I wasn’t prepared for it. It just happened. I didn’t even see her. It was an accident. No one could have noticed her. I wasn’t focusing. It wasn’t my fault.
All these things I kept saying over and over in my head, trying to keep myself calm. I didn’t mean to hit her. I was standing out on the street on a mountain in the cold. It was getting close to winter and the air was crisp. There were gray clouds in the sky and a motionless body on the ground. There was blood splattered around her and her eyes were glazed. I couldn’t see any sign of her breathing and I started panicking. I looked around to make sure that I was alone and that no one saw me hit her. I had been turning the corner and the lady appeared out of nowhere. My car had swerved to the side next to the mountain and I had no idea if it still worked. The lady looked like she was in her mid-twenties and she was wearing a black winter jacket, old brown boots, and blue jeans. She had long black hair that was now wet because of the ground. My hands were shaking and my breathing was becoming quicker. I needed to figure out what to do, but my brain was clouded and I couldn’t think. An idea finally came to my mind, but I didn’t even want to think about doing it. On the side of the road opposite to my car, there was a drop. A drop that might fix everything. A long drop that ended with a huge cliff. A drop that would hide this problem. I could make it look like she fell. No one would ever know. I would be innocent. I tried believing all of this, but I knew that I never would. No one might ever know what I did, but I would always know. I decided it was my best chance and bent down on the ground. I slowly slid my hands under her dead body and tried not to throw up. It was limp, heavy, and wet and it made me want to be sick. I decided to roll the body over the cliff instead of picking it up. I started rolling and after what seemed like a half-hour the body fell over the cliff and hit the other cliff with a sickening crunch. I bent over the cliff and threw up, sick to my stomach.
A few minutes later I was driving in my car. It was dented in the front, but it still worked fine. I kept my eyes on the road and didn’t move them. I was in a state of hypnosis and I couldn’t even remember getting into the car.
By the time I got home, it was already sunset. My husband’s car wasn’t in the driveway which was good, I couldn’t face him yet. I went into the house and sat at the kitchen table. What happened sank in and I couldn’t hold it back anymore. I sat there and cried. I cried for hours. I just couldn’t live with what I did. Anytime I closed my eyes, I could see her dead body just lying there on the cold, paved road. What if she had a family? What if there was someone waiting for her to come back home?
I heard my husband open the front door and walk down the hallway. I quickly wiped the tears off my face and let out a few shaky breaths. It didn’t matter anyway because I knew I wouldn’t be able to hide the fact that I was crying from him. He walked into the kitchen and set the take-out that he got onto the kitchen counter.
“Hey Hailey,” he says sitting down next to me.
“Hey,” I say putting a small, but a fake smile on my face. I could already tell that he knew something was wrong because immediately after I looked at him, his face became concerned.
“Nothing,” I say getting up from the table and grabbing the take-out from the counter. “Let’s just eat.”
James’ concerned look on his face stays there the whole night no matter how many times I tell him that I’m okay. We spend the rest of the night eating dinner and watching tv. I wasn’t talking at all so James goes to bed early, obviously bored. It didn’t matter to me, I had other stuff to worry about. I stayed out on the couch watching tv, too scared to go to bed. I just couldn’t close my eyes. I sat there huddled under the gray blanket that James gave me one year for Christmas. I sat there staring at it for a while realizing I needed to do what was best for James. What if I got caught? What would happen to James? How would he feel when he found out that his wife was a murderer? All these questions and more spun around in my head until I couldn’t take it anymore. I quickly got up from the couch and went to the computer. I needed to get away. Start a new life with a new identity where what I did, didn’t follow me.
About two hours later I was standing next to the bed, over James. I had just finished making my new identity and I was wondering if I should do anything for James. Should I leave him a note? Take him with me? I knew either of these ideas was too risky so I decided not to do them. My eyes started tearing up as I realized I wasn’t going to see James ever again. I left our bedroom before I started crying, not looking back.
I got in the car and drove to the airport with sweaty palms. I had changed out of the clothes that I was wearing in case anyone did see me during the accident, and I hadn’t noticed. I wasn’t taking any chances. So many thoughts were running through my head and I knew if I didn’t distract myself I would do something irrational. I turned on the radio and turned up the volume. For the rest of the ride, I listened to the radio and tried to keep my mind clear.
I arrived at the airport and got out of the car. I got my lightly packed suitcase and my carry-on bag out of the car and started walking to the doors to get into the airport with my head down. I walked through the airport paranoid about everything. Was anyone looking at me? Did someone see me? Was someone there when it happened? Did people already figure out what happened? Were the police looking for me? All of these thoughts running through my head caused me to block out all my surroundings and I didn’t even realize when I showed up at security. I snapped out of it and looked up and saw a very confused security guard looking at me. I was guessing that he had said something to me.
“What did you say?”
“I.D. please,” the man said obviously annoyed.
