There is blood on his hands. There is so much sticky red all around, and he cannot for the life of him remember why.

He does remember that morning. There was something he had to do after he woke up. Yes, his mother had called; she wanted him to come over and fix the leaky pipe under the sink. She does that a lot lately. Ever since dad died, she has been calling him for all the little household chores that she is too frail to do.

It is odd to think of his mum as frail. She had been so strong when he was little, a rock that he could hold onto when growing up seemed hard. Then his dad died, and she…faded.

The phone call woke him up, he thinks. That memory comes clear enough. So does the memory of his mum's voice on the line, wavering and hesitant. Apparently the pipe has been giving her trouble for quite some time now, and today it gave out and caused a bit of a flood in the kitchen. He placated her in a calm voice and promised to be there in a few minutes. After all, he doesn't live far away, and he owes it to his mum to help her out.

So why is he not there? Why is everything so red, and why are there screaming voices around him instead of his mum's soft voice muttering nervous nonsense in the background?

He remembers that he got in his car. It's a big car, and his mum always nags him about how much gas it takes. What else does he remember? The blood on his hands shines so bright, catching his eye again; they were clean when he waved to his neighbor on the way out. He thinks he hears his neighbor screaming too. The woman was smiling when he left, but she is screaming now, and the sound scrapes against his ears, sounding dulled as though his ears had been stuffed full of cotton.

He knows that he is sitting against the outside of his car. That is strange. He does not remember stopping.

But oh.

He does remember the dull feeling of impact, and the harsher jerk as he slammed on the brakes. He remembers he was screaming too, inside his head, begging whatever god existed not to let his worries be true.

He tried so hard. His neighbor is screaming, and he tries to tell her he did not see, and he tried to stop the blood. There was so much blood.

Now he remembers. He remembers that he does not want to remember.

He does not want to remember that he could not save the boy.