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50/50 Exercise #44: Confessional Text

“We went to the Half Moon after we got off work. Lorraine wanted a drink ’cause she says it’s all over with Bobby, there’s no way she’s gonna take him back again. I said no, I’m due back here at 7:30, and she said, oh come on, just come with me for one.

“So we took her car, and I left mine behind the diner where I always park it. ’Cause you know I’d always rather ride with somebody else, especially if I’m gonna be drinking. And it was Lo who invited me to this party, so I figured she could make sure I got home.

“That guy with the arms was working the back bar at the Half Moon, so Lo and me went back there to get a couple beers. He said, ladies, can I get you started with a shot of tequila, and next thing I know, Lorraine is slamming her shot glass on the bar, and her and the bartender were saying, drink! drink! drink! and baby, you know how fucked up I get on tequila.

“We partied for a while after that, dancing and drinking a few more beers. I don’t know how many. I said to Lo, can we please get something to eat, or else I’m gonna be too hung over to work in the morning. So we walked over to Sonic and shared a burger and some fries sitting on one of the picnic tables in front. And I felt okay after that.

“We went back to Lorraine’s car, and she said, honey, are you okay to drive ’cause I could give you a ride home, it’s not that far out of my way. But I said no, I’m really okay. I really thought I was, I swear.

“She dropped me off by the side of the diner. I remember I saw Manuel’s truck was still in front, so I went the long way around to my car. I didn’t want another run-in with him the way I was feeling.

“And then I drove home, and nothing happened, I was really okay. I thought I was, and then I was almost home, and I slowed down for the blinking yellow. There wasn’t no one else on the road, not a soul in sight. I swear, baby, I was awake and sober and there wasn’t another car anywhere. And I put on my signal and made the left turn, and there was this horrible crunch on the right side, oh my God, something hit me or I hit something, I didn’t know, and I was so scared ’cause I was thinking about the tequila and the beers, and I didn’t see nothing but I felt the weight of whatever it was like a hard thump on the passenger door, and then I wasn’t thinking, just driving and driving, fast up the street, and looking around to see if anybody saw me, and I was crying and I was sure someone would be coming after me. And when I got to that sharp turn at Manassas, I was going too fast, and I went up on the curb, and I heard metal like something broke off the car….”

After that, she fell apart again, and it took me 15 more minutes to get her to stop crying. She told me that she’d left the car eight blocks away, parked next to the Baptist church, and walked home. From her driveway, she could see lights flashing over on Beaufort Street, so she walked around the corner and down to where a streetlight was out and she could try to get a look without being seen. But she was too scared to get close, so all she saw was the flashing lights of two patrol cars and an ambulance, and shapes of people moving around in front of the headlights and flashers.

She came home, locked all the doors, and sat on the living-room floor, crying her eyes out and waiting for a knock on the door. She was sure someone would come to arrest her as soon as they found her banged-up car. After two hours, she went back outside to find that all the lights were gone. That’s when she called me.

Note: The task was to write about a crime. This is a continuation of the story I started in Exercise #4 and expanded in Exercise #10. Still not finished, sorry! But at least you’re getting a little more of the picture.

© 2008 Edward F. Gumnick

1 comment to 50/50 Exercise #44: Confessional Text

  • Gayle Goddard

    Ed – Somehow I got off track and never finished reading the rest of these! This is EXCELLENT! She sounds a million times better – you really punched up the ‘white trash’ dialogue. It didn’t trip me up once as I read – I mean I never got kicked out of the story by the wording. This is going to be a great story when you wrap it up. A really good job….G.

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