Ricochet

Tuck pulled the black BMW out of Jamaica Beach and on to the two-lane road leading back towards Galveston. Lydia rolled down the window. She wanted to feel the warm salt air tousle her hair and kiss her face. She leaned back in the leather seat and stared through margarita eyes at the canopy of stars above. The entirety of the moment washed over her. The love of a true friend, George Strait’s soft croon of Amarillo, the smooth rhythm of the wheels on the pavement. The day of sun and the night of tequila felt like a warm blanket tucking her in. Lydia looked one last time at the stars above as she gave her body permission to drift off to sleep.

Out of tranquility, the world erupted with the pained screeching of metal against metal. Lydia was thrown forward. She slammed against the dashboard as her head careened into the windshield. Her vision exploded with fireworks. Lydia tried to raise her arms to cover her head. Pain screamed through her body. The world spun for a few more seconds then came to an abrupt and disquieting stop. Lydia took a breath and then another one. She raised her head to look around. She could taste blood in her mouth and feel glass in her hair.

Slowly, she attempted to crawl off the floorboard of the passenger side and pull herself onto the seat. Her right shoulder roared in pain. She let out a scream.

Lydia looked over at Tuck. He sat erect in his seat, his eyes partially closed. “Help me, Tuck,” Lydia whispered. Tuck’s head barely shifted as he tried to look at her.

From the glow of a nearby streetlight, Lydia could see tears running down his cheeks, “I can’t.” Lydia looked closer. In the blackness of the shadows, she could see dark liquid oozing out from Tuck head.

Forgetting her own pain, Lydia launched herself forward. She yanked her t-shirt over her head. Her shoulder made an unnatural crunch as agony careened through her body. Lydia placed her shirt against Tuck’s head. “Tuck! Oh, Tuck… Oh God… please… please… Don’t, don’t leave me.”

Her shirt slowly filled and blood began dripping down Lydia’s arm. Tuck closed his eyes. Lydia lowered her forehead against his, her tears mixing with Tuck’s blood. She could feel the heat from her words, willing him to not give up, to keep trying. A few seconds later, sirens filled the air as red and blue lights ricocheted off the interior of the car. Lydia sat there hugging Tuck. They would come for her soon enough. She just needed a few more seconds with her best friend.

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