Everyone lies, right? That’s what I tell myself at least so I can sleep at night. Ten years have passed but I can still remember that night so well. It plays over and over during those torturous moments before the sleeping pills finally kick in and I fall gratefully into a black, dreamless abyss.
We were all drinking. All honor students. All supposedly good kids. All college-bound. And we were completely wasted. I was driving. All of my mother’s warnings, all of her promises, Call me anytime and I’ll come get you, no questions asked, were forgotten. I was young and immortal, a newly-acquired driver’s license burning a hole in my pocket, in love with the feeling of speeding down a dark straightaway in my very own car with the windows down, screaming the lyrics to a song I can no longer hear without vomiting, warm, moist wind blasting my hair and face.
We hit someone. I hit someone. A woman whose car had broken down, who was walking to a neighbor’s to get help. I never saw her.
Back then, it made sense to leave Olivia in the car. She was the newest to our tight-knit group of friends, and she was the most messed up out of all of us. Completely passed out. She wouldn’t remember. No one really liked her all that much. We let her go around with us because her family was loaded. Her dad was a rich lawyer, he’d get her off with a smack on the wrist. So, we moved her over to the driver’s seat, wiped my prints from the wheel and put her hands all over it – a trick I’d learned from my mom’s favorite cop shows, and ran home in separate directions. We were shocked when the judge threw the book at Olivia, wanting to send a message about underage drinking and drunk driving. She’d gotten ten years.
She’ll be out soon. She really believes she’s guilty. I called my old friends, the ones who were there that night, and told them the news, saying we should get together and welcome her home, do something to make her transition easier. None of them were interested, wanting to leave the past in the past. One even said that Olivia had gotten what she deserved.
So I will be there, alone, when the gates open and Olivia takes her first steps as a free woman. It’s the least I can do. It’s one thing to tell a lie, another when you start to believe it’s the truth.
Written for the Story A Day prompt – The Lie