Tony finds calm amid the storm
I got back in the car and started to drive aimlessly. I was just driving for the sake of it, and soon I found myself on a unfamiliar road way out in the countryside.
It was late, after midnight, and I was pretty sure no one would be around on these country roads. I started to pick up speed, the tires squealing as I took the bends. I glanced at the speedometer which was creeping up and up and soon began to hit 100 mph. I drove between the hedgerows and the trees frantically, gripping the wheel and changing gears like an automaton. I knew that one wrong move and I’d end up in a ditch, or splattered against a tree, but that knowledge seemed to calm me.
I stopped and found that I was panting hard and soaked in sweat. I had no idea why I had acted so crazily, but at the same time, it felt like the sanest thing I’d done for months. Earlier I had been an emotional wreck, but now I was calm and feeling in control of my destiny.
I turned back towards the coast and drove at a reasonable pace to the holiday cottage. I realized that I didn’t need Ruby, or Betty or Maggie. OK, a woman to bed would be nice every so often, but I could live without a permanent “someone”. If Malcolm didn’t want me to work on the cottage anymore, that would be OK too. I was resourceful and I’d get along fine. I didn’t know just how yet, but suddenly I was totally sure that I’d live through this.
Back at the cottage I found the leather jacket folded neatly on the kitchen counter, and in the inside pocket an envelope with a message from Maggie:
“Tony – here’s some money which I hope will be enough for a new leather jacket, you probably need one after the use we made of this one!”
I held the jacket to my face and smelt Maggie’s warm, sensual fragrance for the last time. The next day I bought myself a brand new Jag Owners jacket, and wore it almost daily for many years. It’s old now, with the leather cracked and patched in places, but it still hangs in my wardrobe, and I smile every time I see it.