|5 Minutes 27 Seconds
Author: Starry-eyed Starfish PM
I was told of an accident similar to this and decided to write my own version: On a night that changed everything. On a summer that went wrong. I didn't see it coming. I didn't know back then. But I know one thing for sure now: He is gone and I am alone.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Tragedy - Words: 1,855 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 2 - Published: 05-25-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3025820
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
5 Minutes and 27 Seconds
It was summer but it was raining. The relentless thud of raindrops upon pavement thrummed through the air, a thick noise of harsh whispers pounding through the night. As they cascaded upon us in a blur of distorted colour, I felt their ice cold kisses against my cheeks, each one disappearing just as quickly as they fell from the Heavens above. Around me the quieted roads of the night-time town stretched out in the darkness, blurred in the hazy light of the moon above with the usual city greys melting with the blacks of the evening as we raced past. Nothing seemed as it should have been. Everything was messy, like a lazy painter had splattered the world with cheap shadow colours – ghosts of the usual vivid shades of summer. Recently summer hadn't been treating our small city kindly, giving us stormy clouds of grey instead of skies of river blue. A childish daydream made me hope that if the sky cried enough, flooding the streets mercilessly for one night, when the morning came it wouldn't have enough tears to touch us for a long time then perhaps our summers would feel kinder.
Little did I know that summer on that particular night was definitely not in the mood for feeling 'kind'.
With the scent of rain came the abundant stench of fuliginous smoke that poured from the motorbike in an intricately curling twirl behind us. Every time the turbulent wind blew the tendrils of smog into my face, my eyes stung and I spluttered on my own breath. Drew sat in front of me, his strong silhouette cutting into the night sky above; with his features hidden by the black matte helmet he wore. Before we left the party earlier, sure that our minds were not too foggy with alcohol, we had decided that he should be the one to wear the only helmet, seeing as he was the one driving. We had argued over it, which was not surprising because we argued a lot, but in the end my persistence – and incredible persuasive ability – won over his urgent need to protect me.
That night I was oh-so-certain that I didn't need protecting. Not from a motorbike helmet anyway.
Whilst the cold winds roared through my ears, accompanied by the haunting orchestra of seemingly endless rain, I leant backwards so that my head faced the sky above.
Streaks of indigo spun between ribbons of violet in a mottled weave, dipping between the solid black that stood as the background against the splashes of muted evening colour. Encrusted into the dark depths, so small that I worried they would get lost in the blackness; the silvery stars glistened beside the white pearl of the moon as it watched upon us all. In comparison to the eerie blue veins of light emitted by the streetlamps as they whizzed past, it was by far more radiant.
Suddenly the mechanical shell of the motorbike lurched. My head, dizzy from the movement, snapped forward when the bike swerved sharply around another corner. My grip around Drew's waist tightened. A lot. Was it just me or were we going too fast? The bike screeched as we zoomed down another street. My hair whipped around me in a wild frenzy. I felt my stomach jolt and my neck click. No, it was not just me; it was definitely not just me, especially not when I felt the all of a sudden way-too-strong winds tear at my skin painfully.
"Drew!" I shouted over the wailing wind, panicking when he didn't reply, "Drew!"
I heard his shout as it was muffled by the gusts, "What is it?"
"Slow down!" Another corner came, another rapid lurch, another feeling of nausea climbed the walls of my stomach. There was no reply for a while, not until the shuddering bike had recovered from the last jerk, "Hey! Slow down, Drew!"
"No, it's fun." Fun? Was he being serious? I could feel my grip on him loosening, the wind tearing us apart and the momentum building scarily fast yet he was still calling this fun? Whoever the boy driving this motorbike was he was most certainly not the one who had desperately wanted to protect me earlier.
A bold red sign came into vision, displaying the loud number thirty. This was definitely not safe. My lungs constricted. Deep down I felt the insidious tendrils of fear encroach upon my heart.
"Stop it, Drew!" I yelled, "Please, slow down, you're scaring me!"
There was a pause, "Then tell me you love me."
