The accident (short story)

‘What have you done?’ The young woman sits with her head in her hands, her elbows rest on her knees. Tears fall. Every part of her body burns and pulsates.

‘Nothing that hasn’t been done before,’ she hears the male voice say.

‘Really?’ her voice cracks. She lifts her head, her gaze holds his eyes accusingly. ‘To who?’

‘Oh fuck, I don’t know. Can’t name names. But you know…’ his voice wanes.

‘You’re unbelievable.’

‘C’mon, it’s going to be OK. It’s just an awkward little accident. I know it. You know it. You’re just being a bitch over it, that’s all.’

Rage wells, like a volcano about to erupt. She wants to punch him, but knows it won’t end well for her. Chipped front teeth, a slow-to-heal broken collar bone and purple bruises on her thighs remind her of how that path ends. She takes three slow, deep breaths, just as her counsellor suggested. The heat inside her dissipates with each breath. Only then does she reply, ‘I’m not a bitch over this. Look at what you’ve done.’ She points.

On the road, just beyond the windscreen, a body lays motionless.

Her voice cracks again as she says, ‘You did this. I’m going to see if he’s alright.’ She reaches for the door handle, but his arm grabs her, roughly pulls so that she winces and cries out with pain.

He speaks through clenched teeth, ‘You’re not going anywhere. There’s no one around. We’re taking off.’

‘You can’t do that! It’s against the law. The police’ll find you, they always do.’ The words are just out of her mouth as he revs loud and hard, and pulls back onto the road, narrowly avoiding the male left lying on the side of the road.

‘He was in the wrong, anyway,’ he mutters. She notices he’s holding the steering wheel with tightly gripped fingers. His knuckles are white. ‘He wandered onto the road, like a dumb fucken moron. Who doesn’t look before crossing a road.’ His words come as a chant.

‘You’re unbelievable,’ she repeats, this time sadness blankets itself over her. It doesn’t bring comforting warmth; it only brings cold gripping fingers of fear.




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