Foto bij O17

Aleesha Harris

3 dagen later waren we aangekomen in België waar alweer de 7e race gereden zou worden. 'Charlotte, Aleesha, you have a minute?' Zak komt onze kamer in het motorhome in gelopen en sluit de deur achter zich. 'What's up?' 'We are filming unboxed again this race and I would like to know what you have planned for next week?' 'Next week Lando and Carlos will try Italian food.' Ik begin hard te lachen en Charlotte lacht hard mee. 'Oh really? Why do I believe that this is going to be a disaster?' 'Maybe because Lando only eats pizza?' ‘No, but it is the only thing he eats without complaining. And next to that he sucks in trying to learn another language and Carlos will try to learn him some Italian pronunciation.’ ‘I’m looking forward to it. Allright than. Everything ok further?’ ‘Nothing special.’ ‘Than thank you ladies see you later.’ ‘Tot later!’ ‘What did you just say?’ ‘Well Zak, that is a phrase in Dutch meaning see you later. Learned it from Max and ofcourse Lando.’ Zak knikt nog even en loopt dan ons hokje uit. ‘So what about you?’ ‘What about me?’ Ik kijk Charlotte met opgetrokken wenkbrauwen aan. ‘We are constantly on the move and we got to know each other, but I still don’t know a thing about your love life.’ ‘Maybe because there is none?’ ‘But you want there to be one.’ ‘Ofcourse, everyone wants someone to love in their life.’ ‘That’s not what I mean.’ ‘I don’t know what you are talking about?’ Vragend kijk ik haar aan, maar in mijn achterhoofd weet ik heel goed wat ze bedoelt. Vanmiddag heb ik namelijk uitgebreid met Carlos staan kletsen naast ons motorhome, en natuurlijk was er maar 1 iemand die het zag. ‘It’s nothing okay?’ ‘Maybe it’s not, but you would want it to be. You can trust me Aleesha, won’t tell a thing.’ ‘Well, it’s just, I don’t know. He asked me for a dinner date, I said yes and I still don’t know. I don’t want to lose my job or whatever and I am very scared about that. He says that everything will be allright but I simply don’t know.’ Ik gooi alles er in een keer uit en zucht dan eens flink. ‘It’s not easy, but it will be okay. I think you just have to be honest to yourselves after the date and than at least towards Zak. The rest is fine, but I would inform him, maybe even before the actual date.’ ‘Why?’ ‘Because it would be strange if everyone is at the hotel and the two of you are not?’ ‘Never thought of that. Haven’t thought about it that far yet.’ ‘Maybe we can combine it in a sightseeing trip with the two of us, Carlos and Caco and than Lando? And after the sightseeing we can go have a dinner in a restaurant where the two of you get a table and the three of us? We can than pick a quite restaurant with enough private space inside where the paparazzi cannot take any pictures?' 'Quick thinking, love that about you, you know that? But it's a great idea. Need to discuss it with the rest of course.' 'Do you know whether Caco knows?' 'He knows, Carlos told me that. And I of course told Lando.' 'Maybe we can call them in if they return from the track walk and talk about it right away? Don't be nervous Aleesha.' 'Let's do that and sorry can't help it.' 'Come here and give me a quick hug.' Ik doe wat ze vraagt en kijk nog even snel uit ons raam of niemand kijkt en geef Charlotte dan een dikke knuffel. 'I consider myself lucky you know.' 'Why?' 'With a colleague like you, you're the best Charlotte.'

