A couple of days ago I got a text message from a friend asking if I’d seen his Facebook post.
No, but it didn’t take long to find which one he was talking about!
“Feeling bruised sore but VERY VERY THANKFUL!!!!” said the first post, and after that he had shared an explanation from his wife. Part of it reads, “our Prado was hit by a drunk driver as we drove through Mangaweka causing it to 360 roll, coming to a stop in front of oncoming traffic”. Continue reading “What Shall We Do With the Drunken Drivers?”
The rain came quickly.
Water blanketed the already dark city and overwhelmed drivers; the sheets of water making the roads fade and almost disappear. Bright flashes of red pushed through the haze as cars braked and slowed to half the 100k limit.
He was barely visible in his hoodie and black trackpants, walking north with the traffic.
Only on the corners did headlights catch a glimpse of his outline, hunched over and alone.
The light steam rising from his shoulders wasn’t just because of the heat he’d worked up from the ever rising path, it was a sign of his frustration, his hatred for a world that had shut him out.
He was 17 with no destination but forward.
The blue Holden had no time to stop, even after the thud of flesh against metal when instinct hit in and foot went to brake, the car skidded taking its victim with it.
The driver already had his door open before he’d completely pulled back on the hand brake, rushing to see what he’d hit.
The body was slumped against the curb, alive but dazed. The car, now twisted to its left, was completely blocking the northbound lane, traffic heading south slowly stopping as they realised something was wrong.
Calls came for an ambulance and help arrived to the figure in black. The driver was more confused than anything else, asking where this boy had come from.
Had he walked out in traffic on purpose? Or was he simply blinded by the rain?
A spiderweb of light flashed above as thunder rolled around the hills.
17, with about that many broken bones. 17, but at least he’ll have a place to sleep tonight.
Thoughts swirl but nothing sticks.
“How do I get myself out of this one?” Gemma asks no one. She surveys the damage to the car and sighs heavily.
She’d reversed straight back, too quickly, and now has created a large dent and taken out the brake lights. The crunching and cracking noises and the jolt as she hit the post came too soon to stop it from happening.
This isn’t her car! Which makes it all the more worse, while she also knows that’s why it happened in the first place.
“Awesome. Great. Wonderful. Just what I need,” again she talks to no one but the freckled concrete surrounding her.
The carpark building is completely empty apart from Gemma and the newly dented company car with flakes of red paint sharing itself with the post and a glitter of plastic at her feet.
She looks around to double check that there were no witnesses, and decides she’s either going to have to pay to have this fixed on the sly or make up a story about how the dent appeared without it being her fault.
Her brain is still running through scenarios for excuses but none seem plausible yet.
Hands cover her face as she massages her forehead and closes her eyes, concentrating on an idea. But as she lifts her head up, opens her eyes and moves her fingers to the side of her face, Gemma spots a small blinking camera focussed on the scene.
She pulls her cellphone out of her pocket and chooses Speed Dial 3.
It rings twice before there’s a familiar cough and a hello.
“Dad. I’m going to need your help…” she begins.
One week later and no one has mentioned the cover up.
Her dad arranged for the car to be fixed at his mate’s panel beaters and now it looks as good as new. Almost too good, so she arranged for it to have a professional clean to cover any cause for suspicion.
Gemma has been lucky that she has been the only one to use the car apart from a candy-floss receptionist who would be too busy thinking about her own important social life to notice anything out of the ordinary. But the boss is back today. And it’s the boss who will use the car from today.
It’s fixed, so it shouldn’t be a problem. But it is. If they discover Gemma’s first time in a manual car was with their company car, she’ll never live it down. And if they get hold of the security footage…
Gemma prints off her resignation letter, deciding it’s the only way to escape the shame.