By: Corey Boiko
We arrived at my uncle’s pillar porch as we got out of the cramped car which had too much stuff in one side of the backseat. Her friend drove a 1980 something Honda Accord. We all got out. They followed me as I approached the door and it opened. Like bees in a hive we knew what we had to do and time sped up. It was all subconsciously taken care of. We knew our tasks, which were separate but for a greater goal, and we went off individually to take care of them. I congregated with my uncle and I figured out that he was taking his own car to our ultimate destination.
My path once more crossed with her, and she had all her shopping bags this time. I stopped by my uncle’s car briefly as they rushed to their Honda. We reached an understanding and I turned to walk, quickly, to her friend’s car. She took my front seat… My uncle slowly started to put-put around the other side of our roundabout as I shoved myself into the same seat as her, because the back was now completely obstructed by her shopping bags. I was angry, but I suppressed the need to lash out easily, as we took off skidding around our side of the roundabout driveway. My uncle passed us going the other way and we watched as a cop flashed his siren and pulled him over. I felt relief that we hadn’t been targeted by this cop in our beat up cramped sedan.
I advised her friend to slow down, but too late. We hit a curb in front of us and dipped into a meadow like decline to incline that ended with a 3 foot fence and the continuation of our road. Her friend reminded me of his driving prowess and the nature of his off-road experience. We had all seen the road on the other side, so why not have some fun, he lamented. We sped up into the incline and jumped right over the fence on the other side. She needed to make it to her boyfriend’s house tonight, speed up. And then it had been raining. Careful, I mentioned, you won’t make this turn at the speed you’re going on this slippery street. I was increasingly worried but I hid my feelings to not spark up anyone else’s. It’s okay, as we flew over the side of the road once more into a recognizable grove. He hadn’t been lying about his driving skill, we jumped from one side of a shallow dirt valley to the other, and back, and forth, and back. Our pendulum like motion was devilish at most and her friend smiled at me. The faster we got and further from the road we got, the more I started to fear our ultimate goal.
Dread crept up on me and paralyzed me as the prairie’s horizon line cut off and an enormous cliff across the way became increasingly visible, the road adjacent to the base of the cliff, and then finally the lake that separated us from it. I wasn’t going to die, I reassured myself. And then we had launched into empty space. My heart pounded. The seatbelt that I shared with her held true on impact with the water, which wasn’t as jarring as I had expected. We kept our inertia much better than the other car that was also slowly sinking near us. And then my cousin was cramped into the same front seat as her and I. We were going to make it across the lake above water to the road. Her friend removed his seatbelt and made it out his door. Water started rushing in, and those few clumsy moment cost my cousin’s life. I fumbled with my own seatbelt, and was on my way out, but she pushed me back. The water level exceed my capacity to receive oxygen, but I hardly noticed, I wouldn’t get out. Nothingness flashed the briefest fraction of a second.
This record of my life skipped a beat, or intervention from above returned me to life, but I believe it was an alternate reality that my spirit escaped into. I was out of the car and onto the road before her. She was struggling and I helped her up the steep yet short ascent onto the solid ground. We were panting from exertion, pumped up from adrenaline. Her friend was nowhere to be seen, and neither was my cousin. I felt disgusted with her. I bit her nose to chin hard enough to let her know I was pissed. I got up to walk away and stepped on her face as I did. Was this real? I felt like I had gone down in the car. I couldn’t have really gotten out. Did I drown under the sea? Was that the reality of the dream that gave me an alternate dream ending? Will anybody ever remember this?