[Mark] Racing Hearts (Chapter 8)
I speed out of the garage, and now my main goal is to reach the highest speed this Bugatti can reach. I just want to go fast, fast enough that I won’t have time to think, or hear what Tuna has to say about me. So fast I won’t even be able to see in front of me. I use my handbrake in the first corner. It’s what I do best. I go as fast as I can and I know how to drift in order to loose less velocity as possible. I have this in my blood, it’s basically all I know how to do.
Right before the second corner, a voice rings inside my car.
“You’re drunk!” Tuna says through the speakers. I almost mess up my drift, but a quick turn of the wheel to the right saves me from hitting the railing. I still hear him. I’m not going fast enough.
“Sivan, stop the car!” He orders. I reach out to turn the speakers off, but a third corner comes up and I have to keep my hand on the handbrake.
“You’re going to kill yourself, what are you doing?!“ He asks. I don’t know what I am doing! All I know is that my heart is about to burst and it hurts and I’m angry, at him, at myself. And I miss my fiancé and I went on a date without even knowing it. And I’m realizing that after ten years I haven’t moved on at all, because I can’t race anymore. It’s not the same without him and I’ve been pretending all this time.
“It’s useless.” I say to him. “Without him, it’s useless to even try.”
“You want to join him, is that what you want?” Tuna asks me. Tears blur my vision, but I can see enough to distinguish the road.
“That’s what you call moving on?” He challenges.
“Shut the fuck up!” I yell. “Maybe I do’t want to move on!”
“And I knew it!” He snaps. Fuck you!
“You go around punching me and acting like you’re the toughest person on earth, but you can’t even get your life together after ten fucking years!” He spits. I need to turn that fucking thing off, but I can barely see the road, and can’t bother looking for the button. I can’t let him get inside my head anymore.
“Maybe if I didn’t have you on my back all day telling me how much of fucking loser I am-”
“So you want to make me think you’re going to commit suicide because of me?” He asks. Because of him?! Like he is that important?!
Zane is worth dying. My fiancé is worth it. I would die for Zane. Not for this pretentious asshole.
“No!” I shout.
“Then stop the fucking car!”
I hit the brakes with both of my feet and push as hard as I can, without realizing I was already at a turning point. I swing the steering wheel to the left then to the right, and my car wobbles for a moment before coming to a halt with a loud tire screeching noise.
I wipe my eyes, clearing my vision. I’m still alive. But I can’t feel my legs. I’m out of breath. What was I thinking?
If I hadn’t hit the brakes I wouldn’t have had time to realize I needed to turn. I almost died. Again.
Why did I do that?
I unbuckle my belt, feeling a weight on my chest, as if I was suffocating, as if the air in the car was too thick. I stumble out of the car, my legs wobbly. I fall to my knees, hyperventilating to compensate for the feeling of suffocation.
I lift my head and see Tuna running to me. I get up on my feet, a wave of heat washing over my entire body. When he reaches my level, I swing at him with my right hook. He sees me coming and doges my punch, so I kick him with all of my strength and he falls over.
“Argh!” He shouts as he falls onto his back. I take the opportunity to straddle him and shower him with with punches.
“You son of a bitch!” I yell at him. He groans and shield his face with his arms. But I don’t stop though.
“Why?!” I scream. “Why?!”
When I realize I won’t be able to bruise him, I stop. So I can get an answer from him.
“Why do you fucking do everything you fucking can to hurt me?!” I shout. He looks up at me, letting his arms fall down to his sides, and I thought I’d see something in his eyes. Fear, regret, remorse?
Nothing. He’s still as unfazed as he is with me. I burst into tears, my body drained from all the strength it could have. I let my head fall between my hands and sob, until everything else gives up as well and I collapse on top of him.
I think I feel his hand on the back of my head but I’m not sure and all I can do is cry. I’m so pathetic.
When I realize what I’m doing, that I’m straddling this guy and crying in his arms, I move away, getting off of him and landing on my knees on the ground. I hear him shift.
“I’m trying to help you.” He says. I look over my shoulder and see him on his feet, dusting himself off calmly.
“I don’t even know why I did that. Since most of the times we interact you end up punching me.” He mutters so casually, so nonchalantly. He looks at me eventually.
“It’s really not worth it.” He says. I sniffle, too exhausted to react. I don’t want to fight him anymore.
“Come on.” He murmurs, reaches down and grabs my upper arm, pulling me up.
“Let me go.” I grind out, yanking my arm out of his hold. “Let me-“ I stumble back, almost falling on my ass but he catches me in time.
“You idiot.” He mutters, before dragging me away. He takes me back inside the school, to the locker room.
“Go ahead and freshen up while I put your car back inside.” He orders once we’re inside, and he leaves before I can insult him.
I do just that. Not because he told me to but because it’s what I need.
I splash cold water onto my face, hoping it’ll wake me up a little bit. But it doesn’t work. It does make my skin tight and dry but other than that, I still feel like shit.
I sit on a bench and sigh. What has gotten into me?
I hear footsteps, and then Tuna walks in. He opens his locker and unzips his racing suit.
"I’m taking you home.” He declares, taking it off. I look away from him, not feeling like saying no. I don’t want him to give me a ride, but I can’t drive.
When he’s done I grab my bag in my locker and follow him outside to his Mercedes. Without a word, I get in and he drives off. The ride is silent for the most part.
“You googled me.” I declare, not bothering to look at him.
“I didn’t.” He retorts. There’s a long pause. I don’t believe him but I’m not going to start bickering with him, my head is starting to pound really hard.
“I heard you talking to that guy the other day. Figured you had lost someone.” He adds after a moment. He saw me talking with Nathan? At the back of the bar where no one goes? He followed me.
“Then I noticed the engagement ring.” He says. How come no one notices it? It is small, yes. It’s not a ring with a huge rock, or anything to fancy, just a silver band with four diamonds encrusted in it. Not that my fiancé was poor, but it was his grandma’s and it was way more meaningful to me. It’s small but It’s here. Instinctively, I fidget with it, twisting it between my fingers.
“I know nothing more.” He says. Well, good for him. I still don’t know a thing about him, and I don’t care.
We pass in front of a familiar mall, and suddenly I realize something.
“How do you know where to go?” I ask, finally turning my head to look at him, my eyebrows scrunched together. Tuna’s eyes widen a bit, and then he frowns? I didn’t even give him my address, he just drove away and it’s the route I take to go home every day.
“I-I don’t.” He says, he I can’t believe he’s even trying that.
“So you’ve been driving around aimlessly for ten minutes, surprisingly taking the same route I use every day?” I challenge, arching a brow. His hand squeezes the steering wheel, but he says nothing.
“How do you know my address?” I repeat, starting to get really pissed off. I could get scared right now, open the door at the first red light and run away, but he hasn’t been giving off that kind of obsessive stalker vide. It doesn’t make this less strange though.
“You’ve been stalking me?” I gasp. That’s what makes him react.
“Stalking you?! I fucking hate you!” He utters, offended.
“Then why do you where I live?!” I shout back.
“Because I took you home yesterday!” He cries. The fuck?!
“What?” I breathe. “No, Lewis took me home.”
“No, I did. When you assumed it was him, he jumped on the occasion.” He sighs, running a tired hand across his face. He jumped on the occasion? Why? Why did he pretend that? And why did Tuna take me home?
“But why?” I ask him.
“Because he likes you.” He mutters. Oh yeah, right. Fuck.
“Why did you take me home? I don’t remember even talking to you.” I say.
“We did talk when I tried to separate you. He left to grab drinks and you passed out.” He explains. Oh, I bet we just insulted each other until I passed out. “He took forever to come back so I took your purse, ordered an Uber for your friend and took you home.”
I can’t believe he did that for me. I mean, I’m sure he didn’t have a choice because no decent person would leave a drunk woman like that, especially a celebrity. But now that I think about it, he could have called an Uber for the both of us. Why did he take me home? And that still doesn’t answer my questions.
“How did you find my address?” I ask him for the hundredth time.
“Went through your bag.” He grumbles. Well, that’s rude, and it doesn’t surprise me at all. I decide not to continue the conversation, mostly because I can’t believe my freaking ears and I’m speechless. This is insane. This guy that I hate with my guts has been more present in my life than Nathan.
What the fuck?
I have to make sure this never happens again. I really want the ground to suck me in and never have to face myself again, or remember everything that happened tonight.
I’m so anxious at the idea of dealing with that tomorrow. I’m so embarrassed, so depressed, so angry and so hurt. I think I should take a day off.
Xav will never let me. What reason will I give anyway? That I got drunk and threw a fit and Tuna rescued me and confessed it wasn’t the first time? Hell no.
What’s sure is that I am never ever speaking to him again. At this point, I don’t even want revenge anymore, I just want to forget about tonight, and I don’t want him to invite himself in my private life.
Oh and Lewis Hamilton, triple world champion, likes me. And he’s here for a few weeks. Hell, how am I supposed to face him as well? Ugh. I think I should go back to Telaviv. My life is a fucking mess. My head hurts. I want to die.
I open my heavy eyes, finding myself in Tuna’s unmoving car, in front of my house. I turn my head to look at him, and he’s look straight ahead of him, hands on the steering wheel, eyes hard and impassive.
“Get out.” He orders. If I wasn’t that drunk and worn out, I would assault hm, again. Rolling my eyes, I collect my bag and get ready to get out when he speaks again.
“Sivan.” He calls, and I look over my shoulder in his direction.
“Last time I have to do this for you.” He declares. For me?! I didn’t ask for anything! And he doesn’t even help me whatsoever. Everything that happened was because of him.
