I pressed my foot down hard on the accelerator. It felt good to have power over something, even if it was only my car. The road was smooth and winding, with trees on either side of it and there was very little traffic. Everyone was still in school. I watched the speed dial slowly rise. From forty to fifty. Fifty to sixty; faster and faster. The wind swept through my hair at lightning speed. I remember when I was younger, about six or seven, and on a hot day I always used to hang my head out of the car window like a dog, not a care in the world. Of course life was so much easier back then. I smiled as I thought back to the days when the only thing to worry about was whether or not the day was nice enough to play outside. But then I thought back to what happened earlier in the afternoon. I was so angry. I stormed out to my car and just took right off.
All I could think about was how sorry everyone would be when they found out. I pictured the local news coverage, the headlines in the papers. Maybe it wasn’t that I wanted to die. Maybe I just wanted to scare everyone. I wanted them all to realize what could have happened and to feel awful for how they had acted. I wanted them to try to apologize and beg for a chance to make-up for everything they’d done. The speed dial continued to rise, now at seventy-five. I pictured the faces of my friends as they heard the news. Gripping each other tightly, struggling to stand up and waiting to be told that everything would be okay. Then their faces when the doctors said they weren’t sure. Everyone visiting my hospital room, when I was lying motionless on the bed, with only the sound of the heating turning off and on echoing around the four walls.
I wondered who would visit me, who would refuse to leave m side until I woke up? And what if I did die? Who would go to my funeral? What smiling picture of me would be on the coffin? Who would breakdown during it? My engine roared and it seemed as though my tyres were eating up the tarmac. I had been paying more attention to my thought than the road and when I shook my focus back, I found myself coming into a curve way too fast. Instinctively, I jabbed my foot down on the break. Suddenly, I wished I could take back all the thoughts I just had. They were stupid. Petty and juvenile. I wanted to drive back to school and pretend I never left in the first place. I thought of everything that happened to cause all this.
Earlier that morning I had been called to the office. What’s new? Although I couldn’t think what for this time. Probably just Ms. Rafferty complaining about me not paying attention in class.
‘Michelle has the potential, she’s just not bothering!’
The wicked bats crackly, high pitched voice circled round my head as I walked down the hall, passing all the classrooms. She hated me, that’s for sure. Ever since day one when I had sickened her on that maths problem she had gotton wrong.
As I trudged into the office waiting area to sit where I had sat so often before, I was surprised to see the receptionist, Rose, direct me straight into Principal Brennan’s office. I walked in the door, not bothering to knock as I had been here too many times before. It was almost a habit now.
‘Sit down Michelle, this is serious’ boomed Mr. Brennan
‘Go on then’ I said mockingly, ‘what have I done this time?’
‘It’s about your recent scene you caused in the girls changing rooms on Monday…’
‘Oh please that was a joke, it’s not like an..’
‘But!’ Mr. Brennan said sharply, ‘what I’m more interested in is what I found in your locker afterwards.’
He took out a strip of what seemed to be small white tablets. I suddenly noticed a policeman standing at the doorway. How had I not seen him when I walked in? Then a sudden click in the back of my mind brought me back to the tablets on the desk.
‘These are ecstasy tablets, Michelle, now would you like to tell this policeman where you got them?’
‘What you think these are mine?’
‘I know they’re yours Michelle!’ Mr. Brennan barked, tiny droplets of spit exploding out of his mouth as he did so.
‘Na-ah’ I said. I was sick of all this constant blame getting dumped on me, ‘I won’t take this crap!’
‘Michelle, SIT DOWN! And stop being such a spoilt little brat!’ he roared into my face.
How dare he! I had enough. I stormed out of the office, slamming the door as loud as I possibly could, only to hear it being opened a second later. I stomped down the hallway, roaring anything I could think of as I went. I noticed everyone looking at me as I walked by but I didn’t care. That had gone too far. Trying to make me out to be some sort of druggy! I was Michelle King, the uncontested ruler of the school. If keeping people in their place meant being a mean girl then so be it. I never thought there would be a price to pay, especially not one like this. No-one EVER accused me, of all people, of something like that and got away with it.
That was when I got in my car and now look where I was? I was being reckless. I didn’t want to die. The side of the road veered down into a gutter where the only things that could stop me were the trees. Within seconds, the car tires bounced over the edge of the road into the grass and rocks. My foot, which was still glued to the brake, shook violently like a muscle rarely used. I didn’t know if I was screaming or not. All I knew was that my side of the car was heading towards a huge tree dangerously fast. The icy fingers of death clutched my heart. The say that before you die your life flashes before your eyes. Why wasn’t that happening? Where was the big TV screen with my life on it playing like a movie? But I was dead. Everything was done. I couldn’t take it back, couldn’t change it. It was too late to say the words that could have saved me if only I had meant them sooner.
I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry…