The main character Kate is with her drivers ed instructor and...
Coach must have seen me eying the backseat because he said, “Got a big game Friday, wanted to strategize a little with Minder here.”
I nodded and drove; they strategized. This was fine with me. I thought Steve would be busy talking and not looking at me, but every time I looked in the mirror, there were his brown eyes looking back at me.
I was so going to melt.
Of course I didn’t, melt that is, because I was distracted by the sirens. They sounded like they were coming toward us. Then I heard more sirens coming up behind us. I um…I kind of panicked. Yeah, I panicked. But not as much as when I actually saw the squad cars heading toward us from both directions. Then I would have to say I was beyond panic.
“Make a right here, Sterns, and get out of their way.” Coach said.
I clenched the steering wheel and felt my stomach tighten. I don’t know if the coach knew that I was in a state well beyond panic. He didn’t sound like it and I couldn’t look over at him because I was not taking my eyes off the road.
I moved the car forward to follow his easy instructions. Easy, that is, if they were given to anyone other than me! The problem was quite simple; sometimes, when I get nervous, I get a little confused about the right and left thing. This, I found out, happens to other people, too. I know because I Googled it. I’m a Googleaholic.
I was totally nervous. I mean I thought I had done something really wrong, not to mention the really hot stowaway in the backseat.
I gripped harder trying to keep my sweaty hands from slipping off the steering wheel. I hit the gas and pulled the wheel hard to the left, instead of the right.
Coach totally did not expect this, since he told me to go right. It seemed like it took forever for this to register in the Coach’s brain, which gave me enough time to hit the gas again—hard. Coach was slamming that extra brake on the passenger side that’s installed on Driver’s Ed cars; and our car started skidding.
I jerked the wheel back the other way, still sliding across the wet pavement like we were on ice, and stopped directly in the line of the police cars. Oh yeah, we also did a complete 360. This was actually kind of cool, except that is for the sirens and the cops.
I couldn’t help but think this day couldn’t get any worse. I was losing control of the car, my mind, and I guess, my mouth, too. I started babbling about Chemistry and Mums, and, oh yeah, the cute guy in the backseat, who doesn’t even know I’m alive. It really doesn’t matter because I’ll probably be dead soon anyway!
I prayed this wouldn’t affect my grade, although I knew it would. I mean who could make a mistake this huge and still pass Driver’s Ed? Not me, that’s for sure! I didn’t see that the car the police were chasing crashed into a fence and that the driver jumped out and was running full speed—in my direction!
The driver, or I guess now the runner, was looking behind him, instead of looking where he was going.
I just want to say that that is what normal people do; you know, look where they’re going. Before I even knew what was happening, the driver/runner ran smack into my car. He turned his head at the last second, ran right into the driver’s side door, banged his head on the roof and fell backward to the ground.
I’m totally sure he broke something.
I stared out the window. Now I’d really done it. Not only was I going to fail Driver’s Ed, but I think I just killed someone and I wasn’t even moving!
I dropped my head down against the steering wheel and closed my eyes. I fought the urge to pinch myself. Well, really, it could have all been a dream.
“Sterns, you ok?” I heard Coach say. Nope, I sighed, not a dream.
I just nodded my head yes; I knew if I said anything I would cry. That was just one more thing I couldn’t handle right now.
“Stay in the car,” Coach said and got out.
Outside on the ground was the driver/runner the police had been chasing. He was laying there with blood running from his nose. They rolled him over and put handcuffs on him, which to me was a good sign. Not for him, of course, but for me, because it meant I hadn’t killed him!
I heard a throat clear behind me and looked in the rear-view mirror, directly into the brown eyes I’d been staring at right before the accident.
He was in the car, which means, he totally saw everything.