Barb watched the police officers pull out of the driveway and head down the street, taking her life with them. She crumpled to the floor, her chest folding in on itself so that she couldn’t breathe. How could Jared be dead? She’d kissed him goodbye before he hopped on his motorcycle and gave her the crooked smile that still made her heart skip a beat.
Clutching her stomach, she cried out, tears leaving dark stains on her red shirt. Jared. Oh, God. The boys. How could she face her two little boys? How could she tell them that Daddy would never come home? She would give anything not to crush her children like that.
Heat flooded her veins. That bitch had dropped her own children off at the daycare and pulled right out in front of Jared. He’d never had a chance to stop before he hit her car at forty miles an hour. Whoever the woman was, she hoped they locked her up and threw away the key. Did she even realize how many lives she’d ruined in one split-second?
Barb held her knees and rocked on the floor. Maybe the men were wrong. Maybe if she prayed hard enough, they’d come back and tell her it was all a mistake. She’d give up anything for them to be wrong.
Her gaze landed on the wallet and keychain the cops had left behind. There’d been no error. Someone on the scene had even identified him. One of the other officers in Jared’s squadron had witnessed the accident.
The tears returned in earnest, and Barb curled into a ball against the couch. If not for her boys, she’d be happy to die right there.
Elaine locked herself inside her house and rushed to the bathroom. She heaved over the toilet, but had nothing left to lose. Images of the dead man swam through her brain and no matter how many times she washed her hands, she still saw the blood on them. All of her efforts to save the man had been in vain.
She didn’t understand where he had come from. Hadn’t she looked both ways before pulling into traffic? She’d waited for a car to pass and then turned, but the motorcycle must have been hiding in the blind spot. Until he slammed into her car, she had no idea he was there.
If she could only go back and change that moment in time. She’d wait just a little longer to make sure no one else was coming. Wasn’t there anything she could do to go back and do it again?
Because of her, a husband and father would never go home again. Because of her, there was a ten yard tread mark just outside the daycare where the man, Jared, had tried to stop before he hit the side of her SUV and slid underneath. Because of her, two little boys were going to grow up without their dad.
How could she possibly face her own family knowing what she’d done? What would she see in their eyes? Understanding, or disgust? How could she go on with her life knowing that she’d killed a man?
Elaine moved to the bedroom and fell onto the unmade bed, wishing it would swallow her whole. If not for her boys, she’d be happy to die right there.
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