I sat behind the wheel, stitched with real leather. I ran my fingers over the smooth wood dashboard. The engine purred. I was behind the wheel of an Alfa Romeo. Me. And I wanted that car, if only for a week. It was rather like destiny.
“What about your parents?” Frances broke the spell.
“What about them?” I said, baffled.
“Where are they going to sit?”
“In the back. With Kate. The leather – did you smell the leather?”
Vroom. Vroom. I revved the motor just a little. The spell was not entirely broken.
“There’s not enough room. Where are we going to put their luggage?” Frances asked, slowly.
“I don’t care! They can put their suitcases on their laps. I love this car—”
I was in a giddy fog, quite like Mister Toad, totally in thrall to the hum of a hot roadster. This was a performance car, not meant to be in the least bit practical! The sleek body tapered elegantly at the rear, ensuring the two passengers in the back a cramped fit – sacrificial victims of style and speed.
“Do you want to go for a quick spin? You have a few minutes.” The lovely lady at the car rental place, she understood.
When I returned from a lap of honor around the car park, Frances and Kate were waiting next to a station wagon, a “shooting brake” my new friend called it, built like a tank. And built with a tape deck.
“We could have made the Alfa work, you know.”