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Angel knew that Lester was a bit fly, a boy with a swagger and oodles of confidence, but he was good-looking and she liked him. She was flattered when he asked her to go for a drive with him. Her friends said she was foolish, not that Lester posed any kind of threat to her, but because he was a know-all and a braggart. They said she would be bored with him in five minutes – he talked all the time.
Angel wondered why that would be boring and her older sister said he had eye trouble. This puzzled Angel – he didn’t wear glasses. Her sister laughed and explained that she meant ‘I’ trouble – Lester’s sole focus of conversation was himself, his thoughts, his actions, his plans, his wonderful success in life.
Angel decided she would go, anyway, and make up her own mind. She was a little surprised when Lester arrived at her house in an old jalopy that had definitely seen better days. He told her he’d souped it up himself and when he pressed the accelerator the engine certainly roared. The exhaust rattled fearsomely, too, but Lester told her it was nothing to worry about.
He drove the old banger to the coast. There was no car park and he steered the car onto the pebbly beach. It was very bumpy and Angel felt quite sick as Lester sped towards the sea.
Alarmed, she asked what he was doing and he explained that the sand at the water’s edge was firm and easier to drive on. She nodded, hoping he was right. He went on to say that the car was actually almost an amphibious vehicle and he had driven it through water often. To prove his point he turned at right angles to the sea and manoeuvred the vehicle so that the off-side wheels splashed through the briny.
Angel agreed that the ride was much smoother and smiled at Lester. He grinned and told her that now she believed him he would prove the seaworthiness of the car and proceeded to immerse all four wheels. That’s when they started spinning in the sand and burying themselves ever deeper.
Fortunately, the tide was ebbing and when it had completely receded, Lester clambered out of the driver’s seat and started trying to push the car to firmer land. It was stuck fast and eventually he called a garage to come and haul it out.
Meanwhile, Angel had walked to the nearest bus stop and gone home. She felt mean leaving Lester there on his own, though she doubted he missed her company. Lester only really needed himself. He was a show-off and a braggart, as her friends had said, but more than that he was simply rather dim.