Getting Away

[fiction]

I whizz by houses in my old neighborhood at such a speed that they are just a blur to me. The sirens are blaring from behind, getting closer and closer. I kick my piece-of-shit Dodge into fourth gear and push the accelerator to the floor. There’s a jolt and it feels like we’ve jumped into hyperdrive.

I look over to Nicole, my object of desire, her knuckles are cataract-white from gripping the armrests. I swear she’s ready to have a heart attack if it wasn’t for the impossibly large Cheshire grin on her face.

We are the Romeo and Juliet of the modern era; we are Bonnie and Clyde for the twenty-first century. I look back over to her and my heart melts as I see such excitement and beauty in her face. She’s like a child on her birthday, when all her friends are huddled around waiting for her to open the gifts. Her eyes are tabby cat big, and so magnificently blue that I’m having a hard time keeping my eyes on the road.

She whips her face towards me, auburn hair waving in her eyes, and shouts, “Faster! Faster!”

I grin and we hit the top of a hill and it acts like a ramp: we sail through the sky for a good twenty seconds like we’re in a Die Hard movie. Both our hearts are in our throats and she’s screaming with delight like she’s riding a rollercoaster.

When we make contact again we hit hard and my head smashes off the ceiling of the car. It hurts and I lose control a moment and swerve onto the sidewalk. I keep my foot on the pedal and come back onto the road again. The sirens are long gone now, we’ve lost them. The only sound I hear is the squeal of the angel next to me. And then all of a sudden she screams like there’s a ghost in the middle of the road. But it’s not a ghost, it’s a living person who’s caught in my headlights like a moronic deer.

I swerve hard to my left and smash into a large tree. For comic relief, a dozen crab apples fall onto the hood, denting the shit out of it. My Dodge is fucked.

I’m bleeding from my forehead and I look over and see that Nicole’s got a gash on her head as well. I think my right leg is broken too.

She looks over at me and smiles, blood dripping down her face like tears. “How pissed do you think my Dad is that you kidnapped me?”

“I don’t know.” I pause and spit out a tooth. “Do you think he’ll still let me show up for work tomorrow?”

She laughs at this. It’s not a hearty bellow, but a silent giggle, something only people in love give from an inside joke.

“Oh, well, I was trying to get fired anyway.”

She rests her head on the back of her seat and closes her eyes. A moment passes.

“Nicole?” She doesn’t answer. She doesn’t move. The sirens are here now. They have finally caught up to me.

I reach over to grab hold of her perfect tiny hand. I want to feel the warmth and milky smoothness of it. I touch one of her long delicate fingertips, the nail is smooth as glass. I continue down her long slender fingers when an officer sticks his head through the window and tells me not to move.

 

Matthew Sarookanian is a photographer and writer living in Toronto, Ontario. “Getting Away” is his first published piece, thanks to Lunch Ticket. In addition to this story, his play, Haunted, appeared at the InspiraTO Festival, and Then He Wakes Up premiered at the Toronto Fringe Festival. Follow him on Instagram, msarookanian, and Twitter @msarookanian.

Photo by Ian Brown