Lotte, a cab driver working in a big city, has heard it all. The sometimes unexpected stories that unfold on the backseat of her car, will never be shared with anyone.
The untold secret:
Lotte's life as a cab driver was one that suited her. She enjoyed the feeling of being behind the wheel, navigating the streets and alleys of the city. As a cab driver, she had a unique perspective on the people of the city. From the businessman rushing to an important meeting, to the tourist seeing the sights for the first time, to the couple out for a night on the town, she had seen it all.
Lotte prided herself on her discretion. She understood that her passengers often had things on their minds that they didn't want to share with the world. To keep secretes was a part of the routine. As a result, she had become a confidante to many of her regular customers. She was a sympathetic ear, someone who would listen without judgment and keep their untold stories safe.
Lotte's policy was simple: whatever happened in her cab, stayed in her cab. She believed that her passengers deserved a safe and private space where they could be themselves and share their thoughts without fear of judgment or reprisal.
One day, Lotte picked up a passenger at the airport who didn't realize how lucky he was to have her as his driver. As he spoke on the phone in the back of her car, Lotte couldn't help but overhear his heated and very private conversation. She knew that the occupant of the backseat was none other than Jasper, a high-profile politician who was so consumed with anger that he was oblivious to the fact that the contents of his conversation could have been easily leaked to the press.
Lotte was a master of the roads and alleyways that comprised the city she lived in. She was a woman who valued privacy, and in her cab, she provided a sanctuary where her passengers could talk freely and be themselves without fear of judgment or reprisal.
One day, Lotte picked up a passenger at the airport. He was a well-known politician by the name of Jasper de Wit. Little did Jasper know that the conversation he was having in the back of Lotte's cab was not as private as he thought. In his rage, he had let his guard down and revealed his innermost thoughts and feelings about some of his political colleagues and rivals. It was the kind of conversation that could easily ruin a career if it ever got out.
As they arrived at his destination, Jasper realised his mistake. He was terrified that Lotte would leak the story to the press, so he asked for her contact details, pretending that everything was fine, but he wanted to know who she was in case he had to take action. Days and weeks went by, and Jasper never saw his name in any tabloid. This was a huge relief and he was amazed that Lotte had kept the conversation to herself.
To be sure that Lotte could be trusted, Jasper dialled the number on the calling card she had given to him and hired her for another ride. During that ride, Jasper tried to make small talk and figure out if Lotte knew who he was.
Of course, Lotte was well aware of Jasper's identity and the conversation he had had in her cab. But she also knew that it was her own set of rules as a cab driver to keep her passengers' secrets private, like a lawyer, psychiatrist or an excellent bartender.
It was this quality that made Jasper ask her for a favour. He had a secret that he could not allow to ever go public. Jasper was an activist who lobbied against wars, arms deals, and anything related to violence. However, in his spare time, he often visited a gun range to fire off some rounds to decompress from all the stress and pushback he got from the politicians across the aisle. Jasper asked Lotte if she could drive him to that place without revealing what it was.
Lotte quickly understood what Jasper was doing, especially since he smelled like cold gun powder on the way back to the city. She used to vote for the party Jasper represented and liked his public persona. However, the fact that he needed to use handguns to decompress and control his anger was in complete opposition to what he stood for publicly. She struggled with the idea that someone she respected as a politician was doing something that went against his own beliefs.
Despite her inner conflict, Lotte continued to drive Jasper to the shooting range, keeping his secret safe and respecting the trust he had placed in her. In the end, Lotte realized that her service and her relationship with Jasper had a disarming effect on him. The trips became less frequent, and sometimes Jasper would simply sit in the backseat of her cab outside the shooting range, enjoying a moment of peace in her presence without ever getting out.
On days like that, Lotte could see in his eyes that Jasper had developed new ideas and fresh energy to take on the opposition. It brought her joy to drive him back to Parliament, knowing that he was fired up to win another debate about the issues he stood for, not just in public but in private as well.