The car smelled like old leather, dirty socks and that burger from last week. It wasn’t pretty or glamorous.
It also wasn’t the way I imagined I’d die.
I sat in the front seat, windows rolled up despite the ungodly heat outside. Keys squeezed tight in my palm. Should I turn on the radio or would it distract me?
No. I wanted this. It had been building for weeks. Things had gone from bad to worse, and there was no way out. My GPA was too weak to get into any of the schools my parents wanted, and I’d officially been kicked off Debate Team.
Air stuck in my throat when I thought about the video circulating YouTube. Everything about my future was over.
My fingers slipped through my hair. Why was I sitting here again?
Right. I jiggled the keys and exhaled. Death. The movies made it seem romantic.
Whatever. Mom would be home soon.
Bing, bing. My phone chimed. Who the heck would text me?
I should’ve ignored the stupid thing, but curiosity and cats and all that jazz. I glanced at my phone. Unknown number.
Don’t do it, man.
Huh? How could anyone know what I was about to do?
Seriously. You’ll regret it.
I’ll regret it? How in the world would I regret something when I was dead?
I looked over my shoulder. Garage door was still shut.
Thirty seconds passed. Really? A text message is what interrupts my glorious death? So. stupid. I growled and swiped the phone.
How would you know that I’ll regret this?
Believe me, you will. Think about your future, man.
Yeah, I was thinking about my future.
Ummm, ok. Let’s say I stop. Why would I do it for you?
Because I know, man. I’ve been there. This is not what you want to do.
I crunched my brows together. Was there some sort of suicide psychic connection? Like, anyone who’s ever tried to off themselves suddenly knows when others are about to do the same?
I typed a sassy retort but backspaced before I hit send. What if he really did know? What if this was a message from beyond the grave or something?
You still there?
I rolled my eyes. Seriously stupid, Tabitha. Dead people don’t text.
Good. You going to do it?
The keys dangled from the ignition and I shifted in my seat. Was I going to do this? Sigh. No. Not when the cosmos played tricks like this.
I guess not.
You guess not? That doesn’t sound very confident.
I huffed a breath.
Fine. I won’t do it, Dad.
Haha. Funny. Maybe I should tell your dad.
Tell my dad? Would my dad believe a stranger about the suicidal thoughts of his only daughter? I swallowed. That was the last thing I needed to add to my already craptacular life.
You got me to stop, so pat yourself on the back and call it a day.
I tossed the phone to the side. Well, that sucked. What the heck was I supposed to do now?
Sure. I’m just swell. I’d already decided I had nothing to live for, and now I had to live said life with zero purpose or expectation. Along with all the pressure of being the most hated girl in school and the disappointment of my parents.
I’m still here.
Sorry if I ruined things. I know you wanted revenge.
On Kayleigh. I know she cheated but let it go.
Oh, sorry. Wrong number.
Fantastic. I couldn’t even die with dignity. Beyond the grave didn’t want me alive… it was all a mistake. I slammed my head against the seat.
Um. Are you ok?
A quick glance at the phone and I considered smashing it.
I don’t know you, but it sounds like you could use a friend. My name’s Jason BTW. Got time to talk?
My fingers fumbled with the keys and yanked them free.
Someone to listen was something at least.
For the first time in days, peace settled through my soul.
I had all the time in the world.
© Laura L. Zimmerman 2016