I noticed the car zoom up from the corner of my eye as I started from the red light.
I had taken a peek at the next light, knew it was amber-turning-red, and was coasting to a stop. Being in the inner lane around a curve, they couldn’t see it so gunned ahead for a few more meters before braking.
We both waited at the red light. My hand on the hand brake, one foot holding the clutch at the biting point, other on the accelerator. I could see them gently inch forward as well. We were both watching the other red light.
It turned amber. I let go of the brake and the car zoomed forward. They were slower to start, I was ahead. I slightly messed-up the gear change to second. We were level. I smoothly rose through the gears. They kept pace. I had a smile on my face. They were focused.
A few seconds in, we were already nearing 70. Rest of the cars from our light were over a 100m behind.
I was in the main lane. They were in the secondary lane and would soon need to merge into mine. The race was over, in my head.
I eased on the accelerator and gave them space to come in safely. Then we both merged onto the dual carriageway. They sped up and off. I stayed under the speed limit and enjoyed the drive home—high on that small shot of adrenaline and the smile.
I wanted to tell them, ‘This was fun, let’s do this again :)’
Mine is a 10yo, but still often sprightly, Honda Civic 2.2 Diesel. Theirs was a Mercedes E-Class petrol. Mine has a manual transmission, and I assume theirs has an automatic given the drifting at the red light and the slower start.