Plans Change

Trevor stopped a few miles back. As he filled the gas tank on his dad’s 1985 Plymouth Gran Fury, his next move came to him. For a month, his mind nibbled at the idea of changing his life completely. His girlfriend moved to Texas at the beginning of summer. She settled into a routine as the fall semester started. Last week, she casually mentioned that it might be an excellent place for him to visit. Or live. Trevor had planned to start classes at the community college in Georgia, where his uncle owned a shop. He also had a loft above the garage that was Trevor’s for as long as he wanted it.

He went back inside the convenience store and bought a large black coffee. He sat in the passenger seat with the door open, sipping at the coffee. It was the first cup of black coffee in his life. The taste was bitter to him, but the heat was welcome. By the time he reached the bottom of the cup, Trevor knew he wasn’t going to college, at least not in Georgia, and he certainly wasn’t returning here. Texas seemed like a great place to start a new life.

As he pulled away from the store, he pressed the accelerator hard. The money his dad spent on this car made its presence known in the engine as it roared. Trevor felt like he might be driving a rocket. He put the driver and passenger windows down as the wind howled through the car’s interior. By the time Trevor reached Highway 103, he had forgotten that he was traveling at over eighty mph. As the wind whipped his hair across his face, he was thinking of seeing Becky in Texas. He didn’t know he was smiling. He definitely didn’t notice the partially-obscured stop sign.

The truck hauling the cattle trailer behind it hit Trevor’s car on the passenger side, caving it into the steering wheel, breaking Trevor’s neck instantly, as well as shattering a variety of bones throughout his body. He didn’t know what hit him.

A few seconds later, the driver of the cattle hauler emerged from his truck, dazed but with only a broken wrist and a few minor injuries. He knew the boy driving the Gran Fury was dead. He looked inside the car anyway, hoping for a miracle he knew wouldn’t greet him. Hopefully, his CB radio would still work so he could radio in for a state trooper or local police. On the way back to his cab, he kneeled to pick up the license plate that had been knocked off his truck in the crash. He noticed that his blue sticker was going to expire at the end of this month. Texas was no place to be driving around with expired tags, especially in 1993.

In a few minutes, the driver heard a siren, followed by flashing lights approaching. The driver waited, a cigarette dangling from his mouth. The Arkansas State Trooper looked inside the mangled Gran Fury and then asked the driver if he could have one of his cigarettes.

There was no hurry. Only time.

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