Posted by Lorraine Hoffman
Every late afternoon Peach makes a decision. Peach decides if she should drive straight through her town or turn left onto the back roads to get to her house. Today Peach instinctively turns left after passing the farm stand where policemen sit in the dark.
The initial downward slope into the woods encourages Peach to drive fast. She tightens all her muscles and her hands ring-out the steering wheel as she turns on the familiar curves. Fog prevents her from seeing more than a few feet ahead of the car. Ice frozen on the road from last night's rainstorm causes the car to pick up speed. Peach makes no attempt to slow down.
An overwhelming tight and anxious emotion clouds up over Peach from her gut. Peach is reminded of the boy she met a few months ago. She remembers sitting in the back of her hot car, attempting to make out his features in the dim light cast on his face by a nearby streetlamp. They were breathing on each other's necks before she could define his nose.
Peach sighed, almost moaning, and brought her attention back to the road. Peach narrowed her eyes and pushed a little father down in her seat. Peach dared herself to drive faster.
The street seemed to have no end and Peach felt full. Her previous overwhelming tight and anxious emotion turned sour and heavy. Peach stopped breathing. Peach lost control of the car. The car was maneuvering the road all on its own and Peach started to cry.
Peach forgot about the boy she met a few months ago and only noticed the upright, sturdy trees that passed her by. She admired their confidence.
With every desperate breath and teaspoon of tears lost, Peach felt increasingly empty.
The four-way intersection where Peach needed to turn right caused her to remember where she was. Peach clenched her jaw and stopped the car. Physics wanted Peach to fall forward but her seatbelt locked and choked her back.
Peach could not move. Peach was stuck in the cross section of two empty streets. Peach grabbed her cell phone desperately and turned it around a few times in her hands. The screen reflected Peach's wet face. She scrolled through her contacts and old text messages.
Peach lifted her head. She looked forward and then right. If she drove straight then she would be going towards the house of a boy she met a few months ago. If she turned right then she would go home. Peach hunched down over her phone and hesitantly began dialing the number of a boy she met a few months ago.
Bright white lights slowly filled the car. Peach instinctually raised her head and looked left, directly into the attractive lights. She pressed the call button on her cell phone as the lights hit her car. Peach was pushed to the right. The lights took away her sight, violently cradled her body and shoved its way down her neck, replacing the breath in her lungs and filling her hungry stomach.
Peach thought of the boy she met a few months ago and hoped he was thinking of her as the lights crumpled her up. The lights stopped its rampage once Peach was stuck with her back against a stiff, reliable tree.
Peach rubbed her cheek against the tree trunk and it felt soft. Before her swollen insides forced her to sleep, Peach smiled still thinking about the boy she met a few months ago.