Ik had Lando en Carlos een berichtje gestuurd dat we hen even nodig hadden in ons 'kantoor' als ze terug waren van de track walk en ruim een uur later kwamen ze dan ook binnen wandelen. 'What's up ladies?' Lando loopt als eerste naar binnen en gaat dan vervolgens snel op mijn stoel zitten. 'Why?' 'Because I am tired of that long walk and you sit the entire day on that lazy ass of yours.' 'I don't consider myself lazy, I run more in one week than you have done over the past three years at least.' 'Allright you got me there.' Ik rol met mijn ogen en ga dan maar op het bureau naast Charlotte zitten. 'So, what we wanted to discuss with the two of you is firstly business oriented and secondly private. I suggest we start with the private part. You want to tell the plan Aleesha?' 'Yes that is okay. I hope you don't mind, but I told Charlotte about our coming date, because I trust her and I thought I needed to tell her.' Carlos knikt even en kijkt dan wat opgelucht. 'She also had to because I caught you earlier today.' 'Caught us?' 'The two of you were talking very much away of everyone, next to our motorhome. I can only say find a more private space.' Lando begint te lachen en Carlos kijkt lichtelijk betrapt mijn kant uit. 'Will do that next time.' 'If you don't want anyone else to know, than do.' Carlos steekt zijn duim op en knipoogt dan nog even naar mij. 'But what Charlotte mentioned to me is the thing about keeping it out of the known. If we are going on a date together, it might stand out that we are not at the dinner table, while the entire team is.' 'That's a good point, didn't think about that.' 'Me neither, that is why Charlotte had an idea.' 'What if we organize a sightseeing trip with the five of us, take Caco as well, and than go out for dinner and than have two tables inside the restaurant where the paparazzi can't see us, than you have your dinner date, but you also have your cover. And I think you need to tell Zak before.' Carlos kijkt wat bedenkelijk en Lando lijkt het als eerste te snappen. 'That's a great idea, I would love a real Italian pizza as well.' 'Is that the only thing you can think about?' 'And I want to help my bestest friend in the world.' Lando springt op en knuffelt mij vervolgens helemaal plat. 'Lando I would like to breathe.' Carlos begint hard te lachen en ook Charlotte kan haar lach niet inhouden. 'Like that idea Charlotte. But I want to pick the restaurant. And which city are we going to?' 'Whatever you want Carlos, you probably had an initial plan.' 'I do, wanted to go to Florence because that seemed to be a beautiful city.' 'Than Florence it is, I will arrange everything, you pick the restaurant, than I make the reservation.' 'Will do. And what did you say about telling Zak?' 'Well I think that would be a great idea, so that whenever you got spotted together he also knows about it.' 'You think he will mind?' 'No he won't. Want to tell it right away?' 'You okay with that Aleesha?' 'I think it is for the best. But I don't want anyone else on the team to know it yet.' 'Just Zak.' 'That's fine.' 'I'll ask him right away.' Charlotte loopt onze kamer uit om een deur verder weer aan te kloppen en Zak mee te nemen. 'Hey guys, tell me what is going on?' 'Well, I wanted to tell you something.' Zak sluit de deur achter zich en leunt er dan vervolgens tegenaan. 'What is it?' 'Well, I asked Aleesha out on a dinner date and want to do that when we are in Italy and we combine it with a sightseeing trip with the four of us and we want to be honest with you so you know what is going on.' Zak krijgt een lach op zijn gezicht en kijkt dan naar Carlos en daarna naar mij. 'I was already wondering when you were going to tell it.' Carlos kijkt Zak vragend aan en ook mijn wenkbrauwen schieten omhoog. 'You know the place where you were talking earlier this afternoon is right under the window of my office and that the window was open? So I heard parts of your conversation and I was curious to see who were there, so I was already expecting something like this. And before you ask, we won't make a problem out of it.' 'You would not?' 'Why would I? We love you in our team and we don't want to let you go and Carlos is leaving at the end of the season. But why would we stop something that is called love? Would never do that even though it is in your contract.' 'Thank you Zak.' Opgelucht kijk ik de man tegenover mij aan en ben daarmee toch wel gerust gesteld. 'Just keep it a secret for the rest of the team and pick a better place to talk next time.' Zak geeft ons nog een knipoog en loopt dan weer het kantoortje uit. Charlotte kijkt mij aan met een 'I told you' blik en ook Carlos geeft mij diezelfde blik. 'That is a relieve. So now the business part. Lando move aside, I need my chair.'

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