For now, Dara will be the only one with a past. Presently she is nineteen, carrying about ten extra pounds of baby weight, and yet for the first time, feeling moderately secure about her lot in life. She shares a two-bedroom apartment with her boyfriend. Who is, incidentally, the father of her soon to be child. The past will unfurl alongside Dara's various issues, and there are many. Every protagonist needs their fair share of problems. If there is no growth then there is no story. Unless of course, that's the very point of it. That there is no point and no amount of growth or adaptation can change that. You can decide the point when Dara's tale comes to a close.
It begins on a dark road on some night in June, because darkness is ominous and also saves descriptive effort. Every so often, a tree is illuminated by the headlights. Stark in the white lights for the briefest moment, and then it is swept away by the yawning road. That's the only visual you'll really need. Save for that it is dull blackness and humming insects. The air is humid, hot and the air conditioning in Dara and Boyfriends car is broken. It's an old car with a lot of problems, but they can't afford anything else. They have been on the road for over an hour now. Boyfriend is growing sleepy behind the wheel. Dara hasn't been able to shake her bizarre lethargy, so she is silent and still in the seat besides him. Boyfriend starts a bit and Dara slowly turns her face towards the windshield as the body achieves contact. It makes a sickening thump, several cracks, and then the bulk of it rolls to the hood of the car. A hand somehow gets tangled in the passenger windshield wiper. The face, bloodied and unidentifiable, is plastered against the glass. Red streams down the pane. Dara can see blue veins pulsing in Body's neck, she stares mutely as they contract and expand. Once, twice, three times, then they seem to give up. Boyfriend is wondering why anyone is walking this lonely stretch of road so late at night. He is wondering if the police will give him a ticket, as he was speeding. He was speeding and it's very evident in the damage to Body. He can't be prosecuted for killing Body, can he? He wonders if he should even bother calling the police.
Boyfriend gets out of the car. Dara's hand flutters over her stomach. For a moment, she thought she felt something there. But now there is nothing. Boyfriend is in front of the car, staring at Body bleeding all over the windshield. Body lies on his back, atop the car, and yet his face is pressed against the windshield. Boyfriend ponders the physics of this. But he soon gives up, it is not the time. He examines the car from all angles as he thinks of what to do. Body is clothed very shabbily. Body is looking more and more like a bum. If Body is a bum, does Boyfriend really need to call the police? Dara might object, thinks Boyfriend. Dara holds all life sacred or she would have terminated the little life inside of her already. Boyfriend tolerates the sillier aspects of Dara's nature because he loves her. He glances in through his window. Dara is staring at Body, her eyes following the tiny rivers of blood as they continue to gush down the glass. She seems fascinated. It occurs to him that Dara did not scream, and that her eyes are dry. Boyfriend wonders if she is in shock.
She looks towards him, her large eyes strangely luminous. Her eyebrow quirks upward, piercings glinting like steel stitches. Boyfriend shakes his head. Never mind, she is all right. Just observing. This is the Dara he holds dear. The one who is willing to separate from her empathy to wonder at life without moral bias. Boyfriend lives that way. Morals were developed to keep society from annihilating itself, he thinks, and now we have institutions for that. Boyfriend climbs onto the hood. Body is on his back so he has easy access to all the pockets. No identification. Boyfriend considers dumping Body in the woods again. He crouches next to Body and stares at the still chest. He wonders what it's like to die. He wonders if Body felt anything. He's glad that he and Dara live out in the woods, although he supposes he could claim the blood is from a deer. A very large deer. A very large deer, which pretty much destroyed the front bumper and part of the grill. Boyfriend decides he should get Body off the car, at least. He hops down and gets a towel from the trunk. He then tries to push body off the roof. He covers his hands with the towel. He's going to burn it when they get home. He doesn't want his fingerprints on Body and he doesn't want Body's blood on his towel. The hand is still stuck in the windshield wiper. Boyfriend is staring at Body's crooked, broken fingers as Dara finally starts screaming. She is clutching her swollen belly, eyes closed, screaming. Boyfriend asks her what's wrong, is it the baby? It's too soon for the baby, what's wrong? Dara screams about her doctor. She needs to see her doctor something's wrong and it hurts. Boyfriend slides off the roof of the car again, untangles Body's broken wrist from the wiper and kicks him into the woods. He rolls him along with his feet for a while, Dara's screams growing fainter as he moves farther into the woods. He doesn't think much about Body now. He's too focused on Dara. Dara is screaming in pain, and she is not due for another four months. Boyfriend runs back to the car. His feet feel heavy. He will tell the nurses and doctors it was a deer. As his bloodied foot hits the gas, he hopes Body is never found.
Death is a natural part of life. There is a time for every purpose under heaven. Death is an essential condition of life, not an evil. A man is not completely born until he is dead. That is what they say, anyway. Baby's life was a life unlived- in the most literal terms. Baby was not even a whole baby yet. Dara's fingers were thin and pale; they lay stiffly across the hospitals sheets. Boyfriend had fallen asleep hours ago. He had not cried. Dara had stopped when she'd fully understood the situation. Baby would never cry. The most terrible thing about it is not the grief of losing Baby, but the relief in losing Baby.