“Again, I’m so sorry.”
“Let it go,” I said calmly with a smile. “It was my fault. I already told you that. I did something stupid and I risked my life and career. It’s on me.”
“What do you do?”
I laughed. “In case you haven’t guessed, I’m a professional motocross racer. I race motorcycles over hilly terrain.”
“Oh, yeah. I’ve seen that on television. So, you do those big jumps and all that? It looks pretty exciting.”
I nodded. “Yeah, it is awesome, but if you’ve only seen it on television than you haven’t seen it at all, not really. Nothing compares to watching it live and in front of your face. It’s unreal.”
Leia seemed impressed. “You sound like you’ve been into that for a while.”
“Right. I got into it when my dad took me to my first motocross race when I was just seven. After that I started hounding my parents’ day and night to get me a dirt bike. They finally got me a small one for kids, but it was real. I can’t tell you how many times I fell on the thing, but it was amazing fun and I was hooked right from the first.”
“I love that,” Leia said. “It’s great to have such a passion for something.”
Leia was walking with her arms crossed and I couldn’t help but notice how it made her beautiful cleavage pop up from her low necked T-shirt just perfectly. She was incredibly sexy.
“Well, it’s important to have something to throw yourself into, something that gets inside of you and gives your life meaning. Too many people waste their opportunities and gifts by letting other things get in the way. I mean, those things are important but if you really want something you have to be willing to go after it with everything you got.”
Leia smiled and looked into my eyes. There was something about the way she looked at me that just set my heart on fire. Rarely had I ever met a woman who could just look at me and turn me on that way. I could see how easy it would be to fall in love with such a woman.
And it was fascinating the way she had taken so much out of herself to care for a stranger she didn’t even know. I wished I was able to do that, but I don’t think I’ve ever been quite that open and that in touch with others. It was intriguing to say the least.
“So, what about your bike?” Leia asked.
I’d almost forgotten about it. How was I getting home?
“Um… well, I guess they hauled it away to a garage, but I doubt it’s fixable. I imagine it’s probably totaled. Hopefully my insurance company gives me a decent deal, but I doubt it. I’ve spent a bunch of money on that bike. I’ll probably have to rent one for the race in two weeks if I can’t get this one fixed for cheap.”
“That’s rough,” she said. “I’d be willing to lend you the money for the repairs. After all, I do feel responsible.”
I wasn’t going to let that happen.
“No way,” I said. It had come out harsher than I meant it. I softened my tone. “Look, I know you mean well, and that’s very generous, but this isn’t your fault and it isn’t your problem. Sorry, I just don’t do well with accepting charity. But I do appreciate the offer, don’t get me wrong.”
She looked at me in a concerned almost defeated manner. I hadn’t meant to be so harsh with her, but it was important for her to understand that I did not want any charity from her, that I was an old fashioned guy who believed in working to get every single thing that I have.
I just needed to go out of my way to make sure she realized that and it appeared to be sinking in.
“Ok,” she said. “Well, can I at least offer you a lift home? My car was barely damaged at all surprisingly, just some dents in the bumper and some chipped bits in the grille.”
I paused a moment and then smiled at her kindly. “Sure. Thanks. But then again, the way you drive…”
She hit me playfully in the arm. “Wow, are you sure you didn’t get any brain damage? The helmet can only cover so much of such a swollen head.”
I pretended to be hurt from the punch for a moment and leaned back. She was fun and playful; I liked that.
A few minutes later we were in her Volvo heading to the south side of town where I had a meager apartment. It wasn’t much, but then again I’d only been a professional motocross racer for about six months. It took a while before you started making that endorsement money, if you were good enough. The competition money was not nearly as much as everyone thought.