To be Announced (Part 12)

“We’ll be fine,” I assured Chad with a confidence I definitely didn’t feel.  “Everything’s going to be okay.”

“How do you know?” he asked, looking me in the eyes.  “For all either of us know, nothing is ever going to be okay again, and we’re going to die.”

“Oh, we can’t die tonight,” I managed to smile.  “After all, I haven’t gone to church with you yet!  How would I make it into heaven?”  Then, seeing he was actually about to respond, I quickly added, “Besides, Abby probably called the police as soon as she saw us!”

“You know you don’t believe that,” Chad whispered, which I would have taken offense at if it weren’t so true.  He was right.  I didn’t believe that, and we weren’t going to be okay.  I had an urge to ask him what he had been about to say about how to get to heaven, but I ignored it.  Heaven wasn’t a real place, and even if it was, I’d never make it there.

I repeated my statement after another second, with a certainty I was forcing myself to feel, just to prove to my dad that we weren’t scared, even though I was literally trembling all over.  “Abby probably called the police, and they’re setting up a roadblock now!”

My dad half turned around to look at me with disgust in his eyes before focusing back on the road for a sharp turn.  “Girl, you know as well as I do that Abby loves me too much, or hates you enough to never make a call like that!”  Then, as we rounded the curve to see flashing lights just up ahead, he cursed violently, asking me what I was thinking, saying something like that.  “No bother, it’s probably just a pull-over.  Just to be safe, though, both of you get down,” he ordered.

We had no idea what evil schemes he had planned to force us to obey, so we just crouched in the minimal space below the seat.  As he floored the gas pedal, I tried to scream, but no sound came out.  I could barely make out Chad’s features in the darkness, but I could tell that he was just as scared as I was.  I reached over and grabbed his hand tightly.

“I hope you’re praying, buddy.  There’s another sharp turn just past the police officer.”

He turned his head my way, and although I couldn’t make out his expression, I was sure he was about to assure me that his God, or whatever, could get us out of any situation.  Before he could say anything, though, we hit the curve.

This time, whipping around off the ground, the scream did come out, and it didn’t help a bit to know that Chad was screaming just as loudly.  I didn’t pay any attention to the sounds we were hearing, because I was sure they would just scare me more.  Of course, it was no good to try to hear the sounds, because all I could hear over the sound of my own screams was Chad.

Suddenly, everything came to a stop with a sickening crunch from the front of the car.  I remember grabbing Chad’s hand tighter, then my head slammed into the seat in front of me, I felt myself go limp, then everything was black.

After that, I remember glimpses of blurry faces and flashing lights; Abby’s face seemed to be there somewhere, which bothered me, but not as much as the fact that I never saw or heard Chad.

The next thing I remember clearly was in the hospital, and Abby was definitely there with my mom.  They both looked worried, and I felt bad for what I’d done to Abby earlier, but I attributed that to the medication they must have me on.

I tried to tell them that I was fine, but my tongue felt thick, and my mouth was so dry that hardly a sound came out.  It got their attention, though.  They rushed closer.

“Jessie!” Abby gasped, “I was so scared!  What happened?  I’m so glad I called the police!”

“Don’t think this gets you out of trouble, young lady,” Mom warned.  Apparently, now that I was awake, I was no longer hurt or in need of sympathy.  My head was spinning between being glad that I was right about Abby calling, and being upset that it really was Abby that had done that.

Then I remembered Chad with a start, and tried to sit up.  I couldn’t, but I managed to ask, “Chad?”

“He’s fine.  He’s in another room.  You both have pretty much the same minor injuries,” Abby assured me.  Of course she knew, I thought ruefully.  “Hey, truce?” she asked.  “At least while you’re too incapacitated for me to hit you for what you did to me yesterday?”

It was yet another shock that a whole day had gone by, but it was fairly understandable.  I pretended to fall asleep, and wondered about my dad, the one person no one had mentioned.  Sure, he had been about to kill us, but he was still my dad!  Then I wondered, with a slight shudder, if it was a premonition that made me talk about him in the past tense.

 

*NOTE: All characters and events portrayed in this story are purely fictitious.  Any resemblance to actual people or events is entirely coincidental.*

———

Next part next Friday!  Title suggestions, names for various characters, or other questions, comments, or concerns can be left below, or you can e-mail me at the address on my contact page.

If you really love my work, vote for one of my poems on TeenInk!  Every little bit helps!

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