Craning her neck over her shoulder she flipped the indicator switch and pulled left onto the autobahn. Although she never felt completely at ease doing it on the wrong side of the road, it seemed easier in the dark than in daylight to judge the speed of the other cars, and the lorries. Two cars moved across to the middle lane and swished by, the roads were wet with spray although it didn't seem like it was actually raining at the moment. Foot down on the accelerator, listening to the automatic gearbox change up as she increased the pace to match the traffic.
The radio was tuned to an English station, the music was not to her taste, dance music, but she had forgotten to put the CD case in the car. In any case, her mind was definately not on the music but on the meeting to come. She picked up the phone from the passenger seat and typed a message, "Just leaving airport be bout 50mins will call when leave m'way". Turned the radio down low so that she would hear the sound of an incoming message and dropped the phone back onto the passenger seat.
Focus on the road ahead, the carriageway fully lit, no need for full beam here at night. A gentle sine wave of streetlamps as the road dips and then picks up again to crest the hill. Nothing behind her at the moment, coming up fast behind a lorry and moving over, the tyre noise changing momentarily as the car crossed the white lines marking the lanes. She listens for the same as she pulls back in, but missed it, or the tyres missed the lines.
It would probably be about 50mins before they met, although she thought the drive might be a bit quicker. On getting dressed this morning she'd planned not to change her clothes, but she knew that the bed was unmade, the last thing she'd done before leaving for the weekend away was strip the sheets off. Would it be tempting fate too much to make the bed before going to meet him? He might decide, on actually seeing her face to face again that they would not get together after all, despite all the flirty chat messages, and the dozens of texts over the weekend, anticipating the night to come. He'd admitted to being a bit nervous too, under the excitement, which she'd found endearing.
The spray has turned to drizzle, she turns the intermittent wipers on. At least when she gets back she hasn't got too far to go to meet him, the bar is a minute from her flat, no risk of getting soaked unless the heavens open. Past the first set of services, she knows she has enough petrol to get back without stopping. The fluorescent lighting disappears behind her, nearly half way now.
The 130kmh signs disappeared, although she was already going the usual 15 kmh faster than she should have been. She pushes the accelerator down some more, how fast did she dare go? How quickly could she get back? She felt the movement rub against the blister on her heel from her new boots as she did so.
She knew she wasn't concentrating fully on the drive, glancing down to see whether a new text had arrived, head full of the texts exchanged over the last few days. Oh for fucks sake, she'd bought condoms for the first time in years, if that wasn't tempting fate nothing was, making the bed was just something that needed doing anyway. Even if she did sleep alone. Of course she was nervous and a bit unsure too, they'd known each other as acquaintances for years, and only over the last few months had started getting to know each other better, the conversation initially joky and often crude, but then falling into flirtation. And over the weekend! Even the fact of the texts themselves, he was thinking about her almost all the time to be sending 50 or 60 texts a day. As for the content... she's wondering what it would be like to kiss him. What if he feels differently when he sees her?
A single ring from the phone and the screen lights up in the dark. "Just gettin 2 tram station :) xxx". It is really going to happen, he wouldn't text that if he was going to back out now. Too late for her to back out now too though. The news headlines came on the radio, 9pm already. She imagines the autobahn is a river, she's flowing along with the current, moving to the left or the right to avoid other fish, but flowing, being pushed along towards the destination, towards the rest of the evening. It is smooth, effortless, she feels in her element.
Nearly at her turnoff, tucking back in the inside lane as soon as she sees the sign for the exit. Much earlier than she normally would, crawling up behind the dirty white back of a Polish lorry, swinging right with relief when the junction appears and the lorry goes straight on. Ok, Ok, now she has to make the promised call. As soon as she joins the next road, after the loop that connects them, car and body angling to the right as she drives around it. He's just got to the station near the pub, he's early too. His voice a surprise after all the texts and IM chat, she realises how little she's actually spoken to him.
Seconds later she can hardly remember what was said, just that he is there. A voice inside her, listing the things to be done in the few minutes she's back at the flat, an insistent metronome. And a blur, getting to the flat, hardly remembering the garage and hauling the weekend's bags out of the car. Making the bed in a rush, no need for hospital corners, just throwing the duvet and pillows into the covers, a brief plumping. Takes the condoms from the bag. Puts them on the bookshelf in the bedroom. Keys, money, put them in the coat pockets and she's back out of the house walking to the pub. Not thinking. She walks into the pub, scanning the room for him. Will he look different because they plan to be more than friends?
She sees him at a table, and is surprised to see him wearing yellow. He has a bottle of white wine and two glasses in front of him. She feels a smile breaking across her face, and a tension she wasn't fully aware of dissolving. Relief, she didn't realise she was worried that she might have felt differently when she saw him. She corrects herself, it's more that she had been anticipating not wanting to "go through with it" because as he notices her and smiles back she does feel differently.