But I don’t know if I can give him what he needs, if I can be what he deserves.
That’s what’s still keeping me here instead of me being on my way to São Paulo.
My mum comes into the living room, marching over to me and stopping me in my tracks. “Okay. Enough, Andressa. You need to go see him.”
Eyes lowered, I shake my head. “I don’t think I can.”
My eyes shoot up to hers. She’s got this determined look in her eyes that I don’t see very often.
“I’m not standing back and watching you torture yourself. I’ve stood on the sidelines for way too long already, saying nothing, because I didn’t want to interfere, but that’s clearly what I should have done from the start. You need to stop pacing a hole in the living room carpet and go to him.” My mum presses her car keys into my hand. “Take these and drive to São Paulo as fast as you can—but not too fast so that you’re not being safe.”
I let out a watery chuckle as tears fill my eyes. My voice weakens as I say, “I’m…afraid, Mum.”
“Oh, darling.” She takes my face in her hands. “There’s nothing to be afraid of.”
I let out a humorless laugh. “If only that were true. There’s everything to be afraid of. I just keep thinking, if I could find a way to stop loving him, then it would be so much easier.”
“I don’t think you really mean that. You’re just looking for an easy out, but easy doesn’t come with love. You have to work hard at it, sometimes fight for it.”
I stare into her eyes as I ask her this question, “If you could have turned it off with Dad, stopped loving him in the beginning, would you have?”
“Not for one second,” she answers without hesitation. “I never want to know what life would have been like without loving your father. One thing I do know is that it would have been no life at all.” Removing her hands from my face, she takes my hands in hers. “I heard everything Owen said to you last night—I might have been listening in a little—and he was right. I am so angry with myself right now.”
My eyes widen. “Why?”
“Because it should have been me saying what Owen said last night. I should have seen what was going on with you. You’re always just so strong, so sure of your decisions, so I let you be, but I shouldn’t have. I should have pushed harder for you to talk to me. I knew you were hurting. I just didn’t realize how badly, and I didn’t know that you had left Carrick because you’re afraid that what happened to your father will happen to him.”
At the mention of my dad, tears spill over down my cheeks.
Mum wraps her arms around me, her voice washing over me, “Andressa, every time your father climbed in that car to race, my heart stopped beating until the moment he came back to me safely, and it was that way until the day he didn’t come back. But that doesn’t mean I would take back one single moment of the time I had with him.” She leans back, staring into my face.
“Your father gave me one of the greatest gifts in the world—you. And not just that, he gave me a lifetime of love in the fifteen years that I had with him. I would rather have had that than nothing at all. I regret nothing. It took me a long time to come to terms with losing him, but life happens as it’s meant to. We can’t control it. Just like you can’t control the fact that you love Carrick. Of course you will worry for him—whether you are with him or not. So, wouldn’t it be better to be with him, to make those memories and have a life with him?
“Take the good with the bad. Learn to live with your fears. Because being with him…having the good, it makes the bad a whole lot better.” She smiles softly. “And you know if your father could have chosen a man for you, it would have been a man like Carrick.” She tucks my hair behind my ear. “This life—racing—is in your blood, and so is Carrick. So, go now, and get that man you love. Fix things, and then bring him back here because I want to meet the man who has my baby girl’s heart.”
“Deixar da fodendo modo!” I yell, honking my horn at the idiot who is driving like a fucking snail in front of me. Basically, I just told him to move out of the way but in a not so nice manner.
I know. I’m being impatient, shouting at random people, but I can’t help it. I need to get to the Autódromo. I need to see Carrick. I have no clue what I’m going to say to him. I just know that I have to tell him how I feel—that I love him and that a life without him is no life at all.
I’ve got to stop fearing the future and start living for today. And if I have to yell at a random stranger to get me to him that little bit quicker, then so be it.
My eyes keep flickering to the clock on the dashboard. The race is due to start any minute. I won’t make it before it does, but that doesn’t matter. I just have to get there.
“Finally!” I huff as the car moves over, allowing me to pass.
Shifting down to third, I press the accelerator hard, so I can speed up and gain momentum. I push back up to fifth the moment I’m flying.
Then, I hear my mum’s caution in my ears. “Drive safe.”
I panic over Carrick’s racing, yet here I am, driving fast to get to him. I need to take it easy. I could get pulled over as well if I’m not careful.
I ease my foot off the accelerator a touch, but then “Back to December” starts to play on the stereo, and now, I’m cursing my mum for listening to a Taylor Swift CD.