Tilt/Shift

By: BabyPop Massacre

-Prologue-

Day: May 21, 1998

Subject: Something BAD happened today, diary

They called us the five musketeers. An odd and rather stupid name but it stuck to us so well. The sight of two Blacks, an Asian and two Caucasians eating, sitting, and talking together kind of bothered a few people, mainly at school, but never really meant a thing to us.

Our parents sort of didn't stand behind it either so we were our own family. We consisted of three girls and two boys.

Darrel Wilson, a senior. He was cocky and out of control at times but was really funny.

Gail Holt, a senior as well. Pretty and popular. But cool.

Adora Wong, a junior like me. Very smart and unique.

Me…Nya

And Vincent Pierce, a senior who was overall a gentleman and a great friend.

High School was out, my second to last day as a junior as well as Adora's, and we all decided to go out and celebrate. Without his parents' permission, Vincent drove up to the front of the school grinning with pride behind the wheel of a brand new white Audi Cabriolet.

My mouth dropped at the sheer beauty of the thing, Adora and Gail giggled, and Darrel who was already halfway to the car was cussing like a sailor.

After the excitement and the few jealous glares some of our peers were giving us, we piled in and sped off.

We hit that fancy McDonalds in the city and a pool bar and the movies. We stayed out past 9, our curfew, and not one of us had the sense to call the folks to tell them where we were or if we were okay.

It was getting dark out and the air was humid. I thought it was going to rain but Gail doubted it. The last thing I wanted was to get my hair wet so I asked Vincent to drive me home.

He looked at me through the rear view mirror pouting like a child but smiled and agreed.

We took the freeway, which was crowded but moving, however the boys believed differently. We could hear Vincent pumping the gas and jerking the vehicle to accelerate and Darrel, on a testosterone high, was egging him on.

The girls and I sat back and hastily fastened our seatbelts and Gail swore she would die that night.

Driving alongside the feeder, an all too familiar sports car drove up beside us. It was a Mustang, the older model, but was tricked out rather well. The window rolled down and out popped the face of the captain of our high school's football team.

I forgot his name but Gail refreshed me. He was quite the jerk, a womanizer to say the least.

He blew us a sarcastic kiss and Darrel and Gail returned with a middle finger duet.

I noticed the clouds were starting to swirl and gray. The wind was picking up and whatever hairstyle I had was gone that night.

The sudden jerk and screech of our car made me scream turning my attention back to the other car. Apparently Kevin, that's his name, was attempting to scare us off the road. When that didn't work, he sped off giving us the bird and giving the boys this smirk. Not like a perverted smirk which I was use to seeing but the kind that he used when we versed the Blue Village Panthers during the playoffs.

Vincent adjusted his seat and told us, the girls, to sit. Adora grabbed my hand, closed her eyes and whispered something I couldn't understand.

Gail watched her and looked at Vincent. I remembered her asking him if he was going to race Kevin and he nodded. Gail plopped back rather excited while I stared out straight in front of me. The traffic was getting thick.

The engine roared, the car jerked us back and Darrel cheered Vincent on. The Audi screeched down the highway, swimming left and right through traffic tossing us back and forth in the car.

I thought of Vincent as the honorable good boy of the group. He was kind, a gentleman and smart. But that night he seemed more like Darrel.

Crazy

Quick-tempered

And Irrational

The constant switching of lines and roaring thunder were making me dizzy and I panicked. I shouted over the noise for Vincent to stop or slow down and take us home. He didn't hear me or he ignored me…I'm not sure.

It was getting really dark and the car's digital clock said I think it was around 11:23pm. To make matters worse, it started to sprinkle and I wished the car's cloth top was up. The leather seats started to become slippery and it was hard to stay still.

A huge bolt of lightning tore through the sky, loud as hell, and Darrel cheered at that too. He spotted Kevin and his Mustang and urged Vincent to go faster.

From what I remember, reading the speedometer, he was going over 95 miles per hour in a crowded 60mph zone. I was freaking out.

I looked at Adora and she looked at me biting her lip and the last thing I heard was Gail screaming "Oh shit!"

