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The time: Spring, 1971
The place: Toronto suburbs
The “She” Chronicles are jagged fragments of my life, using third person narrative, for the sake of emotional detachment. Today’s offering is the conclusion of Episode Two, started with the ‘I’ post on April 11:
One day, they stopped at a Dodge dealer’s lot to admire a bright red Charger Super Bee. It was spring, 1971 when muscle cars roamed the streets. His best friend had just acquired a purple one. “I’ve saved enough for a down payment” he crowed. “That baby is mine!” Little did she know what lay in store.
The courage to end it mustered itself when he picked her up one night, sporting a bad mood. They headed straight for the drive-in and parked way in the back, as usual. He hadn’t uttered more than two or three sentences up to that point and started groping her. She forcefully pushed him off.
“Is that all I’m good for, to you? Why can’t we ever have a conversation, or go out on a real date? I don’t want to do this anymore!” Her eyes flashed angrily.
He looked annoyed, to say the least. “Oh come on, you know you like it. We never pretended this was anything more than sex.”
She shook her head. “I’m done with it. Take me home!”
He was furious now and pulled out of the stall, tires squealing. They spoke no words along the way. When they arrived, she got out and dramatically slammed the door without looking back.
They never spoke again.
A couple of weeks later, there he was, zooming down the road in his shiny new car, followed closely behind by his friend, in the purple one. She battled mixed feelings, but relief won. This little interlude had played itself out and it was time to move on.
Exactly one month after the breakup, under the influence of too much alcohol, he ran off the road and flipped that shiny new car, over and over again, severely injuring three passengers. Word leaked out that he had survived the crash, but was in critical condition.
Shocked and saddened, she waited tensely for further news at the local hangout. This was the first time anyone close to her had been seriously hurt. Impatient, she called the hospital herself, pretending to be a relative.
“We’re so sorry. He passed away this morning.”
The world ground to a screeching halt and her heart dropped into the pit of her stomach. She stood, riveted to the floor for what seemed like hours. Was this real? She had watched him drive by the other day and thought how great he looked behind the wheel of that car. Now, he and the car were both gone!
Grief overwhelmed her.
Then she started thinking.
What if they had still been going out together? She could have been in the car that night and also killed! Or, he probably wouldn’t have had that much to drink. He only did that when he was with his buddies.
What if he hadn’t purchased the car? That big block V8 was mighty tempting to a speed demon, but his father’s little Nova had no such accoutrements. He may have been more careful with it.
Do you ever ask yourself that question?
He was only 21…
Playing on the radio at the time; a fitting, tragic song:
To be continued in the ‘V’ post on April 26th
Have you ever been shocked by a sudden death?
Looking forward to your comments!
The Doglady’s Den #AtoZChallenge 2017 Youtube playlist: