He Should Have Looked
Late for Work
Aaron was three days short of his eighteenth birthday and he was late for work. He ran from the house and jumped into his tricked-out GMC Four X Four with its lift kit and oversized tires. As soon as he slammed the truck door closed, Aaron glanced at the time on his i-Phone. Seeing how late he was, Aaron cursed under his breath, and tossed the phone onto the passenger seat.
Why Am I Always In A Hurry
Grabbing his mirror-lensed sunglasses off the dashboard, Aaron set them on his face just so and examined his reflection in the rear view mirror to ensure his black biker bandana sat on his head with the appropriate attitude. He was very careful to cultivate just the right look to fit in at work.
Assured that he looked cool enough, Aaron fired up the truck, put it in gear, and sped down his parent’s long driveway. When he got home from his date with his girlfriend, Heather, the night before, Aaron parked his truck so that he could drive straight out rather than backing out onto the busy road that fronted his parent’s house. After having been nearly plowed into the last time he tried backing out of the driveway, he'd learned to turn his truck around when he got home.
The Innocent Party
Evan left the church parking lot after learning he wouldn’t be needed to drive kids from the youth group to the rally after all. The flu bug that had been making the rounds had halved the number of children making the trip. Instead of heading to the state capitol, Evan was headed home in his wife’s blue Tacoma Four-by-Four crew cab pickup. He’d driven the pickup because it could hold more passengers than his C-RV.
The truth was, Evan wasn’t all that disappointed at not being needed. He’d been asked - he thought of it as having been drafted - by the Deacon just the morning before. His son, Evan Junior - whom everyone called Bud - was an officer in the youth group and had planned to go all along but hadn’t asked Evan to drive as he knew his mother and father were looking forward to a little alone time. Now that he wasn't needed as a driver, Evan was, once again, looking forward to that alone time.
He's Not Gonna Stop
Evan had decided to surprise his wife, Brenda, and hadn’t called or texted her to let her know he was on his way home. She might not ordinarily like surprises, but he thought she would like this one. He was only two miles from his house when he spotted the black pickup racing down a driveway just yards ahead of him.
He’s not gonna stop, Evan thought even as his right hand released the steering wheel and slammed down on the horn button, and his right foot lifted off the accelerator pedal and stomped down on the brake.
Aaron Checked His Music Instead
As his back wheels spun on the concrete driveway, propelling the pickup toward the road, Aaron looked at the setting on the High Definition radio he’d spent a week’s pay to have installed in his truck. He wanted to make sure it was back on the hip-hop station he listened to because it was cool, not because he necessarily liked the music. But Aaron knew if he pulled into the car detailing shop where he worked part-time with the country music Heather loved listening to playing on the radio the guys he worked with would razz him about it all day. It was hard enough being the youngest employee at the shop without them thinking he was a hick from the sticks.
At the last possible moment Aaron looked up, saw he was at the end of the driveway, and applied just enough brake to make the left turn onto the main road. He never bothered using his turn signal, or even looking to see if the road was clear. When he heard the horn, Aaron snapped his head to the left just in time to see the grill of a blue pickup filling his field of vision.
What Would Aaron Be Today
One White Cross
Evan never made it home for his alone time with his wife. They spent their weekend in the ICU at the trauma center. It was more than a week before he made it home, another three weeks before he went back to work, and two more months before he could walk without crutches.
Aaron never made it to work, or school, or prom, or graduation. The wooden cross in the yard by the driveway in front of his parent’s house stood until the house’s new owners took it down.