This is an excerpt from piece titled “Nanny,” part of an in-progess collection of stories about California.
The black Corvette was parked inside the Greens’ three-car garage, and I was curved into the front passenger seat. I’d never been in a Corvette before, and Michael Green knew it. He paused before turning the key in the ignition, as though this quiet moment before I would feel the deep rumble of his sports car through the lower half of my teenage body was sacred. The automatic garage door was still closed, secreting us inside.
Michael’s wife and his three daughters had already left in the other car for the high school play they’d invited me to. I was driving with Michael because there weren’t enough seats in the other car. I was their nanny.
“Hot machine, isn’t it?” Michael said, leaning across the front seat to give the caramel leather that wraps the dashboard a slow stroke. “How fast do you think she goes?” he asked, looking at me.
The Corvette was tiny inside; we were only a few inches from each other. It smelled like a faint whiff of cigar and a thicker cloud of cologne. In the low bucket seat I was half reclining.
I had no idea how fast the Corvette goes, but I was beginning to wonder how many minutes’ behind we were and what Sharon and the girls were going to think was holding us up.
“I don’t know?” I asked, smiling nervously.