by free writer
A man regretful about his past has to shortly relive it after a child and mother need help
| The day was grey, gloomy, depressing. Practically no sun shone through the thick blanket of clouds. It looked as if it was going to rain. I hurried, trying to drive faster to get to my destination. No use. I heard thunder far back. All I could think about was the night I would again spend on the side of the road, waiting for the rain to stop.
The car's engine was quiet, the movement was smooth. The radio talked softly about people's lives and the everyday drama they go through. It was peaceful here in the car. All until the rain would fall upon it and trickle as it disturbed the quiet. The noise unbearable, I dreaded the very sound of it.
I looked around. The loneliness of the road allowed me to go as far as I could. My foot started pushing down harder on the pedal, the care gradually sped up. But something caught my eye. A simple white car was there with open doors, people standing outside of it. A mother and her daughter. I slowed down a bit to get a closer look. My mistake though, they waved at me. I was about to keep moving forward, but the daughter and mother caught up to me and went to my window.
"Hey! Can you give us a ride? Our car ran out of gas and one of the tires is flat." The woman begged. I stared at her, then at her daughter. She looked just like her mother, blue eyes, long brown hair. Her face structure wasn't bad, and her frown surprisingly was quite nice. I nodded then gestured my head to the back for them to get in. Her smile was even nicer.
"Thank you so much!" The mother exclaimed. Her daughter stayed silent but smiled a bit. Her mother looked at her, whispered something in her ear, then turned back to me. "She isn't very social."
"Well, neither am I." I quickly turned back. The mother paused for a bit, then buckled her seat-belt with a puzzled look on her face. I drove on, making sure not to go too fast this time. Her daughter looked kind of nervous. I looked into the mirror, and so did her. Our eyes met. Her eyes stared at mine softly, but mine stared at her sharply. She quickly looked away.
"Mommy, this man is scary." She softly complained to her mother. She pulled on her sweater and looked at her with a concerned face. I kept on driving, ignoring what I have just heard.
"Honey don't say that!" She gently pushed her back into her seat. "I am so sorry! She's just a little scared of strangers that's all. She'll get better." I stared at the mom through the mirror.
"It's ok. Just pay no mind to me." I kept my eyes on the road. It was darker than I last saw it. The road ahead of me would mean terror if I didn't pull to the side of the road.
"Looks like it's going to rain." The woman said.
"I was thinking I would just pull over on the side of the road, and wait out the rain," I replied, making sure to not make eye contact. all control I had was suddenly lost. My eyes constantly moved from her glare.
"No!" The woman exclaimed as if I had just said something out of the ordinary. "The rain is predicted to last about thirty minutes. And we have a place to be right now. I am very grateful that you would help us out, but we are not waiting in the car just because of some silly rain! That's just crazy!"
"Look, lady, I highly suggest that we pull over for now. There will be some problems if I drive through the rain."
"Let me drive then!" I looked at her again and thought about it. But she was in no shape to drive. She looked exhausted.
"What do you mean no?! Can you please just drive through the..."
"You will not drive, and I am not driving through the rain!" I yelled loud enough for the girl to jump out of her seat a bit. She let out a little yelp. Her mother attempted to comfort her. She looked at me. I noticed my sudden hostility was a bit much. I had to withdraw a bit; I was starting to come off as too hostile.
"If I can't drive, you will." She said sharply. "We have to get somewhere fast, and if we cannot get there, it will be on you. Now you may not care, but a lot more people do." She glared at me now. Her tone suddenly shifted from thankful to angry. Like I wasn't following her rules. In my car. I gave in.
"Fine, where you heading?"
"To daddy's room!" Her daughter blurted out. I nodded, then continued to drive.
"Just keep going straight." Her mother added. She looked at her daughter, hugged and kissed her, then patiently sat as I drove.