-

Traffic was at an utter standstill. The freeway was wet with the clapping rain and glittered in auto parts and glass. Vincent's car was completely smashed on the driver's side,my side, and laid in sparkling white pieces across the freeway.

Instead of winning the race with Kevin, we crashed into a center divider. Vincent predicted his actions too late and we spun out of control hitting a wall.

I sat on the cement hill that supported an overpass with my hands covering my face. Adora sat next to me covered in scratches and bruises, like me, with her knees pulled to her chest.

She had been crying and now nothing came from her lips but "Oh my God" or "Idiot."

I was thankful that everyone survived. Darrel was surprisingly the one with the most critical injuries, (he was taken to the hospital) and Vincent was talking to the newly arrived policemen with Gail clutching his arm. Her legs was barely visible due to all the bandages and no matter how many times the paramedics told her to sit down, she would shake her head and latch onto Vincent even tighter.

The reason we weren't over there was because Adora wanted nothing to do with the authorities. The only thing on her mind was her parents and getting home.

I wanted to go home too. Our celebration day was over.

I remembered Adora saying how she hoped Darrel would be alright and how she would be punished for not calling. I nodded and we both turned our heads to a familiar Chinese accent.

Below us, Adora's mother stood not angry but crying holding out her arms with her husband standing beside her with an umbrella.

Adora shivered standing up and calling after her mother in Chinese. I watched as the two embraced and the father turned his attention to me. I arose and walked over afraid he was going to yell at me.

Adora told me about the times he spoke of certainpeople calling them stupid or something like that.

But instead of shouting, he held me patting my head. He pulled away still holding my arms and asked if I was okay. The humidity and heavy rain had caused his glasses to fog up a bit so I couldn't read if his expression was true or not.

I nodded anyway.

Vincent and Gail ran over to us and before the guys could ask if we were okay. went berserk.

He shouted out things of responsibility and how idiotic Vincent's actions were and what surprised me more, he spoke of how Adora and I could have been killed. And here I thought that quiet man was a bigot.

Within several minutes, I heard the arriving sirens of another ambulance truck and more police cars. A few tow trucks came too even though there was nothing that could be towed.

Mrs. Holt, Gail's mother, who was driving amongst the rubberneckers, pulled over in her fancy Lexus and took Gail home without saying a word to us.

Mr. Wong offered to give me a ride home wanting nothing to do with Vincent. I refused not wanting to leave my friend behind but the boy urged me to go half smiling and completely ashamed.

I watched him for a while in the pouring rain and nodded. I heard Mrs. Wong call after me and Adora in Chinese and we said "okay" in unison.

Adora gave him a kiss on the cheek and whispered "I forgive you." adding a little hug to it. I hugged him as well as we ran back to the Wong's humble and warm beige Corolla.

As we slowly drove off in the opposite direction ignoring Mr. Wong's angry remarks about Vincent, I looked out the back window and watched as the view of my best friend got smaller and smaller.

Adora turned and looked as well. She asked me if I thought he would be alright.I shrugged and hoped so.

We turned back in our seats after hearing a brief order from Mrs. Wong.

I'm getting tired, I write you later.

Love,

Nya Kasem

Day: May 22,1998

Subject: I hate today

Today was horrible.

It seemed the whole school was talking about what happened last night and no one was being considerate. Darrel is out of the hospital but he's being home schooled for a while. Gail doesn't talk to us anymore. I saw her in the hall today on the way to Calculus and I waved.

She turned her head and acted as if she didn't see me!

Adora is still around. She's not all bubbly as usual though. In fact, we're both pretty silent nowadays.

I saw Kevin too. He sits in front of me in English. He asked me about last night as if we were doingsomething together. I guess it was his way of keeping the issue private without sounding out of character.

Too emotional for a football player I guess.

What bothers me the most is the fact that I didn't see Vincent at all today. It was his last day as a senior so I thought he would be there.

There were rumors that his parents never came to pick him up but I know them better than that. There was another about him moving to Chicago. I hope that's a lie.

I'm afraid nothing will get better. The five musketeers are no more and now there are only two.

I wish I could restart all of this.

Till next time.

Love,

Nya Kasem

P.S.: I'm graduating early. Hopefully Adora can come with me. A 4.3 GPA has to be good for something.