The Bend in the Road

One moment I am sitting on the Colonel's rough, duct taped couch, slowly smoking a cigarette and flipping through the Edgar Allen Poe I had just finished, the next I cant breathe and my whole body is shaking. My mind is reeling and I can feel the guys watching me as I fly off the couch and run out the door barefoot. I sprint down the hall and drop my cigarette in the grass not even considering the Eagle and his stupid warnings. Huffing for breath, I fly through the doors of the my dorm room and sweep through piles of soggy paged books, searching helplessly for my car keys. I find them and grasp tightly to the bright orange cartoon giraffe key chain.

Her hair smelled like daisies and her dress was a soft shade of coral. I look up at her as I hang off the fence that separates me from the monkeys. She tells me I'm a little monkey just like them, smoothes my hair and reaches for my hand. I take it, happy to have my mom to myself today. I feel special.

I turn on my heels so fast I stumble, regain my balance noticing how light headed I am and make my way back out into the dark, muggy hallway. How could I do this to her? I jump in the front seat of the lemon and jam the key into the ignition. I fumble in the darkness, still feeling the effects of my strawberry wine. Keep going. I need to get there as soon as possible. I grope around the backseat and glide my fingers along their long stems. Good, still there. I stomp on the gas and feel the car lurch forward. Faster. I drive in deafening silence for what feels like days.

Y'all smoke to enjoy it. I smoke to die. They scoff at me, but I can see them question the origin of the comment.

My eyes darting over the road, watching trees fly past at hyper speed like in that star wars movie Takumi made me watch over thanksgiving. Sweaty palms on the steering wheel and the smell of coconut lingering in the hot black air. Why? This can't be happening. I must have the day wrong. Of all things to mess up! I fight the dream as my mind tries to take me back to our last day together. What kind of person just lets their own mother die in front of them like that?

I watch her, there on the ground, shaking like I see my wind-up toys do when they fall over. I stand there wondering why she is being so silly! She was supposed to be making my lunch!

I see the flashing lights in the distance, blurred but definitely police. More trees. The yellow lines blur beneath my tires. It's decision time. Nobody can help me now, yet I feel calm. Its eerily quiet out. My hands now confident and strong I steer towards the middle of the two lanes. I'm riding the center lane now.

Are you stupid? I've raised an idiot! Now look what you've done! Why didn't you call 911?

With every meter the police car gets closer, the flowers and my mom feel farther away from me. Just out of reach. Any second now. Lights. Straight and fast. I close my eyes.