Hit and Run
Hit and Run
Delsie hit the gas even harder and the engine roared making the car swerve a bit and jump forward. In irritation, Delsie blew her bangs out of her eyes, and tried desperately to focus her eyes and concentrate on the road.
“Shit! Shit! Shit!” she thought in panic. If she was late again, she was going to be grounded forever. Her father had told her just last week, that he was sick of her behavior.
Before the long curve in the road, she had driven on a hundred times came up, Delsie braved a glance at her reflection in the rear view mirror. Her long, straight blonde hair looked fine, but it was her bright blue eyes that she was really worried about and she had good reason to, because they were blood shot.
Delsie jerked her eyes back to the road and saw the blue and white jacket. Than she saw the red cotton cap fly over the speeding SUV that she was driving. It was only until she heard a distinctive thump that she hit the breaks. The SUV slid, screeching in protest as it headed toward the six foot high wooden fence.
Everything slowed down in Delsie’s mind as she prayed that she would not hit the fence. If she put another scratch on the truck, she was dead meat. Finally, the SUV swung hard to the right before rocking back and coming to a neck jerking stop.
Delsie bent her head over the steering wheel, collapsing into the panic. Had she hit someone? Worse yet, had that someone been a child? She was afraid to look. Afraid to turn around and see if there was a child lying in the road. She was afraid the cops would arrive at any moment and she would get a D.U.I.
As if being summoned by her thoughts alone, Delsie heard the sirens approaching from the distance. Delsie glanced at the time. She HAD to get home! But first she had to turn around and look. She had to make sure that she hadn’t imagined the child flying through the air over her vehicle.
Slowly she looked over her shoulder. The sirens drew closer. She couldn’t see anything behind the truck. The street behind her was empty. She started to turn her eyes forward again and when she did, her heart bottomed out. In the grass along the side of the road was a bright red, cotton cap.
Her eyes jumped around quickly in panic. Where was the kid? Had he run home with just a few bumps and bruises?
The sirens approaching grew louder and closer. Delsie decided to inch her vehicle up a little bit. She hit the gas too hard and the large vehicle lurched to the left. Slamming on the breaks, her neck whipped back into the seat and her eyes jumped to the rear view mirror.
There he was. Lying there in the street. Not moving. With her heart aching, Delsie reached to open up the car door. She stopped when she heard the sirens coming so close, that she was surprised she couldn’t see them yet. Glancing quickly in her rear view mirror, before the thought was completely formed, she hit the gas.
Delsie hugged the SUV against the familiar curves in the road, flying just as fast as she dared. She took a right and then another right before carefully pulling into her driveway.
Dan Walden opened the front door and stepped out glaring at his only daughter.
“You’re late again, Delsie,” although his voice was calm, his eyes were not.
“I know dad, I’m sorry, I just lost track of time,” she answered humbly.
“Well you’ll have plenty of time to keep track of because you’re grounded for a month.”
“Okay,” she mumbled and bolted up to her bedroom as quickly as she could. She headed straight for the bathroom, having the sense to gargle with a strong mouth wash before throwing herself on her bed like a spoiled five year old child.
A month! A whole, entire month she was grounded! Over a few extra minutes? That was so unfair.
Delsie heard the sirens start back up in the distance and tensed up nervously. She hoped there was no way the cops would find out she had hit the kid. I mean, it had been an accident after all! If the kid hadn’t been in the road….What had the stupid kid been doing in the road in the first place? God!
Delsie jumped off of her bed to look out the window when doubt finally filled her head. I should have stopped and stayed. I should have gotten out to help the kid. But if I had, if I did, I would have been arrested for drinking and driving. It really, really was just an accident. Damn it! She stomped away from the window and threw herself back on the bed.
“Do you remember me telling you about my patient, Molly Kessler?”, Janice paused while setting down the milk, “well she had the greatest news today, her little boy, Jonathan, has been in remission from Leukemia for over a year now and the doctors think that he may be totally cured.”
Delsie was barely paying attention to what her mother was saying. She was too busy trying to appear sober and contrite. Dan smiled softly at his wife’s good news when she sat down, than sighed before clearing his throat.
“Delsie was late again today,” his eyes barely glanced off of Delsie before he took a bite off his pot roast.
Janice sighed and set down her fork softly,
“Delsie why is it so hard for you to be home when you’re told?” Mother stared at daughter waiting for some sort of an answer. “We have spoiled you, yes we have! You drive a nice, safe vehicle and never want for a thing. Why can’t you just do as you’re told?” Janice snapped, her gaze following Delsie’s who was staring at the small kitchen television set.
A pretty blonde reporter was standing on Calvin Street, right after the long curve in the road. There was a fire truck, an ambulance and too many police cars to be counted behind her.
“Some time around five p.m. a child was severely injured in what appears to be a hit and run accident. Authorities are asking anyone with any information to please come forward.”
“Oh my god,” Janice exclaimed, “that’s just right around the corner!” Her eyes never left the T.V.
As the reporter continued talking, a sobbing woman could be seen standing on the side of the road with two police officers.
Janice’s fork dropped loudly on her plate like the precursor of an announcement.
“That,” Janices’s hand shook as she pointed at the T.V., “is Molly Kessler crying in the background!”
The next morning as Delsie was walking down the hallway at school, she could hear Melissa Goodie whispering about that Jonathan kid. Delsie tried to ignore it and moved on, but soon heard Daisy Jones mentioning to Kendra Lyons, how he had lived in her neighborhood.
“He was a real quiet kid, sweet though and after having leukemia, his mother had finally started letting him go back outside again,” Daisy said.
“That’s awful, how old was he?”, Kendra asked.
Was? Had she heard the word ‘was’, not once but twice? When she had hit him, neither car nor kid had made much noise. He couldn’t have been that badly hurt! Could he?
Delsie sucked in a deep breath, reassuring herself, “It’s okay, no one knows that I was the one who hit him. No one ever has to know.”
When Delsie got home from school that afternoon, her mother was in the kitchen with another woman. Delsie tired to sneak passed them when she noticed that the other woman was crying over a stack of photos.
“That’s him, that’s my beautiful little Jonathan. He always loved animals. If that bird hadn’t been in the road, he would still be here with us. He was only 10!” She choked on a sob, “and now he’s dead!”
Janice hugged Molly for a tight hug as Delsie fled the room as fast as she could and ran to her bedroom. She had killed that woman’s little boy! She had to do something about it. She had to tell someone. Oh! Wait, but she couldn’t or she’d be in jail for who knew how long. Damn it, it had only been an accident, she hadn’t meant to. Why the hell had he gone after that bird?
Delsie’s mind wasn’t made up. She didn’t know what to do. She hadn’t slept well in weeks. But the worse, the worse had been when her mother had made her attend Jonathan’s funeral! Oh, that poor little boy! He was gone because she had chosen to drink and drive. He was gone, because she had killed him.
Delsie stopped and looked up at the door she had unconsciously walked to, Summer Brook Police station. Through the clear glass she could see an armed police woman at the counter filling out some paper work. She knew that it was now or never.