“Do you believe in ghosts?” He asked adjusting his clipboard. I smiled. It was a silly question. “Of course I do.” He chuckled at my reply and mockingly asked if I’d ever seen one. “Yes,” I replied. “I see one every day.” And just like that I told him everything. I told him about how perfect everything was. I didn’t realize it was perfect then, but I do now. I had everything, a loving family, friends, a future full of possibilities and I threw it all away for two characters. <3. I was driving my beat up old blue pickup down route four, and my boyfriend texted. I only looked away for a second to type back those two little characters and that’s when I hit her. He stopped me to ask if I stayed at the scene. “Yes,” I told him. “But I couldn’t look at her, she was so small, broken and crumpled into the grill of my truck.” I told him about the ambulance coming, and the police asking me questions and how I went home in the back of my moms car feeling numb all over. They said it wasn’t my fault. She wasn’t in a crosswalk and she just darted in front of me. I didn’t tell them I’d been texting. I wanted to but it was like my tongue had turned to lead. I saw her picture a couple days later on the news. She had a sweet round face and big curious blue eyes. The reporter read the parents statement about how she had loved flowers and animals and how she’d told them that she wanted to be friends with every kid in her school who didn’t have a friend yet. She was eight. And that’s when I started to see her. I saw her in the flowerbeds outside my house. I saw her amongst the children in every playground. I saw her all grown up with a Nobel Prize. I saw her as a teen falling in love for the first time with the boy she sat behind in chemistry. I saw her as an old woman singing to her grandkids, I saw her as a mom, as a widow, as a scientist and a doctor. I saw her everywhere doing everything, all the good and the bad parts of life. I saw her first breakup and her first kiss, I saw her children and I saw her proudest moments as well as her biggest regrets. “And I still see her.” I said at last. He was quiet for a moment. “So you think her spirit is haunting you?” He asked, pen at the ready. “No, I’m haunting myself,” I replied, “With all the dreams of what could have been.”
This is a short story about a girl who suffers from extreme guilt after hitting a child while texting and driving.