Is This Last Year?
Vroom. Whoosh. Two cars speed past me as I being unravelling the mess of chains around my bike. Pat. Pat. Pat. The rain falls steadily as I continue to fumble, and the sharp autumn air does nothing to help my quivering fingers. Wheeee! Another car hurtles forward, and its wheels fly into a deep puddle, setting off an explosion of cold liquid. Water drenches my body, and I glare at the vanishing vehicle. Before I can shout curses at the car, a red convertible stops next to me. My friend, Zeke, steps out and gapes at me; my clothes are plastered to my skin, and my lips appear an unhealthy shade of blue. “Dude, are you okay? Do you need a ride?” “You know I don’t do cars, man,” I reply shakily, before turning back to my bike. “Come on, your house isn’t that far,” Zeke insists, staring amusedly at my growing frustration. “We’ll just get your bike tomorrow.” Sighing in resignation, I enter his car and I am immediately blasted with warm air. Grrr. The familiar roar of a car engine stirs to life like the low rumble of a terrifying beast. I remember the last time I heard a monster’s growl… the last time I was in a car… I was grinning widely as I breathed in the freshness of my new car. “I can’t wait to drive you, bro, in my own car!” I turned the key in the ignition, reviving the vehicle and I felt that everything was perfect. My younger brother was sitting in the car next to me, and I could not wait to start driving. Zeke spins the radio from country to pop music, which startles me from my memories of last year. The car jolts upwards as he fiddles with the radio, and I grip the sides of my seat. “Dude, relax, I can drive… I’ve done this, like, a million times…” His words of reassurance fade as I drift back into the past. I stomped on the gas pedal, looking at my brother next to me. We both laughed when the car zipped forward, bouncing crazily on the road. Ding! Ding! My phone flashed as it received dozens of messages. No one’s here anyways, so I might as well– I grabbed my phone and its blue light drew my eyes away from the road. It seemed as if only a second passed, but suddenly I was no longer looking at the harsh glow of the screen. When I woke up, my arm was paralyzed in pain; red seeped from the elbow and my fingers twitched in agony. Crackle. I crawled toward the passenger side and ignored the stabbing sensations as I trudged through broken glass. WHEE-WOO! WHEE-WOO! I barely heard the siren’s wails. Finally, my brother appeared in my field of vision, and he seemed to be sleeping. His eyes were closed, but I could see dark crimson blossoming on his white shirt. I leaned my ear onto his chest. Silence. Chirp! Chirp! Zeke’s phone lights up. Still looking forward, Zeke searches for the device blindly. Unable to find it, his eyes drift slightly to the right. Quickly, I snatch the phone away and turn it off. I throw the phone into the glove box and shut it hurriedly. “Turn off your phone, man! It’s going to distract you from the road. Hey, watch out!” BEEP! Zeke swerves to the right just in time to return to his lane and avoid the screaming truck. His hands tremble and his eyes are wide. “Dude, I think you just saved our lives.”