit high pitched for a man his age. She walked around to the back. A four inch long section was broken out of the tail light. Enough damage to be annoying, and less than her deductible.
“It doesn’t look like there’s too much damage. Let’s exchange information.” She walked quickly back to the car and pulled out the small black wallet that held all of her information in the glove compartment. “This should be all the information you need.” She scribbled on the notebook page without looking up. “And here is my card with my phone number.” She handed him the card.
“Could I use a piece of your paper, uh” He looked down at her card. “Rachel?”
She tore off a sheet of paper and gave it to him. “What’s your name?”
“Jeremy Wright.” He leaned on the hood of his black pick-up truck and wrote his information. “Sorry again. I was changing lanes and not paying attention to what I was doing. Here’s my information.” He gave her the piece of paper. “If you don’t mind I’d like to pay for this myself without putting it through insurance.”
“Why?” A request like that came from people who were shady and not going to pay for the repair. That was Rachel’s experience.
He pursed his lips as if holding back a smile. “And my card.” He gave her his business card. She scanned it and laughed.
“You’re an insurance agent?”
“Well, I’m not actually an agent. I work for the company’s public relations department.”
“I must say I am very impressed with you as a representative of the agency.” She leaned back against her car and eyed him a moment. What was she doing? Her mom already had her prince charming waiting with a house. She straightened back up and smoothed down her clothes. “If you won’t mind paying all the repairs, and for a loaner if I need it, I won’t reveal your secret.”
“Of course.” He looked down at her card again. “You don’t live in Woodhaven?”
“No, I’m visiting my parents.” She rubbed the dent. It should be an easy repair. “I should thank you for making me a little late.”
“My parents are a little-.” She searched for the right words. “Eager to get me back in the neighborhood…preferably with a husband for me and grandchildren for them.”
“Okay, welcome to the neighborhood.”
“I wouldn’t go that far yet.” She walked to her driver side door and put her hand on the handle. The traffic had thinned down considerably.
“Call me as soon as you get the bill.” He said, waved and walked to his truck.
You are reading A Face in the Shadow by Tiffany Colter.
Tiffany is a writer, speaker and writing career coach. She is a frequent contributor to print and online publications in addition to her regular marketing blog at www.WritingCareerCoach.com
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This story is copyright Tiffany Colter. 2007. It may not be copied, distributed, sold or included in any larger work without the expressed written permission of Tiffany Colter.
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