“Oh good, you’re back, Kate,” Ellen said eagerly as Kate walked through the door. “Can you be ready in ten minutes or so? We need to be getting back soon. There’s already a flash flood warning out. The sooner we get home, the better. Did you call your cell phone yet?”
Kate hesitated a moment before answering, “Yeah, I’m ready to go. I tried my cell, but I didn’t get an answer.”
She hated to lie, especially after Ellen had helped her out so much, but she knew that her friends would never agree to what she had decided to do. She knew her decision would just cause them pain, so she decided to remain silent. Lost in her thoughts, she wandered back to the bedroom where she grabbed her backpack, stuffing the few items she had brought inside.
Elise had gone to lunch with her father, having packed earlier that morning while Kate and Ellen were meeting with Robert. She arrived five minutes before they were scheduled to leave for home. Kate glanced down the street before climbing into the silver Tahoe. She knew Aidan was close by. She could sense his presence.He’s probably been here the whole time, she thought to herself.
The rain had taken a break most of the day, but when the sun started to set, it picked up where it had left off. The trip home was half over before the first drops hit the windshield. Kate could feel the wind pushing the Tahoe towards the ditch as they began to drive up a steep foothill. Elise was snoring softly in the backseat, while Kate watched the road nervously from the passenger’s seat.
Straining her eyes to see through the rain, Kate thought she could see something crouched by the road up ahead. At first she thought it might be a dog wandering along the road. People were notorious for dropping their unwanted pets along this stretch of highway. As they got closer to the creature, it looked as if it was about to charge the Tahoe.
“Ellen, watch out!” Kate yelled, but it was too late. Ellen swerved on the road, trying to avoid the thing that had charged into them. They both felt the thud of the creature that had rammed them. It felt like they were being hit by a herd of cattle. No dog could shake an SUV like this.
Elise woke when Kate yelled, and then began screaming when she realized they were swerving out of control. The SUV was headed straight for the deep ditch on the left side of the road when another thud jolted the Tahoe. The jolt pushed them towards the railing that ran along the hillside. Kate covered her face with one arm, bracing herself with the other. She waited to feel herself falling through the air. There was no way the Tahoe could correct to avoid driving off the foothill. They were all going to die.
“Oh God, Oh God!” Elise screamed from the backseat as the vehicle grinded into the guardrail. The sound of shattering glass was the last thing Kate heard before falling into the enveloping blackness. The sound of screaming and grinding metal saturated Kate’s eardrums. Her ears felt like they were bleeding from the chaotic clanging and high-pitched wails surrounding her. She could see nothing. Other than her throbbing ears, she could feel nothing. This was it. She was going to die, and she hadn’t even had a chance to tell her mom how much she loved her.Such a waste. Such a waste of life, Kate thought as she slipped into unconsciousness.