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A Story by Jonas Hughes

Absolution is a journey that many take a different path to forgive others, and sometimes have to forgive themselves


I lay there waiting for her to come back.  My thoughts were racing as I tried to concentrate on the moment it all came crashing to a halt.  It actually made my head hurt to concentrate, and it took all my strength to keep from crying.  All I can feel is a tingling in my fingers, and numbness in my toes.   I fumble for my phone so I can call anyone who will listen.  The pain comes and goes in waves, and I can’t understand why anyone would put another person in this position.  The tears roll down my cheeks in pairs, but the trail they leave behind feels like it is burning tracks into my flesh.  I close my eyes and let my mind wander.  I begin to wonder if this is all my fault and what I could’ve have done differently to avoid this situation.  

I can hear the world around me to continuing to move on not even taking notice of my pain or misfortune. I bite my lip and clench my fist as I retrace the path that led to this current situation.  I could hear cars passing, children playing, and dogs barking; all oblivious to her treachery.  I manage to flip open my phone, but I can’t feel the buttons.  I know I’m pushing them because I can hear the sound the keypad makes when a button is pressed.  I remember the day my brother badgered me into setting the speed dial on my phone. All day he kept whining about the convenience, and how it would help me drive safer.  I said a prayer to myself, grateful that my brother made me program the phone. 

I felt needles diving in and out of my thighs like a sewing needle driving thread into my flesh.  I bit my lip, and took a deep breath to slow my heart. 

            I can remember the tears in her eyes as I watched her leave.  She reached out to me, but at the last minute she pulled back.  Her hair fell down the sides of her face framing it like a portrait.  I yelled for her to stop, but she wasn’t listening as she kept on moving without looking back. 


“Hello” a voice asked


I thought I was hallucinating because of the pain she had caused me, but I remembered I used the speed dial function.  Every minute seemed like an eternity, and I could scarcely remember which number I pressed or who it was I called.  I needed them to come to me, and help me through this situation. I have been selfish in the past when others have called me to come to their rescue, and I always made up an excuse to absolve myself from any responsibility to help them.  I remember the night my sister called me crying because her husband had left her for his campaign manager.   Tears rolled from my eyes down my eyes as I recollected faking static so I could hang up the phone.  I did call my mother, and tell her to call my sister, but the damage was done. I’d abandoned her when she needed me.

                                    “Hello, is there anybody there?” the voice asked


Seconds seemed like hours, and it took all my power to answer.  I could feel the tickle against my vocal cords as the sound slowly moved up my throat.   My jaw groaned like a rusty gear opening for the first time in ages.  What came out of my throat was unrecognizable to the human ear. 

            “Is this some kind of joke, how did you get my brother’s phone” the voice asked


Another noise escaped through my mouth before I could send my brain the signal for it to close.  My lips were burning as the moisture left them to dry out, and the feeling of the skin cracking was magnified three fold.  My swollen tongue flopped around in my mouth like a fish out of water.  I managed to get to do a once over on my lips, and I hoped it was enough for me to spit out just one word.  The tears were now flowing like the Mississippi down my face. I could feel everything inside of me tensing, and squeezing itself together in an effort to push out the air it needed to save it self.


                        “Heellp Mee…Heeelll..pp…Mee” I moaned


“Is that you, Escher? Are you okay?” the voice asked


I recognized my sister’s voice, and I felt my stomach jump like it does when some goes on a roller coaster.  What made me feel worse was the genuine concern in her voice, and it made my guilt feel a like a weight on my chest making it hard for me to breath.  I began sobbing uncontrollably, and gasping for air.  I tried to rub my temples, but I couldn’t tell if I was even touching my head because the numbness intensified with each wave of pain.  My tongue desperately raked itself across the desert landscape that my lips had become.  The moisture gave me one last effort to reach out for someone’s help.


                        “She left….” I whispered


                        “Who left, Escher? Speak up, I can barely hear you.” She said


                        “She left me….Use GPS…Find me...”  I pleaded


“What are you talking about? Who is she? Please Escher you’re scaring me. I can barely hear you. Tell me what’s wrong.” She said


I could hear her voice began to tremble as fear crept into our conversation.  I was beginning to lose focus, and I everything around me was getting darker.  A small breath felt like a knife cutting into my ribs, and my legs felt like a thumb after it was struck with a nail.  Of all the people to call to ask for help, my sister, and the weight of the guilt began to overwhelm me.  It was becoming harder for me to breathe, and my sobs were not full blown howls of anguish.


