“Slow down, dammit! You’re going to wreck the car!” I still didn’t know why I had let Ronnie drive. He didn’t even have a valid license. Now here I was, sitting beltless in the passenger seat, as he maneuvered his way down a road full of hairpin turns at breakneck speed.
“Relax. I know this road.” Maybe he did, but I knew my car. It wasn’t aerodynamically inclined for curves at all. It was simply a box for driving like normal human beings on any given road.
“I don’t care, it’s my car. Slow down, now!”
Even as the words floated into the empty space between us, I saw it happening.
The car played hopscotch with the asphalt. Eerie sounds came from the tires. Momentum propelled my body forward as a tree stopped the car and the windshield stopped my forehead.
Silence. Blood flowed down over my eye. Ronnie peeled himself from the steering wheel.
“Now what?” I asked him. His house was only down the road but it was after 2:00 am and there were no streetlights. He pulled me out of the car and instructed me to walk. In no mood to argue, I complied.
“You need to go to the hospital,” was all he said.
“You have a capias out on you, Ronnie. You are going to go to jail.”
“Don’t tell them I was driving. Don’t tell them I was in the car at all.” His words echoed through me as he opened his door.
“They are going to know I wasn’t driving. Forehead, passenger side smashed windshield…”
“You just tell them that’s how hard you hit the tree.” He sat me down at the kitchen table.
“I’d have more injuries. Make my head stop bleeding.” He grabbed a towel and placed it above my eye.
“Just keep the blood out of your eyes. Let’s get the story straight and then I will call 9-1-1.”
“I was driving, took the curve too fast, and hit the tree. I was by myself. My head hurts. Do you have any Tylenol?” He picked up the phone and pushed the buttons as I finished.
“I need an ambulance.”
I closed my eyes as his voice droned on, miniature dwarves hammering at my skull from inside my head.
“They are on the way. Now, what are you going to tell them again?”