Left Behind - Taxi ride to the airport (Driver's POV)

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Farnbil
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Left Behind - Taxi ride to the airport (Driver's POV)

Post by Farnbil » Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:15 pm

I stopped outside the gate to Yamaku high school. The night air was stagnant, still and warm, like a womb. I don't like this school. After my fiancé died a month earlier, every place like this reminds me of a hospital. We were vacationing in California. It's a long flight to America, the planning and the airport was a walk over a bed of embers, it'll never leave me. That's where I woke up and found her without a pulse. It was a drug overdose. She had killed herself without a clue to give me or anyone in this world. Like she just went to Cupertino to die. She never said a word to me, how life hurt so much that she would just leave me in it to suffer. I hate her, I don't want to think about her. Damnit, she's laying there dead in every bed I sleep in, staring out the passenger window on every trip I get paid for. I would have been better off just letting her go on that plane by her damned self.

A student, a boy in a sweater vest and a decent jog reached my cab breathing heavily. "Where to?" I asked as he plopped himself on the backseat. He pointed me out to a house in that rich neighborhood I like to drive through and paid the fare. So we were driving off in no time at all, for the sake of my nerves. He looked like he had somewhere to be five minutes ago. I had to talk with him. The way he moved, the desperation behind every blink and every twitch in his eyes. This kid in the sweater vest made me feel uneasy. I was compelled to ask him if he was feeling alright.

"I don't know." he said. "I'm in a big hurry. Is something wrong with me?"

"No no, I'm just worried."

He was staring out the window now. I felt much more comfortable after hearing his voice. As I turned onto the classier part of town, he began to rise up a little off his seat. The lights on these houses were grand, really stifling kind of grand. We arrived at his stop. "Wait here please." he grunted, opening the door. I obliged and stopped the engine to save on gas.

The kid had to buzz in at the front door. Out to meet him was a little girl a whole head below the guy. The walkway to the house was long. I couldn't hear anything they said.

I reclined in my seat. This silence puts me on edge. There was a bunch of silent talk between me and my fiance, lots of things that could have been said, talked over, settled with. That's why I talk all the time.

The kid bolted toward my cab and I immediately started the engine. Second thoughts quickly flooded my mind as he opened the door and dove into the seat. Shoving money into my hand, he barked "I need to be at the airport, fast!"

All I could do was drive. To the airport. I hate airports.

After a solid run over the main street, a red light appeared up ahead. The traffic was unusually busy tonight. Very unusual. There must have been almost ten cars in front of me, pairs of more red lights and turning signals in a straight line forward, downward into a pit.

I took a glance at the kid through the rearview mirror. He looked squarely at that red light. The orange glow of the streetlights flushed us both in stillness. I could see his sweat. I could see his pulse-his damned pulse over his neck. He reclined and scratched his chest. By this point I'm not only worried for myself, but for the kid too. Goodness, about a minute and a half must have gone by before it turned green. The kid closed his eyes and leaned toward the window.

"Are you doing alright in school?" I asked, a feeble, blind gesture. My father would ask me that if he was home. I would always tell him...

"Okay" he sighed. It seemed something just came up in his throat.

I'd say that whenever things were especially slippery, like everything I've ever loved was escaping me, or if I had failed a test or something bad. Right there I had a terrible idea that it was important to get to this kid. The airport was getting close.

"I drive to this airport very often. Lots of people leaving for the summer. Do you have any plans?"

His eyes, everything around him was nearly ready to pounce right out of my taxi. The insanity of starting a conversation stabbed my shoulders. This was truly self destructive.

"Everything comes and goes through there, the airport. Nothing stays where it is. The packages, the people, all those lives, all the time, making choices on what to leave behind."

The kid looked at me funny, like he almost knew. I swallowed hard.

"You don't have to nod if you're following me. Just give me some comfort by not jumping out the taxi while I'm driving. Which gate?"

"I have no clue. Just get me close to the outgoing flights."

The road curved under some bridges. We could hear the jets overhead taking people up and away. "You catching a plane?" I asked.

"I'm catching a girl." the kid said plainly.

I took a glance at his money I put into the cup holder. It wasn't enough to cover even half the trip.

"When I stop, you don't worry about the fare. Just run. Open the door on three for safety's sake."

There was a vicious crowd up on his stop. I gently pressured the brake and counted from one. My cab was still moving when he bolted. It was a burden off of me. I looked to my side. It was empty, clear, just the lights from the airport. I rolled down the window and smelled the air. It smelled foreign and new like vanilla. Now that I think about it, someone must have been wearing a vanilla perfume or spraying it around nearby.

----

I was totally unaware of the fact that Oddball wrote a piece involving taxis before starting this. It's a great story set some time in the future, however I didn't get the impression that this is the same driver here, which gives me some comfort.
One cannot spell "emotion" without "motion"

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griffon8
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Re: Left Behind - Taxi ride to the airport (Driver's POV)

Post by griffon8 » Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:08 pm

Farnbil wrote:I was totally unaware of the fact that Oddball wrote a piece involving taxis before starting this. It's a great story set some time in the future, however I didn't get the impression that this is the same driver here, which gives me some comfort.
Uh, yeah, no worry there. The driver in his story was Hanako.
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Farnbil
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Re: Left Behind - Taxi ride to the airport (Driver's POV)

Post by Farnbil » Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:32 pm

griffon8 wrote:
Farnbil wrote:I was totally unaware of the fact that Oddball wrote a piece involving taxis before starting this. It's a great story set some time in the future, however I didn't get the impression that this is the same driver here, which gives me some comfort.
Uh, yeah, no worry there. The driver in his story was Hanako.
Well color me the village idiot! I totally missed those hin he dropped! Dang, thanks for shedding light on that. That'll teach me to just skim over these works.
One cannot spell "emotion" without "motion"

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Oddball
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Re: Left Behind - Taxi ride to the airport (Driver's POV)

Post by Oddball » Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:42 pm

Yeah, our two stories are really nothing alike.

Your is during Lilly's route with an original character driver, mine is years after Hanako's with her as the driver. Considering I mention her by name, I thought it was fairly obvious. :P

Anyway, this is a good story. I think the driver telling him not to worry about the fare fit nicely into the feel that Lilly's ending had.
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Ascended Flutist
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Re: Left Behind - Taxi ride to the airport (Driver's POV)

Post by Ascended Flutist » Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:06 pm

This story, along with Oddball's gives me a whole new perspective on taxi drivers. I almost want to write one meself. Well done.
And to live in Peace A post Hanako Good End fanfiction. That about sums it up.

Fanfics Thou shalt not regret reading : Bloodline, Doomish's Misha Pseudo-route, Rika's Story, A Pseudo-pseudo Suzu Route.
There are many other apocryphas worth reading in the fanfiction section. Do yourself a favor, dig them up and read them. Reading is good.

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Oddball
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Re: Left Behind - Taxi ride to the airport (Driver's POV)

Post by Oddball » Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:23 pm

Ascended Flutist wrote:This story, along with Oddball's gives me a whole new perspective on taxi drivers. I almost want to write one meself. Well done.
I think we should take that as a compliment, Farnbil.

Come on! *Internet High five!*
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Re: Left Behind - Taxi ride to the airport (Driver's POV)

Post by # 2 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:01 am

Poor driver. Guy needs a hug, badly.

I like his empathy. Most of the drivers I've had were totally apathetic, some seemed to think I was causing them some inconvenience. 'Course, I never call a cab unless it's after midnight and there are no buses running so... guess I never blamed the guys too much. :)

Cool story, man, keep up the good writing.
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