I wake up two hours late with a headache and shame hanging on my shoulders. I debate for several minutes in my bed to know if I should go to the track. I come to the conclusion that yes, I should, because I have to practice, but the real question is can I? Do I have the strength to do that?
I give myself the illusion that I can. I mean, Tuna will probably ignore me and I’ll do the same.
So I take a taxi there, and on my way to the school, I decide that today I have to figure my life out. I’ll talk to Kam and I’ll figure it out. I’ll prove him wrong. I’ll move on. My own way.
When I get to the school, I go straight up to Kameron’s office.
“Hey, Kam I need-“ I say, barging in. Inside, I find Kam, Xav and Tuan in the middle of a conversation. Kam is behind his desk and Xav and Tuna were giving me their backs until I walked in.
“Okaaaay.” I say slowly. This is the kind of scene in movies where they’ve been talking about me and even after seeing their guilty faces as I interrupt them I still have no idea what they’re saying.
“That looks really awkward.” I observe, closing the door behind me. They all glance at each other.
“We were talking about you.” Kameron says to me. No shit.
“Yeah, I guessed that.” I snap back. They look at each other again, as if they were debating between them to know who was going to speak first. When Tuna crosses his arms over his chest and then reaches back to scratch the back of his neck, Xav sighs.
“I won’t coach you anymore.” He says to me.
“What?” I frown.
“And I won’t let you race here again.” Kameron adds. The fuck? My jaw drops. Where is this coming from? Are they serious?
“You’re still welcome here, but no one will pull out your car for you. I’m keeping the keys.” He says, waving the golden keyring briefly. My mouth stays open, and my eyes narrow a bit. If this is a joke, I would be so happy, but I would probably kill them as well.
“Is this serious?” I ask them, suspicious. Xav briefly glances at Tuna.
“Mark told us what happened yesterday.” He explains. That’s when I understand. That’s when I know they’re really serious. My whole face falls, and I move my gaze from Xav to Tuan, dumbfounded.
“You are not ready to race again.” Xav says, but my eyes are still fixated on the other racer. He looks at me and holds my gaze, scratching his chin and propping his elbow on his arm. He’s expressionless.
“I should have seen it. I was reluctant to let you race but I had missed you and I wanted you to come back.” Xav continues. I look back and forth between all of them. Do they have a single idea what they are doing to me?
“You’re aware that racing is the only thing that I have in my life, right?” I ask them, needing to be sure they’re actually knowingly breaking my heart.
“Sivan-“ Kameron says, pleading.
“I’m just asking!” I cut him off. I’m not going to convince them that I can race because when alcohol is involved, it would be like talking to a wall. I shouldn’t even have to convince them. Then know me and they know I was born to race and they know that outside that I can’t do anything.
“Do you realize that I have no other job, no friends, no boyfriend, no parents, no family, no hobby, no plan B?” I say, my voice cracking halfway through. That’s when they all lower their eyes, except for Tuan. He has no remorse whatsoever, watching me when I have tears in my eyes.
“Do you realize that you’re taking away the only thing that gave my life a little bit of sense?” I go on. And I’m crying but my tone is even. No one replies. Xav and Kam are still not looking at me.
“Yes or no?” I urge.
“Yes or no?!” I repeat. Xav looks up at me, almost shameful.
“Do you know that or not?” I ask him directly.
“Yes.” He whispers. “And that’s why it’s not easy for us either.”
“You can always come back when you’re really ready.” Kameron says quietly.
“When I’m ready?!” I utter. “You guys seem to be the ones who decide wether I’m ready or not.” There is no way I can convince them I’m ready because no one believes I’ll ever move on!
They lower their eyes again. They disgust me. I trusted them, I thought they’d know me better. But no. Another guy comes in and they turn their backs on me. He manipulated them, he-
“That was what you wanted.” I breathe, realization hitting me. I look back at Tuna who’s staring at me, unfazed and impassive. How did I not see that coming from him?
“You wanted the school back, you wanted the spotlight.” I murmur, my voice surprisingly calm. When he saw me yesterday, he thought it was the right occasion. He knew what he was doing. He pushed me until I fucked up and told Xav and Kam about it.
“You wanted Reno, you didn’t want competition. Because you’re scared of me.” I breathe. And I realize that he’s a much, much worse person than I thought. He’s not mean, or just arrogant, he’s evil. He’s manipulative. He’s ready to ruin people’s life to make his easier.
“That’s why you pushed me yesterday. You knew what you were doing.” I grind out. How can one have such a dark soul? How can anyone be so willingly evil?
“That was what you wanted since the beginning. And you got it.” I say. He won.
I’ve tried so many times to get back at him and it never worked, because he’s way more evil than I am. I didn’t have a chance with him. He took everything from me in less that two weeks.
All I can do now is dye my hair back to black and go back to Telaviv.