Moving in

Rik said he’d help, but he said so many things. He had a real knack for making promises he could never keep. Mariska nervously glanced over her shoulder for the third time before actually changing lanes. The van she’d rented was huge and she couldn’t see anything behind her.

She was nearing the exit for the N336 now. She heaved a sigh of relief. She hated motorway driving at the best of times, but the van added a whole new stress level. Rik was supposed to be driving. That was what he’d said. By the time he’d texted her to say he couldn’t make it, it was too late to ask anyone else. Mariska bit her lip, trying desperately to control herself. She’d known he had a crazy job when she met him, she reminded herself. He’d join her tomorrow, to help her unpack. It was okay. This was her new start, it was going to be great.

She glanced at her eyes in the useless rearview mirror and wiped away the smudges of mascara under her eyes. She fixed her hair and tried a smile. She was going to love it. Oosterwaarden would be quiet, idyllic. Maybe Rik would move in with her soon and find a new job in the east. She imagined their quiet afternoons in the garden, mowing the lawn, planting flowers.

A loud blast jolted her out of her daydream. Her heart in her throat, she nudged the van back into the middle lane. The lorry driver passing her on the left gesticulated angrily. Breathe in, breathe out. Everything’s going to be fine.

When Mariska had calmed down a bit, she noticed she had missed the exit and she was heading for Germany at 120 kilometres per hour.


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