“Oh yes, sorry.” I nervously dug through my bag looking for my new identification. I finally found and wearily handed it over to him hoping he wouldn’t notice anything weird. He stared at it for a few seconds and then handed back to me
“You can go through Sarah,” he said waving me through.
It felt weird hearing my new name. I breathed a sigh of relief and moved on, thanking him. I put my carry-on bag on the machine as well as my shoes. The lady that was there to assist people with their stuff eyed me suspiciously. My heart skipped a beat.
I shook my head, too nervous to say anything. I had destroyed my phone before I left the house, I wanted no trace of my past life.
After a while, I made it through security. I just needed to find my gate and get on the plane. I was going to move away from snowy Minnesota to sunny Florida. I thought as long as I was moving away, I might as well move to someplace nice. I got to my gate just on time and lined up to start boarding. I looked out the window to try and keep my mind busy. It was completely dark outside, but the many lights from outside used to guide planes dimly lit up the dark night sky. It was finally my turn to board the plane, and I got on without any trouble.
I sat down in my seat and sighed, relieved that I had gotten onto the plane. I didn’t think I would make it this far. People were still boarding the plane and it felt like they were all staring at me. Fewer people started boarding the plane and no one had sat in the seat next to me so I guessed I had both seats all to myself. They finally closed off the gate and a few minutes later we were in the sky. It wasn’t surprising that not even thirty minutes after we had taken off, almost everyone on the plane was asleep. I still couldn’t close my eyes without seeing that woman’s cold, dead, body, so I didn’t even try to sleep.
We landed in Florida around 5:00 a.m. and the sun was already starting to come up. I got off the plane and this time I really felt like everyone was staring at me. I saw everyone’s eyes following me and I wasn’t just being paranoid. Did the police find out and were they looking for me? Was my face on the news? I tried to think that maybe something was on my face, so I rushed to the nearest bathroom. I went to the mirror and saw nothing on my face. I started getting really worried then. I felt like I was going to pass out so I held onto the sink to steady myself. I stood there for a few seconds, close to throwing up. I needed to leave the airport and just go to the hotel that I had reserved. Then tomorrow, everything would be okay. I sighed as I kept telling myself this over and over, and I finally gathered the courage to leave the bathroom.
I made it to the car rental place and no one was in line so I went up to the desk. The lady at the desk didn’t seem suspicious of me, so I easily got my car. I found my car in the airport parking lot and quickly left the airport. I pulled out the directions to the hotel out of my bag. I had printed out the directions considering I didn’t have a phone. I pulled onto the highway and let out yet another sigh of relief. I wondered if I would ever get away from this stress.
When I pulled off the highway, I was only a few blocks away from the hotel when I heard police sirens. My heart stopped as I realized that the car was right behind me. I was getting pulled over. I moved the car to the side of the street and slowed it to a stop. My breaths were quick and rapid and I couldn’t think. My head was pounding and everything around me became blurry. In my rearview mirror, I could see the policeman get out of the car and start walking towards my car. She approached my door and knocked on the window. I took a minute to gather myself and then I rolled down the window.
“License and registration please ma’am.”
I froze for a minute lost in my thoughts. I couldn’t go to jail. I couldn’t get caught. I just got away from my old life. I was supposed to start a new life, and it couldn’t be in prison. I made a hasty decision and slammed on the gas. I felt a small bump and I guessed that I had run over the police’s foot. I sped past cars on the street desperately trying to find a way to get back on the highway. I finally found an entrance and I swerved across three lanes cutting off cars. I pulled onto the highway and I could hear police sirens not far behind me. I was constantly changing lanes to pass the cars in front of me. My hands were sweaty and it was getting harder to grip the wheel. My mind was racing and I couldn’t figure out where to go. There were now at least three police cars getting closer by the second. I needed to find a way to lose them. I pushed down harder on the gas and swerved across three more lanes to get off the highway. I needed to turn a lot in order to get rid of them.
A few minutes later I was on a deserted street. I had taken three lefts two rights one more left and then three rights. After that, I turned down a narrow and somewhat hidden street and somehow I had finally lost the police. I pulled to the side of the road and got out of the car with shaky legs. It was around 8:00 a.m. and the cool morning winter air numbed my hands. I was exhausted, but I still couldn’t close my eyes without seeing those woman’s cold dead eyes. I shook my head to get the thought out of my mind and sat down on the curb. I tried to breathe deeply to calm myself, but my chest still felt tight. I looked up at the light blue cloudless sky when it suddenly started snowing. The snow fell on my face and for a moment everything was so peaceful. I savored that moment because it was one of my last memories. Sirens and flashing lights came from around the corner and I stood up. I walked into the middle of the street and faced them. I was done running. I looked at them and went to the side of the street when I was suddenly lying in the street with a huge amount of pain in my back. All I could remember was a loud honk and headlights. I wasn’t dead though. Not yet at least, but I knew it was coming. I was looking up at the sky and remembered that peaceful moment, just before everything became chaos. I finally closed my eyes and didn’t see the woman. Instead, I saw nothing but darkness.
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