Chapter 3

Written by: Anna Zhigareva

My fingers tap excitedly on the steering wheel to the Black Keys tune blaring from the radio. I flash myself a glance in the rear-view mirror, and, oddly, I like the lipstick. Maddy was right, it does look good on me. Jerry will be blown away. 

 

The light goes green and I floor the pedal. It’s not a powerful car, but a girl can dream. The rev of the engine fuels me. I’ve finally done it! I have an amazing new promotion, my Jerry is so close to proposing to me I can feel the tingle in my fingers as I clench the wheel. And Maddy, Maddy is finally out of rehab. She means the world to me, my sister does. What that prick did to her, threw her out like trash at his own graduation, before ditching the grimy streets of Boston for sunny California…

 

I remember that over-confident square face. Yes, they were teenagers, and yes, like most things teenage, fuelled by hormones and the need for assurance, his love for her fizzled out as quickly as three years ago when I made a snap decision to put Maddy in rehab in San Diego, and move with her to a sunnier, better place. To help her finally forget Barry.

 

I’m picturing his face when it suddenly hits me, in a sort of ridiculous notion which coincidences are, that I am actually staring at his face. He’s there, in a fancy Dodge Viper –cars were always mine and his passion – waiting for the light on his side of the intersection. The 24-hour store on the corner lights up his face. The cheap bulbs flicker, but I get a good enough view. How fates bring people back together.

 

The pedal is floored again. I don’t know if the light is green, but the intersection is clear and I need to get out of here now. To forget seeing him. Let life move on.

 

But his car also surges forward. It’s his green, not mine. In that split second, I see that he turns and looks at me. Really looks. He knows who I am. But instead of braking, like I do – and I brake hard, swerving to the right to avoid a collision – it is as if he wants to hit me, hurt me and my sister, all over again. As if he is chasing me as I try to turn out of his way. We collide headlight to side in a furious sparkle of glass shards, glimmering lights, a searing pain in my right hand.

 

***

 

I slam the table with my left hand. It makes Donna jump but she recovers herself. I look straight into Barry’s square face, dark eyes. I want to tear at his hair, bring this disgraceful being down to the ground, but I keep my cool. For Maddy. For both our silly hearts that still pine, have been pining, suppressed, since he shouted good-bye at my sister at his graduation party through cigarette-smeared lips.

Comments

O my goodness this is so witty and ironic. You capture teenager's uncertainty and need for assurance. And the way Barry suddenly metamorphoses from thought to reality is really clever. Great writing. Very engaging.
This is a human extention of the story Anna. It is completely believable and has propelled the serial forward.