Something is wrong, and I know it. He’s been acting weird, and so has she. So I’ve done something about it. I’ve hired a private investigator. I found him online. His name is Jonathan, but that’s not really important.
I’m sitting with him in a coffee shop as we speak. He says he’s got something for me. He opens his bag and takes out a Manila folder. It has a big, thick stack of papers inside of it, all held together with one of those gigantic binder clips.
I open it up. There are photos, hotel receipts, transcripts of phone conversations, emails, text messages – the works.
It looks like I have no choice; when you find out that your husband is having an affair with your best friend, you don’t think, you just act.
With regards to my husband, he’ll get his later. But first, I’m going to deal with her.
When I arrive at the car rental place, I see all of the cars parked on the forecourt outside the entrance to the main building. There are smaller economy cars, like Vauxhall Corsas and Toyota Ay gos; larger compact cars like Ford Focuses; small SUVs, like Ford Kugas; sports cars and luxury cars, like Audis and BMWs; and they even have vans – everything from small to extra-large. But that’s not what I’m after; I want something big and powerful – like a four-by-four. That’ll do the trick.
As I look around at all the cars, a short, balding man with grey hair approaches me. I don’t think he’s that old – maybe forty or forty-one. “Hi, there,” he says to me. “How can I help you today?”
I see that he’s wearing a name badge that says: PETE. He’s the one. “Hello,” I say. “I’m looking to hire a car.”
“Well,” he says, “then you’ve come to the right place. What sort of car are you
looking for today?”
“Something big,” I say. “And powerful. Like a Range Rover.”
“Oh,” he says. “Are you planning on doing a bit of off-roading?” “Yes,” I say. “Something like that.”
“All right, then,” he says to me. “Why don’t you come inside, and I’ll see what I can
do for you.”
I follow him inside.
“Have a seat,” he says. Then he says, “Can I get you anything to drink? Tea, coffee, water, milk?”
“No, thanks,” I say.
“How about a raisin and oatmeal cookie?” he says. “Baked fresh this morning.” “No,
thank you,” I say.
I don’t need a cookie – I need a car.
“Okay,” he says. “Just let me know if you change your mind.” Then he starts typing
something into his computer. “Hmm...” he says. “Is there a problem?” I say.
“Yes,” he says. “Unfortunately, we don’t have any Range Rovers available for hire
“Oh,” I say.
“But not to worry,” he says. “We have the next best thing. A Volvo XC-60.” “I really
wanted a four-by-four,” I say to him.
“It’s still an off-road vehicle with four-wheel drive,” he says. “It’s just not quite as big as a Range Rover.” He turns his computer screen towards me so that I can see a picture of the car. It looks fairly big, but not as big as a Range Rover. “Is it powerful, though?” I say. “Power is very important to me.”
“Oh, yes,” he says. “It’s quite a car. It’ll do nought to sixty in eight-point one
seconds, and it has a top speed of one hundred and thirty miles per hour.” “That sounds about right,” I say.
“Super,” he says. “And would you like it in manual or automatic?” “Manual,” I say.
I want full control of the car.
“No problem,” he says. He types something else into his computer. Then he says, “Are you planning a trip somewhere?”
I have to think on my feet. “Yes,” I say. “I thought I’d take the kids camping. You
know, just throw everything in the back of the car and go.”
“I know what you mean,” he says. “The missus and I like to go to a little place called Plush Tents. They’ve got everything you need there, and it’s great for families. We love it. We go at least once a year, sometimes twice. I think I have a card around here somewhere.” He opens his desk drawer and fumbles through his things. Then he hands me a card. “Tell them, Pete White sent you. They’ll look after you,” he says.
“Thank you,” I say. I put the card in my pocket. Then I say, “So how much is the car going to cost?”
“That depends on how long you need it for,” he says. “Just the one day,” I say. “That should do it.”
“No worries,” he says to me. “One day’s rental should come to one hundred and
twenty-nine ninety-nine.” “Okay,” I say. “I’ll take it.”
“Great!” he says. “I just need your driving license, your passport, and some proof of address.”
I hand it over. I’ve come prepared.
“Perfect,” he says. “Let me just go and photocopy this. I’ll be back in three
minutes,” he says.
He goes off. I just sit here and wait. Three minutes later, he comes back. He’s
certainly a man of his word.
“All right, then,” he says to me. “Just to recap, you want the Volvo XC-60 with a manual gearbox for one day. Is that correct?” he says.
“Yep,” I say.
“In that case, that’ll be one hundred and twenty-nine ninety-nine, please,” he says
I get out my credit card and pay. It all goes through just fine.
“Great!” he says. “Now let’s get you in that car!”
He walks me out of the building. I get in the car and start it. It is powerful, I’ll give
“All right, then,” he says. “If there’s anything else you need, please don’t hesitate to ask.”
“Okay,” I say. “Thanks for your help.”
“You’re most welcome,” he says. “Enjoy your trip.” “I will,” I say. “I will.”
I pull out of the forecourt. He stands there and watches me go. I give the horn a gentle beep as I drive off.
I get out my phone and dial the number. After a couple of rings, she answers.
“Hello,” she says.
“Hi,” I say. “What are you up to?” “Not much,” she says.
She doesn’t know that I know, but I know all right, the bitch.
“Listen,” I say to her. “I’ve just got a new car. Do you want to go for a ride?” “Really?” she says. “I’d love to!”
Of course you would. You bitch, you skank, you whore!
“All right then,” I say. “I’ll come and pick you up. Wait for me outside.” “Will do,”
“Okay,” I say. “I’ll see you when I get there.” And then I hang up.
Issue 6 & 7
The Stories & Poems
To request your story to be removed from online publication: EMAIL US