Thoughts swirl but nothing sticks.
“How do I get myself out of this one?” Gemma asks no one. She surveys the damage to the car and sighs heavily.
She’d reversed straight back, too quickly, and now has created a large dent and taken out the brake lights. The crunching and cracking noises and the jolt as she hit the post came too soon to stop it from happening.
This isn’t her car! Which makes it all the more worse, while she also knows that’s why it happened in the first place.
“Awesome. Great. Wonderful. Just what I need,” again she talks to no one but the freckled concrete surrounding her.
The carpark building is completely empty apart from Gemma and the newly dented company car with flakes of red paint sharing itself with the post and a glitter of plastic at her feet.
She looks around to double check that there were no witnesses, and decides she’s either going to have to pay to have this fixed on the sly or make up a story about how the dent appeared without it being her fault.
Her brain is still running through scenarios for excuses but none seem plausible yet.
Hands cover her face as she massages her forehead and closes her eyes, concentrating on an idea. But as she lifts her head up, opens her eyes and moves her fingers to the side of her face, Gemma spots a small blinking camera focussed on the scene.
She pulls her cellphone out of her pocket and chooses Speed Dial 3.
It rings twice before there’s a familiar cough and a hello.
“Dad. I’m going to need your help…” she begins.
One week later and no one has mentioned the cover up.
Her dad arranged for the car to be fixed at his mate’s panel beaters and now it looks as good as new. Almost too good, so she arranged for it to have a professional clean to cover any cause for suspicion.
Gemma has been lucky that she has been the only one to use the car apart from a candy-floss receptionist who would be too busy thinking about her own important social life to notice anything out of the ordinary. But the boss is back today. And it’s the boss who will use the car from today.
It’s fixed, so it shouldn’t be a problem. But it is. If they discover Gemma’s first time in a manual car was with their company car, she’ll never live it down. And if they get hold of the security footage…
Gemma prints off her resignation letter, deciding it’s the only way to escape the shame.