"Tell me that you love me." Something was the matter. I didn't know what; I wasn't sure I even wanted to know but I knew that something, whatever it was, was deadly wrong. My skin prickled with the ominous feeling of an impending danger that I couldn't place my finger on, even when it could have been staring straight at me, into my worryingly blind eyes. Normally he wouldn't randomly ask – no, demand – this because he knew that I love him yet here he was, wishing for me to tell him one of the reasons why my heart was beating so fast. Maybe he was annoyed at me. Maybe I had upset him at the party. At the time I didn't search any deeper than the everyday superficial problems that disturbed the usual calm of our relationship. Should I have done? If I had, I am not sure if it would have done me any good.
"I love you," Even when screeching the words I felt my pulse quicken all of a sudden and, if I pressed against him, I thought that I heard the murmur of his accelerate too. My mind wasn't too focused on that though, not when we were turning another corner, the speed splitting us apart, "Will you please slow down now?"
"Not until you kiss me," He shouted. Was it just me or did his voice catch in his throat? Right now, I wasn't sure if he was teasing me or if there was something really, really wrong but I chose to ignore it when the a new road began to approach us, this one more daunting than the rest.
As it grew closer, I saw it slopping downwards into a solid block of darkness, swallowed by an intimidating mass of shadow, in a near-vertical drop. At the bottom I vaguely saw the crude outline of a wrecked building where the street came to an abrupt, deadly halt. My blood ran cold. At this point we couldn't risk driving down there with this speed and I couldn't risk arguing with drew. All I could do was comply with his irrelevant and perplexing demands in hope that somehow they would save me.
Not that anything was going to happen. Because nothing could happen to either of us. Not now. So I couldn't be saved if there was nothing to save me from, right?
These days I find it sickeningly amusing that back then I thought we were invincible.
Hastily I craned my neck forward into the recognisable force of the stronger winds that battered my head, rattling my already confused brain. Luckily I managed to reach up high enough to touch the base of Drew's neck with my lips where my breath tickled his sun-kissed skin gently, where my lips grazed his shoulder with the lightest touch that had the biggest impact upon my heart. Ferocious gales yanked me back into my seat, into my false safety where I clung onto my boyfriend with all of the might I could conjure.
"Drew?" I called into the windy darkness, "Drew, you said you'd slow down now."
The bike didn't slow down. Whilst the dangerous road loomed ever closer, I felt my heart become heavier but still flutter agonizingly fast against my chest. Sweat beaded on my brow when the bike wobbled, the cliff-like road stretched before us.
He still had one last demand for me.
"Now take of my helmet and put it on yourself. It's bothering me." It was definite: something was troubling him; he barely managed to shout the strangled request above the thunder of the engine. In my head I ran over a thousand possibilities that made no sense then decided, with a sigh that was lost in the wind, that there was no escape.
Hesitantly, with one arm still maintaining a firm grip around his waist, a fistful of his t-shirt in my left hand, I blindly fumbled for the helmet, right hand flailing madly in the darkness until my fingers alighted upon its smooth surface. With as much courage and care as I could conjure I slipped her fingers into the helmet's interior, Drew's skin and jet black hair pressing against my touch, and raised it from his head, then clumsily placed it upon my own.
The road came into view and still the bike didn't slow down. I felt all my internal organs drop. Why was I so scared? Nothing was going to happen. Nothing could happen because…because… A bump in the road tore me from my messy thoughts. Everything was too fast. I felt sick. The road loomed closer. We were not slowing down. Why did this feel like an end? Why did I feel so claustrophobic, trapped in this prison of a helmet?
Why did Drew seem so far away?
"Will you slow down now?" My plea was faint, barely coherent – I wonder now if it was because I had finally realised, without admitting it, that I knew we were not going to slow down; we were going to keep on going. Until the very end.
"I will never forget you." He told me on that summer night when everything went horribly wrong.
"What are you talking about?"
"I love you."
I was told that the next day an accident was reported. Two young adults – a boy and a girl – had crashed at the end of a steep road into the face of a towering building due to brake failure. One was found wearing a helmet whereas the other was found with an unrecognisable face. One was still clinging to the other, even though they knew there wasn't even a ghost of hope. One was found alive. One was found dead.
One of them was me. One of them was Drew.
It is only now that I realise the truth of that evening and how much that boy had loved me. All along he knew. When the bike continued to race forward of its own accord, he knew with deadly certainty that there was no way to stop it. He knew one of us would die. So he made whisper loving words in his ear and kiss him in his last moments. Then he made me wear his helmet so that I would survive.
And in turn he would fade away in my place.