29 CommentsCreative Writing, Memoir, The "She" Chronicles

Episode Two

sex in the backseat

Should she break it off? Despite the compelling physical attraction, sex alone was no longer enough. An in-depth conversation would be nice on occasion, or a proper movie date instead of the drive-in; anything to indicate he liked her as a person, apart from her physical attributes.

He laughed when she brought it up. “You love it as much as I do”, he grinned. True enough, but, it was getting tedious when all they did was drive around, stop for coffee or to look at sports cars and then park somewhere.

She had been deeply in love with her previous boyfriend, but he broke her heart. This was supposed to be a rebound, no strings attached, “feel good” fling; her first “adult” sexual relationship. He had made the initial experience euphoric and she was hooked on the rush.

It was fun, for awhile. Cruising around town in his father’s light blue Chevy Nova on a sunny, Sunday afternoon, the strains of Neil Diamond’s “I Am, I Said” coming from the radio. Singing along at full volume. Taking a walk, enveloped in each other’s arms. His touch ignited a fire in her and they were wildly compatible that way

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.

1971 Dodge Charger Superbee Red 2-a_jpg_jpg

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.

What if…

What if…

What if…

Do you ever ask yourself that question?

He was only 21……

©D.D.B. 2013

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Debbie D.

Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as “The Doglady”. Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal “hippie/rockchick”. Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

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29 thoughts on “WHAT IF…

  1. Great story and the only “what if” I’d of had on my mind is “what if I’d been in that car..” It’s sad that he lost his life, it would have been double the sadness had she.. Timing truly is everything..

  2. You have a way of telling a story, Debbie that draws the reader right in. As I read this one, I wondered if it was autobiographical – and then I realized from the comments :(.

    The ‘what-ifs’ can haunt us until we deal with them and move on – but sometimes we do suppress the memories. I’m still learning to deal with mine!

    1. Hi Corinne; Much (but not all) of the stuff I write is biographical. Very cathartic! It’s easier to tell the more painful stories in the third person. 🙂 Yes, better to deal with one’s bad memories than constantly suppress them, but I did that too, for a long time. Advancing age seems to bring them back up. Thanks for visiting and I hope to connect again soon. Cheers!

  3. A life time of “what if’s”, Debbie. Your story unleashed a memory of teenagers in my sweetie’s father’s truck. His pal insisted on taking the wheel and suddenly death to a popular boy about to graduate leaving his parents bereft and alone with a Downs Syndrome younger brother. My future husband sat behind the wheel claiming he drove because his friend didn’t have a license. What a terrible time, never forgotten. Thanks, Debbie for a sad story well told.

    1. Such a sad memory for you, Charmaine. 🙁 Appreciate your feedback about my little tale here. It is also a thinly disguised memoir; easier to tell in the third person. I was in a funk for days after writing that. Really dredged up some long-suppressed emotions. Ultimately, it was cathartic. Thanks for reading and have a great day!

  4. I think most of us have experienced a relationship such as this one at some time in our lives. Still my heart would be a little broken. Thanks for sharing. Nice story.

    1. Sorry; I thought you were commenting on the dog story and replied accordingly.(I deleted it, but, you may have received the email already – not sure.) Scratch that! LOL

      So, about “What if”: Yes, it would certainly be heartbreaking. Even though they weren’t together any longer, to have a life snuffed out at such a young age, for whatever reason is a monumental tragedy. She couldn’t help being a little relieved about the timing of the breakup, though, callous as that may seem.

  5. Lovely Debbie!

    I like the way you have the power to weave such interesting stories that keep us glued to them right till the end…commendable indeed. Full of emotions, and the videos are lovely, especially Neil Diamond’s, an all time favorite 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this with us. 🙂

  6. WOW, this was an amazing story. It really hit home for me because I have known guys like that who only wanted sex and nothing more. She was lucky to be rid of him. It would be awful to live with the “What if?” Considering his attitude towards her, she was better off without him. What a sad ending. Brilliantly written, but sad.


    1. Oh; I agree that she was better off without him and she certainly timed the break up right, otherwise she could have been killed herself. Very sad when someone so young dies, but, he brought about his own demise. Thanks for reading Kathy. 🙂

  7. I used to ask “what if ” till the impossibility of an answer started to agitate me and leave me in fear of losing my sanity. Now I ask, “What’s next,” and hope it’s something easy or pleasant.

  8. You are such a good story teller, you keep me hanging on every word, I love it. Such a tragedy when life ends at 21.

    I wonder now that time has passed if she’s found her answer to the “what if” question. My best answer would be that God puts people in our lives sometimes for a long time and often times for a short while.

    She got to experience life with him and since she had more time here He put her where she needed to be the day of the accident.

    1. Thanks for the compliment, Corina and I’m glad this kept your attention. 🙂 Who knows what might have happened in a parallel universe? Personally, I’m not a big believer in fate or destiny, but, sometimes it makes you wonder…….Had the accident never happened, I think she would have forgotten about him. If he had survived the accident, she may have been drawn back, out of pity and empathy. If they had both been in the car and survived? I’m torn between her being angry at him and angry at herself. Either way, the relationship would not have survived. Of course, if they were both in the car and both died, then it’s all moot. 😉 There was a good movie in the 90s, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, called “Sliding Doors” about the parallel universe premise.