I never meant for any of this to happen, I was just angry. Confused. Everyone has that point, where they just can’t take it anymore where one more little thing just throws them over the edge. I was at that point earlier today. Everything had gone wrong, I failed a biology test, I burned lunch, I forgot to do my laundry, but I was still ok. It takes a lot more than little things like that to throw me off.
Then the really messed up stuff happened. I live in Apartment 11 in Pine tree Condominiums, but today I was going over to number 4 to pick up my girl and then go to a movie or something. I knew something was wrong as soon as I walked through the door. There was yelling. Lots of yelling going on in there, and when I walked in they all looked at me. Having six girls look at you that way can really ruin a guy’s day.
It was almost as though my presence had triggered something. My girl, a pretty little blonde named Liz, suddenly broke into tears and ran from the room. As she pushed past me she whispered something that I will probably never forget. “I love you”.
I felt the old familiar twitch start up in my left eye. That only happens when I am confused or stressed out. “Could somebody explain to me what just happened?” I asked quietly. There’d been tension in our relationship, but this was just out of control I had no idea what was going on. They all spoke at once.
“She’s just having a hard day.”
“It’s not your fault.” That usually means that it is most definitely my fault.
“This is wrong, just tell him, he deserves to know.”
“Tell me what?”, I asked. “What happened?”
“She cheated on you”, one of them blurted out.
I sat down hard on their couch, it’s red with little flower designs on it. How? How could this happen? I’d given everything I had into this. Somewhere in the back of my mind I could hear the roommates arguing, yelling about how they’d promised not to tell me. “Who?”, it was all I could get out, but they understood.
I didn’t even look up to hear the answer I just sat there. Noah? I never would have thought of that. I knew they’d been spending time together quite a bit, but I had been told it was some sort of study group. It made sense though, how could I have missed something like this? How could I not have seen it? I stood up again, and pasted a smile onto my face. “Thanks for telling me”, I said as cheerfully as I could, “Just thanks.” I wasn’t thankful, but it was all I could think of to say. I got up of the couch and walked out the door.
All I wanted right then was to be alone. I walked to the parking lot, and got into my old black Toyota truck. It’s one of those little tiny ones, almost the size of a car. I bought it for two hundred dollars from my cousin Andy. The kid’s a genius when it comes to fixing cars. It’s a standard, and it runs like a charm. I pulled out of the parking lot, and onto the road that goes right by the Snow College Library. That’s when I saw them my Liz, and Noah. They were standing right there in the middle of the road yelling at each other. I should have gotten out and talked to her either that or just walked away, but that’s when I reached that point. The point where it was too much, I snapped. My teeth clenched, and I jammed my truck into first gear, then second, finally third, and I was going thirty miles an hour.
They saw me coming, or I would have had them both right then. Noah shoved her to the side, and then ran the other way. I swerved to the side, and managed to clip him on his left side. He spun around, and I heard him smack into the side of the truck as I kept going. I looked back once, to see him laying there in the gravel beside the road. Liz was on her knees beside him, and it looked like he was moving. He was still alive then, I seriously contemplated going back for another try but I noticed a kid on a cell for talking rather excitedly, and more were running to the scene.
Hitting him had slowed me down a little, so I pushed down on the gas. I had to get out of there before the cops came. The enormity of what I had just done fell on my like a sack of rocks, but I shrugged it off. My anger would not be smothered not even by the knowledge that I had just tried to kill a man.
I raced out of town like a mad man, cutting people off, and running stop signs and lights. I was headed south towards Manti. I have friends there, and I thought they might be able to help me. I saw the first sign of coop lights behind me, and finally my anger gave way to pure unadulterated fear. I was going to prison. That was all there was to it. I was going to be locked up like an animal, and that scared me. I put the truck into fifth gear, and floored it. I had to find a way out. I couldn’t go to prison; they’d eat me alive in there. Noah deserved it, I hadn’t done anything wrong.
Fear can do strange things to a man; I suddenly realized that I wanted an almond more than anything else in the world. Just one more almond before my life as I knew it was over. I was sure I had a bag of them in the glove box, so I reached over and opened it up. I glanced from the road for a moment and looked into the dark opening of the glove box. There it was, I reached my hand in and pulled out the bag. My brother must’ve been in been in my truck again because there was only one left. I shook it out of the bag and onto the seat, and glanced back onto the road I had the almond in hand, and that was all that mattered right then.
I was going over a hundred miles per hour, but I didn’t care. My life was over. It was getting hot in my truck, so I rolled down my window and let the cool air rush by me. A tumbleweed rolled across the road, and I swerved to hit it. I laughed when I heard it crunch under my back tire. I remembered the Almond then, and I brought it up towards my mouth. It never made it, maybe it was the nerves, I dropped it onto the floor of the truck, and I thought I saw it roll under a piece of paper on the passengers side.
The almond was everything to me. I let go of the wheel, and leaned over the seat to look for it. I heard gravel crunch under my tire, and that snapped me out of it. I sat up, and realized that I was driving at more than one hundred miles an hour right off the road and onto the shoulder. Cop lights flashed behind me, and I thought I saw more in front. I jerked the wheel to the left, trying to get back on the road, I jerked to hard, and I could feel the truck become air borne. Suddenly everything was calm and clear. My world seemed to move in slow motion.
I realized that I didn’t have my seat belt on, and I remembered what officer Bob had told us at the beginning of the year. There is at least one student death per year on this road. I think I started laughing then, but I don’t really remember. I grabbed a hold of the steering wheel, and turned my back to the open window. That’s when the truck hit the road the first time, hitting asphalt at those speeds is no fun, I’ll tell you what. I felt my back hit the road, and I could feel muscles in my arm tearing from the strain of keeping me in the car. My leg came up and hit the steering wheel, and I felt it break. Almost like someone had lit a fire cracker inside of it. I felt no pain though, just a realization that this could really be the end. The car came upright again, and I was off the road, headed straight for a fence. I stared straight at it as my car plowed into it, I was almost upside-down by this point, and I laughed again cause I could see the horses in the field bolting.
Barbed Wire snagged on my back, and I felt it tear loose. Then my back hit the ground again. Still no pain, though I could still hear bones snapping. Mostly ribs this time. My shoulders were completely dislocated, but I refused to let go of the steering wheel. My left leg hit the steering wheel again. My shoe was untied, and somehow my foot had gotten backwards.
My left arm finally came free of the steering wheel, and I heard it crunch as the truck rolled over it. Something hit me in the head, but still I felt nothing. I could taste blood in my mouth, and I spit out a piece of tooth. I hate the taste of tooth. It’s all chalky, and disgusting.
I thought of Liz right then, of that first night we went out. We went for ice cream, but we ended up staying out until at least two. Just Liz and I talking. We did that a lot, just talked to each other. We understood each other. She knew me better than anyone ever had before. I remembered how I used to just sit, and memorize her face while she talked to me. She was always so soft looking. It was always hard for me not to reach out and hold her whenever we were around each other. I remembered everything every moment that we ever had together, and tears fell from my eyes like never before.
It was all a mockery, everything she said to me, everything we ever did together, even her last words to me, everything. None of it meant anything to her. I had given her my heart, and my soul, and she had played me. I felt as though someone had reached into my chest, and ripped my heart out, and then forced me to eat it while it still pumped blood into my body. I had never known such pain before, and I hope never to feel it again. It was the pure agony of losing everything you hold dear.
I thought of my dog then. Dogs never deceive; they aren’t capable of malice only of affection. Why hadn’t I simply stuck with having a dog, and simply left the whole girl thing alone? Girls had never done anything for me except hurt me, lie to me, and use me. I knew that before I ever decided to date Liz. I knew it when I fell in love with her.
My back crashed into the ground again, and I knew that if I rolled again I would be ejected from the truck. There was no strength left if my arm. Suddenly all motion stopped, and I was sitting in my car upright. My windshield was gone, and I saw my glasses sitting on the hood of the truck. They didn’t look broken. I opened the door, and stepped out. My left leg was twisted around all the way, and I could feel blood pouring down my back. My shirt was torn, and it looked like I may have lost a couple of buttons. I hate losing buttons; it’s such a bother to sew new ones on. I looked around. There was no one in sight, I was all alone.
Blood started leaking into my right eye, and as if it was some sort of cue, the pain started. I felt in my legs first, and they buckled underneath me. I tried to catch myself with my arms, but by then they were on fire too. My back was next, then my head, and last my chest and ribs. I crumpled to the ground, and I could hear broken bones grinding against each other as I fell. My head bounced off the bumper of the car, and once again I started to laugh. All I had wanted when I started driving was to be alone, and now as blood bubbled out of my mouth and pain racked my broken body, all I wanted was for someone to be there with me. I wanted someone to be there because from where I was laying I could see the last almond, but I needed someone else to get it to me.