the chauffeur and the bitch

Everybody called me Showfie.

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Copyright © 2013, Michael M Wayman

Driving, that's what I wanted to do. I always wanted to drive. The boys wanted to fly a plane or sail a ship, I wanted to drive.

My Dad was always good to me, as soon as I was big enough to see over the steering wheel he let me drive the family car. I passed my driving test on my sixteenth birthday and got a job driving.

I've driven everything, but I suppose I like driving limos best of all, for weddings and funerals and that sort of thing, also for people who thought that they were important. As long as I was driving I was happy, I was not just a driver, I had a uniform and everybody called me Showfie.

Then I met The Boss, he needed a chauffeur, I drove him everywhere, I flew with him all over the world and drove him when we got there.

The Boss was big, large even and certainly larger than life. Charm, charisma and chutzpah just flowed out of him. But his business was the wrong side of legal, I think it was gun-running, it was getting dangerous and he wasn't getting any younger.

It was going to be the big deal or the biggest deal, we were in a hotel in the mountains north of Bologna, I didn't like his business partners, more OK than OK if you know what I mean. No, I was unhappy, I was really worried.

I took the rented limo back and got an armoured limo. I took it for a test run – not so easy to drive – and emptied the tank. It drove like a pig and drank like a sow.

That evening I persuaded him to leave the business talks in the hotel, just for a moment, to sign a very important and secret fax that had just been printed out in the limo. As soon as he was on the back seat I hit the panic button – the doors locked and the windows closed – and I floored it.

I heard the sound of automatic gunfire hitting the back of the car and headed for the autostrada. No one followed us, somebody had removed all the car keys and air from the car tyres in front of the hotel.

I drove at top speed north to the Swiss border. There we had to tank up. I showed The Boss the bullet holes, I expected him to laugh, but he turned away and emptied his stomach onto the verge.

We drove sedately to Zürich Airport and caught the first plane out in the morning to Oslo. Nice place, plenty to see, I hired a car and showed him the sights. We booked into a double room.

“Sit down! Sit down on the end of the bed! Do you know what you are doing? No, you don't. Do I know what we're doing? Yes, but only the first half. Whatever you were doing up till now is finished. I think that you have understood this. It's too risky, it was fun perhaps for twenty years, but we are both touching fifty. I'm right, aren't I?”

He said nothing.

“You are starting a new life, what I don't know yet, I haven't decided. Yes, you heard that right, you are doing what I tell you. No, you have no choice. Got it?”

He said nothing.

“We're in a double room, we are pretending to be a honeymooning couple. What do honeymooning couples do? I will show you.”

We flew to Barcelona. Nice place, plenty to see, I hired a car and showed him the sights.

We took a fast train to Madrid. Nice place, plenty to see, I hired a car and showed him the sights.

We flew to the Big City. “What do you do after you have been on honeymoon for three weeks?”

“Tomorrow we are getting married at the registry office. You get a new name, my name, no more forged passports, we are going legal.”

We spent a year in the Big City, finding our way about, meeting the people and learning the language. We had time to think. I decided, I started a new private company, I owned the company.

“You are starting an advertising agency, yes, you will be the boss. This is the name of the company and the address of the offices I have rented. First you have to find the people to work for you and then the customers. I'm sure you can do it.”

“And guess who is going to be your chauffeur? And minder?”