“Your best friend, your true-blue bestie, will be the one deleting your internet browsing history, while everyone else is at your funeral.” — Chainsaw
There is darkness and there is pain. Bleary blackness slowly lifts from his eyes, revealing blurred light. Dim vision focuses through cracked glass to discover illuminated ferns and foliage that lay beyond its shattered surface. Headlights glaring, perceived through a broken windshield, casting their brilliance across a foreign landscape… vertically?
There is cold and there is dank dampness. Standing stagnant water, shimmering in the dashboard lights, covers his left shoulder. Can’t move his left arm, can’t really feel his left arm. He was smoking and it was out the window. So, no one could smell that he hadn’t completely quit two months prior, like he claims. Arm was out the window, holding a cigarette and it got pinned by the door when… when what? When the car landed in the stream. A stream… but how… memory foggy… got to back up. Yes… it came to rest in the stream after rolling down the embankment… but why… back up.
“A secret remains a secret until you make someone promise never to reveal it.” — Fausto Cercignani
A wave of nausea passes over and threatens to carry him away as his right hand finds the jagged shard of bone protruding from his leg. God… it shouldn’t be able to bend that way… stop it… think of something else, stay conscious. Before rolling there was… a bang, the sound of rending metal and the tree. Off the road, into the tree, rotated 180°, then rolling but… back up.
Don’t pass out… you’ll drown. How stupid would that be — to drown in a car crash. A car crashed caused by… it was a deer… no that’s wrong, it was because of “the deer” plural. He’d swerved to dodge one not realizing it was the lead of a herd. Swerved again, overcorrected, off the road, into the tree, spun around… you know the rest… now what.
“When a secret is revealed, it is the fault of the man who confided it.” — Jean de la Bruyère
Cell phone! You’ve wrecked on a dark stretch of road rolled down into some woods and need to call for help. He twists frantically about searching, sending a fresh rush of pain throughout his entirety. Don’t scream, save your energy, find the damned… there! Mercifully dry having come to rest in the center console.
The cracked screen comes alight with a thumb tap and he breaths a prayer of thanks with promises to go back to church… if he survives. The date and 10:45 p.m. flashes on the screen, how long has he been down here? Never mind just swipe right and… pauses.
“If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.” — George Orwell, 1984
The large doe eyes of a busty, scantily clad, pink haired, anime bunny girl look back to greet him. Smiling with a hint of seduction, welcoming him with a word bubbled — “Hi!” All else falls away, thought ceases and purpose eludes him as he stares stupidly down at the brightly colored image.
What if… what if he blacks out, or worse, before help arrives. They’ll look for some form of identification to see whom to inform of his predicament. They’ll check his wallet of course, but what if they check his cell and see …? What will they think? A wave of preempted embarrassment washes over him.
“A secret’s worth depends on the people from whom it must be kept.” — Carlos Ruiz Zafón.
As quickly as he can manage, with one unsteady hand, he opens his photos. After selecting one of Vivian and the kids, the bunny girl vanishes. Breathing an unnecessary sigh of relief, he swipes back over to the phone and… battery at 2%? Why is it that batteries only go dead in things when you need them the most?
His thumb slips through two misdials. But before unconsciousness sweeps him away, he manages the three digits. “911, what’s your emergency?” This is followed by a binging tone. As the cell dies and falls from his limp hand. He doesn’t notice…
“Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides.” — André Malraux
TO BE CONTINUED
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