The kid fell asleep, while the mother avoided resting to keep watch. I continued driving. No rain yet. Maybe no rain was going to fall. Maybe I make it to where they needed to, then I could drive home or get a hotel. I could drink alcohol to no end. Maybe even end it all tonight. No, I never do. I always hold the knife to my wrist, or gun to my head. But nothing happens. I can't ever do it, as of yet.
Then it started drizzling. The first noise of a drop of water breaking upon the car shocked me, and my hands turned the car on their own. Her mother yelled and the tires screeched. I quickly got back to going straight. The mother looked at me.
"What was that?!" She whispered. I gasped for breath.
"I-I'm sorry. I'm sorry." I stopped the car for a moment, then started driving again. "I'm sorry." She looked annoyed. I hoped it was because of my constant apologizing, but that seemed to be the least of her worries.
"Just keep driving."
The storm got worse. The child and parent were on guard now. They sat anxiously, wondering if I would screw up again. My hands were tense, the control slowly escaping me. They shook relentlessly as I attempted to traverse through the storm. a memory comes to me, one where I almost lose control of the wheel. Another flashback, same story. They keep coming randomly, each one is more vivid than the last. Sweat started rolling down me, not unlike the rain falling from the sky. My brain could barely focus.
Suddenly, I lose control again. This time the car whirls around faster, longer. The tires screech louder. My hands trying to grab hold of the wheel. My thoughts clogging up my mind. I can't think straight. My hands groped faster, no luck. The mother screamed, and the child nervously looked up. I slammed down the brakes and got a hold of the wheel. The car came to a complete stop. I had no breath, and I was sweating everywhere now.
"YOU WERE ABOUT TO KILL US!" The women hollered. "YOU COULD HAVE KILLED US!"
Her child was in tears. She was crying softly under her breath. My body was trembling. The incident played a role, but the main cause was the ruthless rain falling above us. It wasn't trickling, it was thudding. What looked like liquid sounded like rock. One would be lead to believe the rain would cause the car's roof to shatter. I too feared that chance. My windshields couldn't keep up. Rain filled the front window. The headlights portrayed a cloudy picture of the road. I couldn't even muster out an apology.
"I-i-i'm sorry. I'm so sorry." I turned my head and looked at them. They stared back, with pity, fear, and anger. My guilt must have been palpable because they seemed to look down on me like I was sick. Tears and sweat rolled down my face. How pathetic I must have looked.
"Look, buddy, if you keep up this nonsense, we'll never make it to the hospital before visiting hours." The mother strictly said.
"Hospital?" I asked. She never said anything about it, did she?
"Yeah." She said softly. "My husband was in an accident, and he's badly hurt. We need to go see him."
"I can't drive you." The rain started coming down harder.
"You have to!" She replied.
"Look lady I can't!" I shouted back. I saw a car driving down the road, heading in the same direction. He or she was going slowly, probably because of the beast of a storm outside. The monstrous thunder took little breaks in between its increments of occurrence. Lightning struck constantly. The rain got stronger.
"Why can't you?!"
"Because I can't drive in the rain! Some people are lucky to get out of accidents like your husband!" I was shouting so loud that her daughter covered her ears. "Some people aren't."
She just stared at me, opened the car door, and walked out with her child. She signaled the car and got picked up. Off they drove. I slowly moved the car to the side of the road. The rain bashed upon my car, almost pushing it back with the help of the strong winds. I managed to do it. The bullets were coming down hard and my head ached. I had a hard time reaching for my bottle of whiskey. I groped for it for a while, feeling it with my fingers. But I couldn't quite get a grasp upon it.
I finally got a hold of it, then opened the car door, dashed out, and slammed it closed. I fell to the soaked mud and was breathing heavily. All the pain in my head was cured. My hands stopped shaking, and the flashbacks stopped. All I heard was rain, but the sounds of it smashing against my vehicle slipped away into memory. I opened the bottle and sipped it only a little. No need to rush, I'll be here for a while.