Should have stayed home By Christine Swiderski

Should have stayed home

Life sometimes seems to drag on like a sled accident in slow motion just before you hit the tree. All the planning in the world will not prepare you what is in store. Sometimes you wished you had rented a video, sat in front of the TV with a bowl of popcorn instead of going to the bar that night.
I remember telling myself as I pulled into the parking lot, “I should go to the gym instead.” I did not heed the warning. The place was packed. My best friend and her boyfriend were there with someone they wanted me to meet.
He seemed nice enough. Sheila's boyfriend Mark has a convertible, that is why I suggested we go for a drive on this warm summers night instead of being in a loud bar. My first warning that this guy was not for me. He told Mark not to put the top down it would mess up his hair. I laughed figuring he was kidding. He was not. Mark ignored him thank goodness and put the top down. We drove, listened to music and talked. Everyone talked except Kevin. Kevin just sat with his hands fisted in his lap. When this night is over I am going to ask Sheila why she thought this guy was special. He is like a fungus. You have it and have a hard time getting rid of it.
Mark turn down a dirt road, it's known for it's secluded steam. This is where most of the county comes during the day to fish for trout. At night we go to wade through the water. It is not deep enough to swim in. Only calf deep.
I never saw it coming. Kevin seemed sullen like a petulant child because Mark did not listen to his command. The rock hit Mark full force at the back of his head. He went down quickly. I glance at Sheila as she raised her hands in defense. I was kneeling next to Mark to see if he was okay. He was not. Grabbing his keys, I came up sharply hitting Kevin in the stomach. He fell back, landing on his back. The sound I heard was that of someone having the wind knocked out of him.
I ran to the car started it just as Kevin threw the rock through the windshield. I did not allow it to slow me down. I lunged forward knocking Kevin to the ground. I could see in the headlights Sheila was still moving. I pulled over to her. Jumped out, hauled her into the car. In the rear-view mirror, I could see Kevin starting towards us. I backed out with a furry hoping to mow him down. He jumped out of the way just in time.
Sheila was crying repeating over and over “I am sorry, he was Mark's friend. Is Mark alright? Should we go back for him?” She was delirious.
As I pulled into the police parking lot I told Sheila to stay in the car I was going inside to make out a report. When I came back to the car there was an ambulance taking Sheila away. An officer approached asking if this was my car. I told him what had happened. He told me to wait inside. I said I wanted to be with my friend. The officer escorted me back inside the police station telling me there was nothing I could do for my friend.
By 6 am the next morning a detective came and sat alongside of me. He told me my friend Sheila had died of a blood clot to the brain. He said it happens many times with head injuries. He also said that officers combed the area where I said this all happened. They did not find Mark nor Kevin.
I sit here in my home wondering if I am safe.