“Don’t be angry with me, Kit. Please,” I sob.
“I’m not angry with you, India.” His voice is marginally softer.
But he always calls me Indy. He only calls me India when he’s angry with me.
“I’m angry with that motherfucker. No, I’m fucking beyond angry. I’m livid. I’m gonna kill that motherfucking pervert!”
“I’m coming now, India. And don’t you fucking move from where you are. I mean it.”
Then, he’s gone, and I’m left clutching the phone in my hand. Feeling like my life is over, I pray to God to fix this.
CLOSING MY EYES, I recite the words of my hero, the great Ayrton Senna, in my head, as I always do before each race.
“Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose.”
Right before I climb into my car, I pray it works for me this time.
I can’t lose.
I have to win this race.
My points are down, but I am on poll today. But still, that pain-in-my-ass Carrick Ryan could beat me again if I don’t pull it out of the bag today.
I can fucking do this.
I’m Leandro Silva, for fuck’s sake.
I’m the man who men want to be.
Pulling on my helmet, I slide in the cockpit.
Focus is everything right now.
My life is fucking great. And I can make it even better if I take the gold home today.
Brazil will love me even more if I win today.
My mechanic hands me my steering wheel. I fix it in place.
I’m ready to go.
I give a nod to let my mechanics know that I am ready. The voices in my ears start talking.
I pull out into the lane and begin my warm up lap.
Then, I’m in starting position, along with the other drivers.
My engine is revving, and I am more than ready.
I slam down hard on the accelerator and start moving alongside all the other cars, gaining traction.
Soon enough, I’m in the lead. Ryan is hot on my tail, but I keep this up, and I’m golden. I’m in for a win for sure.
Winning in my home country…nothing better. Well, apart from winning the championship.
I reach a corner. I steer through it.
What the fuck? She’s sticking. I can’t turn.
Fuck! I tug at the steering wheel, trying to turn, but she won’t give, and the corner is coming up too fast.
Panicked voices are in my ears. They know something is wrong, but I can’t speak, too focused on what is happening right now.
Come on, baby. Turn.
No matter what I do, the steering wheel is stuck, and I’m not going to turn in time.
I know there’s nothing I can do.
This is it. I’m fucked.
The wall comes at me fast. I close my eyes.
The impact is as hard as I expected. I feel my body shatter.
Smoke in my lungs.
YOU EVER HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE of why you are somewhere, but you’re not really sure if it is the right place to be?
That’s how I feel while sitting in the waiting room of my new therapist, Dr. India Harris.
Well, I say new because this is the first time I’m meeting with her.
How the fuck did it come to this? When did I turn into this version of myself? A man who needs to see a therapist.
Of course I know the answer to that question.
The day of my accident. The day I nearly died.
Well, technically, I did die, but the doctors managed to resuscitate me.
Sometimes, I wonder if it would have been better if they hadn’t. Now, I am less than half the man I used to be. A pussified version of myself, who can’t climb into a regular car, let alone my race car.
I can’t drive. And without that, I am nothing.
Now, I have to see a goddamn therapist as my last-ditch attempt to get me back into a car.
So, I’m here to see Dr. Harris because she’s apparently one of the best.
She’ll fix me.
Part of me is intrigued to see if that is even possible because I know how truly fucked up I am. And it is going to take a fucking miracle worker to bring back the Leandro Silva of before.
The Leandro the world wonders what the hell has happened to.
Am I here by choice? No.
My team is making me. Well, making me sounds harsh. They didn’t drag me here, kicking and screaming. I’m under contract, so I’m currently being paid to do nothing.
I sit on my ass and drink and fuck women.
I don’t work for my money.
At the last meeting, I was told, in no uncertain terms, that if I didn’t pull my head out of my ass and start racing again, my contract would not be renewed.
It makes sense. Who would want to spend millions of pounds on a racing driver who can’t race?
My mother would happily never have me race again.
But my colleagues and friends think it’s time I sort my shit out.
Particularly, my friend—a person who, twelve months ago, I would never have thought I would call a friend—Carrick Ryan. Once my rival, he’s now, surprisingly, my closest friend.
After my accident, he and his then girlfriend and now wife, Andi, came to visit me in the hospital back home in Brazil.
Every time they were back in Brazil to visit Andi’s mother or to attend a race for Carrick, which was regularly, they would come see me.
Then, Carrick and I started talking on the phone.
When I realized he wasn’t the dick I thought he was, we became friends.
Dr. Harris is Andi’s therapist. She recommended the doctor to me. Andi has been seeing her to deal with her fears over Carrick’s racing, which are related to her father dying in a race when she was a small child. Her dad died in front of her. It royally screwed her up.