Jared gasped. He sat up choking for breath in his own bed. He was in a sweat. He shivered suddenly, so cold as if he really had been in the bottom of the river, after all.
It was amazing how he'd learned to hold his breath. Perhaps it was just an after thought now. He took in deep breaths as if he might have to go back. Again.
He laid back down on his thin bed, wishing he could make it all go away. Why did thoughts of that night come back to haunt him so? But tears consumed him and he felt so awful. The most awful person in the world.
His dream was about Monica. This time. Not Corine, as it should have been. How it was. Corine was driving. Did she even know he was planning to break-up with her? She must have. Why else would she crash the car on the bridge.
Suddenly, he felt the glass on his face. He blinked. It hadn't really hurt. Just cuts. Lots of them. He'd been thrown from the car when it flipped over, going into the water. No, no, he shook his head, thinking back. She'd wanted them to die together. He'd searched for her in the water. He'd done his best to find her in the murky water. But he couldn't...do enough. Not in the dead of night. Not when it was so frigid out.
And now he'd awoken from a dream. Monica. He'd found Monica in the little black sports car. Not Corine.
He quickly dressed now. As it was he didn't sleep in clothes. It never felt right. He knew his grandmother, didn't like it. She liked a man prepared. What would he do in case of a fire?
How come he thought this every morning as he searched for underwear and jeans. He smiled then. She did think he was too much like his mother and not enough like his father. Of course, she never liked his mother. She'd put her down, every chance she got. But he didn't want to be a part of that. Couldn't she let them rest in peace?
He quickly pulled on the gray ARMY T. Suddenly, he stopped. Thinking of his parents. He was so still. His eyes closed delicately, thinking of another time. He was in the backseat. 12. Moody. He didn't like long cartrips never had. So sudden. Metal colliding. The car crash. Far from a thrill ride.
Jared sat down. Ashamed, he didn't think of them the moment he woke this morning. Damn, if Monica hadn't consumed him. There was no time for rituals, with her around. He nursed his bottom lip. It was going to be a shitty day. He just knew.
His cell awoke him and he picked up. Monica.
"Hullo." She sounded sad.
"Um." He cleared his throat. He needed to have a conversation of some sort, but he was a bit out of it. Perhaps, too soon.
"Are..you..mad at me?" Her question haunted him.
"No. No, of course not." He wanted to call. He did. Jared wasn't sure what to say. "I-I've been thinking about you." He barely got out. He was imagining her as an oasis of some kind. Gentle and free. It felt to him they'd gone off on some vibrant trip together and only they would know exactly where it took them. But then again, he wasn't certain what she saw him. If anything. She'd kept her eyes closed in the warm sunlight. "We should..do something." He nodded as if he could already see it happening. Which did not involve a car crash.
"You see, I-I don't drive." He told her.
"I - thought- what about at the lake?" She asked.
"I walked." Jared told her.
"Huh." There was a bit of dismay in her voice. As if he was nothing as she'd hoped for.
"I'm sorry." Jared felt as if he could sleep now.
"I could pick you up." She suggested.
"I'm sorry. I'd rather-" He didn't like the thought of being in the car with her. Suddenly, he felt like ice, again. "I'll..I'll just come over." He clicked off the cell before he changed his mind.