I have to preface this story by saying it is 100% completely true. Seriously, who could make this stuff up? If I were trying to create fiction, I would certainly write something more believable than this little gem. So here goes…
It hit me, all of a sudden, as I was driving down the road. Or, to be more exact, I hit him. There was no mistaking the body flying off the fender of my 1968 Volkswagen bug. I screeched my car to a halt in the middle of the road, ready to use any means necessary to save this man’s life. But as I viewed the accident site, I saw my biggest problem. There was no body.
I was a 23-year-old college student, coming home from a family party at a friend’s house. In the car next to me were two like-minded boys intent on racing. I was happy to oblige. My car was faster than my mechanic’s Porsche, by his own admission. And no girl in a fast car can deny herself the pleasure of beating the pants off of a couple of boys.
The car next to me pulled over to the curb and they both ran to my side.
“Maybe I didn’t really hit him,” I thought out loud.
“Oh, no,” they said. “He bounced off of your car and into that yard. We saw everything.”
But, of course, they hadn’t seen where the body went. Dead people don’t just get up from the ground, dust themselves off and go on with their business, right? But that was the least of my worries.
On a side street, just off the main road, was parked a hearse. See, I knew I killed him. Okay, so reality might not have been my strongest asset at a time like this, but I saw twenty or so men in black leather and chains headed straight for me, and I knew they were real. The tallest of them led the group to my car.
“Did you hit him? Did you hit that guy running across the street?”
Well, of course I had, and if I was going to die, I would die an honest woman.
“Um, kind of.” I said honest, not brave.
“Look, you need to get out of here. There’s something going down here and you don’t want to be a part of it.”
Now, who can argue with that kind of logic? I took down the phone numbers of my racing companions, in case I needed witnesses, climbed into my car and fled for dear life.
Now, I am the type that doesn’t even cheat on my taxes. I just know I’ll get caught and none of my friends will visit me in prison. I’ve heard the food is terrible anyway. And I knew hit and run was a biggie, maybe even murder. So I decided to turn my car around and beg for mercy, a plea bargain of sorts.
I arrived at the scene, only to find seven police cars from two cities. They all seemed to be looking for the blonde with the guilty look, and there I was. I searched for the kindest face I could find, maybe someone’s dad.
“Okay. There was this guy running across the street and I sort of… hit him. You know, with my car.” I offered him my wrists. I wasn’t resisting.
“Well, how hard did you hit him?”
“Pretty hard,” I said, waiting for the cuffs.
“Good,” he replied.
Okay, maybe I’m a little naive, but I assumed that killing was still against the law. This was Orange County, and they were pretty lax with the kids who stayed out of trouble, but this was ridiculous!
“We came here to break up a party. The kid you hit stole my baton. That’s why he was running. Know where he is?”
“No. I just assumed he was dead. Then he ran away somewhere. Oh, wait. That doesn’t usually happen, does it?”
“No, it never happens. It would help us out if you stayed to identify him. We are doing a house to house search. You can’t go in, but you can wait outside in case we find someone.”
I agreed. It was better than 50 to life. The officer went into the houses, leaving me outside under the trees, their limbs reaching out into the darkness. Every branch seemed to have that runner perched in it, ready to pounce on me for telling. I was there alone, unprotected. The police finished their search, finding no one. I could leave.
I drove home where I knew my parents would be quietly spending the evening together. My mom would just about complete her seemingly endless supply of crossword puzzles. My dad would be getting his gossip through the police scanner he listened to every night.
As I walked in the door, Mom set aside her puzzle and Dad looked up, relieved.
“Good, you’re home! They were talking on the scanner about some horrible party. They brought seven police cars to break it up and one boy was even hit by a passing motorist. I didn’t want you out there with those kinds of people running around.”
Should I tell them?