What had started as a quiet drive into the country to go pick up one particular piece of furniture sold by an old woman whose husband had passed turned out to be closer to an adventure that either one of them had expected. Though not much of an adventure, it still took a rather unexpected turn.
The drive to the old farm had been quiet, the AC on full blast in the car with the windows closed to keep the fresh air inside. The air outside was sticky and humid. An uncomfortable sort of day, one that is best spent inside where the air is cool and where access to water is easy.
The radio station was changed a few times over, neither Alexis nor Eoghan wanting to listen to what the other had decided was ‘proper’ music for the moment. The drive ended up at the farm with no music playing at all. There was no tension between the two men, only a kind of quiet amusement that they couldn’t settle on something so simple.
Eoghan discussed with the old woman while Alexis, with the help of the woman’s oldest son, carefully worked the desk into the van. The back seats had all been lowered to give room, only leaving up the front row. The desk was tied down with the utmost of care and once they were ready to head their way once more, they thanked the old woman, told her they would take the best of cares of the desk and they went on their way.
Of course, as most things turn out when one expects only the simplest of days, they only managed to cover a slight distance before one of the tires decided that it didn’t want to go any further.
“I don’t get it. They were fine last time we used this car.” Eoghan’s voice is somewhat uncertain as he looks at the flat tyre with a shake of his head. He hardly can wrap his mind about how it might have happened. Looking the tyre over, he can see no obvious signs that would lead to it being flat. He couldn’t see any holes or anything sticking out that shouldn’t be there. Looking back on the road from his spot he sees nothing that would lead to where they were now.
“That was a while ago, when we went to the garden. Who knows really. The only option at this point is to change the tyre. We do have a spare left, yes?” Alexis quirks a brow somewhat as he looks at their flat and shakes his head.
“We do but that will require getting the desk out of the car. It’s under the bottom panel.” He smiles sheepishly and shrugs, moving towards the back of the van to open up the doors. He knows that it hardly is his fault that the tyre has blown out the way it has or that they have to take the desk out but he feels partly to blame for reasons he cannot wrap his mind around.
“Let’s pull the desk up to the side between the fencing and the car, that way if someone else drives on by, no chances of gravel kicking up and hitting it.”
Eoghan nods and slowly they untie the desk and carefully pull it out of the van, manoeuvring it to settle it between said van and the fence. Its safest spot while they see about changing the flat.
With the desk out of the way, Alexis goes about getting the tyre from the bottom panel and Eoghan leaves him be. They both know how to take care of this but Eoghan has less patience when it comes to that kind of thing. They both know it is easier to simply let Alexis take the lead and do the job than argue about who might do it better or faster.
While Alexis works on the tyre, Eoghan merely keeps watch. The road they are on is slight and does not cross well between two cars. They’ve moved as close to the fence as they can but it might still be a tight fit if someone drives on by too quickly. Not a single car comes their way until the bolts are being tightened on the new tyre.
An old sort of car drives up in the opposite direction and slows down next to them. The window rolls down and a somewhat older man peeks out, looking Eoghan over briefly as if trying to decide whether he should help or not. “You folks need some help?”
Eoghan looks back to Alexis as the old tyre is being put into the back panel and he shakes his head. “We’re just about down, thank you for the offer!”
They drive back to the soft sound of a ‘spa’ radio station. Quiet music without any lyrics, nothing to grate on nerves and the AC still fully on while the windows are closed up and secure. Eoghan keeps half an eye on the desk as they start up again to make sure they tied it back up securely and he nods when he knows it is safe.
“Once we drop off the desk, I’ll take the car into the garage so they can check the other tyres and the flat one just to make sure it’s all right.”
Eoghan shakes his head lightly as he looks ahead for a moment as their road changes from dirt to paved. “I know you have a few commissions set up for the next few days, I’ll take it in tomorrow with a book to read while they do a check up. I don’t understand what happened, all the tyres were fine when we set out. They still should have been when we drove back.”
Alexis shrugs but chuckles softly as he takes them home. “Don’t you dare feel bad that I had to be on my knees in the dirt for a while to change that tyre, Eoghan.”
“I can’t help it! I feel like this is my fault or something. It’s the desk I wanted and we went and got it and we got a flat while getting that desk so I don’t know, I feel like I’m to blame.” He mumbles the word, the misery clear in his tone and Alexis can only laugh softly as he shakes his head.
“I swear Eoghan, you fret over the most meaningless of things most of the time. None of this is your fault. Who knows what we might have just run over while getting that desk or coming back from picking it up. It isn’t your fault and you shouldn’t be blaming yourself for any of it.”
“No buts, if you want to make up for it as I know it’s crossing your mind, you can see about scrubbing my back and the rest of me when we’re finally home. I’m sure I’m not all that dirty but you know, kneeling down in dirt and gravel is bad for my health.” His tone is soft and amused but as he spares a glance to his passenger he can see Eoghan trying hard to not smile. The corner of his lips are twitching.
“All right, all right. A good, thorough back scrub for you when we get home, after the desk as been brought up. I think we’ll have to take it up the stairs though, it might be too long to fit in the elevator. I’m sorry for that too.”
“Honestly Eoghan, that desk is hardly heavy, it’s just old. We handle it carefully and we’ll have it up in our home in a matter of minutes. All that mock-strain is even more a reason for you to scrub away at my back and massage all those tense muscles.”
“You win. I give in. I’m still going to feel bad about this, I can’t help it.”
“And I’m going to do all I can to make sure you forget about your worries and focus on things that are much, much more positive.”