                        “Oh my god Escher, tell me what’s wrong.” She pleaded


                        “She left….” I moaned


                        “Who left Escher? Who is she?” She yelled


                        “The woman who hit me with her car….” I whispered


                        “Oh my god, Escher! Where are you? “She asked


                        “Was running….GPS…find me…Please.” I slurred


The darkness hugged me, and I resisted its cold embrace.  I could barely make out what was happening on the road above, but I could hear people talking.  I tried to yell with no luck because I had exhausted every ounce of energy on the phone call.  I had cried so much that my eyes were dry, and stinging.  It’s interesting what lying in a ditch paralyzed can do to a person’s outlook on life.  I made a promise that I would care more about others and not be so selfish. Selfishness could’ve cost me my life, but thankfully my sister is a better person than I am.  When my eyes are closed I can still see her eyes as she left, and with her she took my selfish soul.

They were able to locate me using the GPS locator in my cellular phone.  I don’t think I have ever been happy to have Big Brother watching me, but I will make this one exception.  I was rushed directly to the emergency room to be treated for a concussion, a fractured fibula, broken ribs, and a broken jaw.  I was extremely lucky the doctor’s informed me on more then one occasion throughout my stay. There was one doctor who dotted over my every need, and want.  Every time she looked at me though I could see fear in her eyes, and I couldn’t understand why she would be afraid.

The police had finally finished asking me questions about the hit and run I’d been involved.  I couldn’t remember much about the incident, but the woman’s eyes as she backed away from the ditch and ran back to her car.  I lay in bed with my hands resting behind my head when it me like a linebacker sacking a quarter back.  It was like I had double vision that was finally coming into focus.  One side of the vision was the woman eyes at the scene of the accident, and the other side of the vision was of the woman doctor with fear in her eyes.  I closed my eyes to concentrate, and everything fell into place. The woman who hit me and the doctor who feared me were the same woman.   I felt a hot rush come over me, and I saw myself turning red in the mirror. I bolted upright in the bed, but a stabbing pain sent me right back down.  I winced, and grabbed my side.

I glanced at the clock, it read 11:30 am, and lunch would be here soon.  The doctor had made it her mission to deliver it on time.  I pictured what was going to happen next, and try to play it out in my head.  Would I destroy her life, and put her through the hell she’s put me through.  The physical pain that I have endured is life nothing I have ever experienced in my life, but this same pain has also given me something I had almost forgotten. She had given me a second chance to be with my family.  I gained something in that ditch that day, and it had taken a glimpse of death for me to appreciate what I’d been missing.  At that moment a feeling of serenity feel over me like a waterfall over a cliff. The door opened, and she walked in to serve my lunch.  I looked her directly in the eye as she walked towards me.


                                    “I remember what you did” I said


She dropped the tray of food and put her hands to her mouth to stifle a scream.  She began to tremble uncontrollably, and she slowly started sinking to the ground. Suddenly she dropped like a rock into a sobbing heap.  I sprang up ignoring the pain, and swung my legs to the side of the bed facing her.  I slid down to the ground and limped over to the sobbing heap of pain.  I sat down beside her, and took her into my arms.


                                    “I am so sorry, I am sorry.” She sobbed

                                    “I know you are.”  I said

“I am ready to go to jail. I understand you have to turn me in to the authorities.”  She moaned

                                    “No, I’m not going to turn you in” I stated plainly


She looked up into my eyes, and I saw in them genuine surprise. For some reason that made me smile, but I could also feel my heart swelling in my chest. To see the shock on her face made me realize I was making the right decision.  This accident had given birth to two new lives; one was a life renewed, sent down a new direction. The other was a second chance to save more lives even though some of her techniques might be a bit unorthodox. I told her that and she kind of giggled through her sniffles, and hugged me tighter trying to transfer her sense relief into me.


                                    “I will never forget your or this.” She said

                                    “I sure as hell won’t ever forget it.” I snorted

We both sat there on the floor in the sunlight coming through the window, and laughed together.  People always say “Well you made your bed, now you have to lie in it.” Well, I be damned if they didn’t ever say we couldn’t change the sheets.



© 2008 Jonas Hughes

Author's Note

Jonas Hughes
First Draft

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I love it!
You really shouldn't change anything,
except for a few grammer problems.
It is a great story!
You pulled me in and kept me there.
That is what my Language Arts teacher would say, at least.

Posted 11 Years Ago

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Added on March 11, 2008


Jonas Hughes
Jonas Hughes

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