Danger Boy

by | May 12, 2023 | Picking up the Pieces

The car ride home has all the festive cheer of a hostage situation, though it’s unclear which of is holding the gun. At some point in the evening, every word had become a tense negotiation. All I know for certain is that this will be the last New Year’s Eve we spend together. I can feel it in my bones.

It smells like summer rain and hot asphalt. The clouds rumble, break. I stand and peddle faster. A pickup truck slows beside me. The driver nods his head towards the bed of his truck. I shake my head and peddle faster. He peels away, his tires squealing.

In my dream, I murder my friend. I wake, crying. I can still feel his head gripped between my hands, hear the crack of his neck as it lets go. I lay in the dark wondering if it’s too late to call him, what he might say if I did.

My heart thrums and shudders while I try to flag down a taxi. “Is this what a heart attack is?” I wonder. “Is this how it all ends?”

She comes in from the kitchen with her hands behind her back. “I got us a special treat,” she says and holds a six-pack of chocolate pudding containers over her head. That’s when I know everything will be fine. How could it not?

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