The light goes from red to green, the car gradually starts moving. Nola stares at the road; a nervousness inside of her. Ever since her accident she has hated getting behind the wheel. Even though it’s been almost four months, she still gets scared. It doesn’t help that she has to drive all the way across town to get to her job.
Nola stops at an intersection, her grip on the steering wheel is so tight that her hands are turning a ghostly pale color. There’s a single drop of sweat running down the back of her neck. “I can get through this,” she said aloud. Nola can hear sirens but they must be far away. They sound muffled and distant. The light is about to turn green, when a grey car comes racing down the street. Nola is already in the middle of the intersection when the grey car completely ignores the red light and almost runs into her. She has to slam down the gas pedal to avoid being hit by the grey car.
Halfway down the next street Nola pulls her car to the side of the road. Her breaths are quick and shallow; she’s on the verge of tears. Nola shuts her eyes tight and takes deep breaths to try to calm down.
When Nola opens her eyes the sky is bright and the air is warm, but everything is kind of blurry. However, Nola’s surroundings seem to spark a memory inside of her mind. The trees, the flowers, even the cars. She can’t really hear, everything’s muffled. Suddenly a realization hits Nola; this is the location of her accident. Nola’s blood runs cold. Her car starts to gradually move faster and faster, it won’t stop. No, Nola can’t stop it. She tries to but it won’t work, it just keeps on going.
The sirens are getting closer. Nola’s car is still rapidly moving down the street, and there’s a stop up ahead. The red octagonal sign is getting closer by the millisecond. Out of Nola’s peripheral vision she can see a dark grey car. Both cars are getting closer to the stop sign, and one driver isn’t paying attention. They both arrive at the stop sign, and they keep on going; closer and closer and closer until they are about to collide.
Nola springs up, alert and awake. The sun looks like its just about to come up. There are red and blue flashing lights behind her, and what looks to be an officer at her car window. He has brown spiked hair and a concerned look on his face. Oh how she remembers a night filled with concerned faces. Almost her whole family had concerned faces the night of her accident. Everybody knew to leave Nola alone, and she hasn’t talked to her family since. She said she needed some time, and she did, but mostly she knew that they would look at her with pity. She definitely didn’t want to be looked at with pity.
Nola rolls down her window. “Excuse me Mrs. but I noticed you were pulled over on the road just sleeping in your car. Are you okay?”
“Yes I’m fine,” Nola smiles a reassuring smile. “I guess I was just tired after work yesterday and I must have pulled over to take a nap. I didn’t mean to fall asleep.”
“Okay then, just making sure that everything was alright.” The officer glanced back at his car and says,”Well I should probably get going. You know, duty calls.”
Nola waves a small goodbye and the two go their separate ways. Thankfully he wasn’t great at telling when someone is lying.
Later that day Nola is standing doing the dishes when her leg starts to hurt. The pain feels almost familiar, almost like she’s felt it before. She gets this weird feeling like something is watching her. Then, the tv turns on. Nola doesn’t seem to recognize the show, however the pictures on the screen seem familiar. She recognizes the trees and the flowers, but she can't remember what it’s from. Nola goes to turn around when the pain in her leg becomes almost unbearable; Nola falls to the floor. The blinding sin in her leg almost preventing her from doing anything. However, she can crawl to her phone. She opens her phone and sees a notification from the news app: Woman’s body found near Centerville Park. “Centerville park?” Nola remembers that name from somewhere. Racking her brain she faintly recalls a road sign that said Centerville park, but where does she know it from?
Now that the pain in Nola’s leg has sort of gone away, she gets up and heads to the front door. Before she touches the doorknob she freezes, getting the same feeling of someone watching her. A chill rushes down her spine and with that Nola walks out of the house.
When Nola steps out of her house she notices something different: her car. Its not in the place where she parked it. Honestly, she is so disheveled right now though that she doesn’t put much thought into this. She just gets in her car and starts driving to Centerville park.
Nola turns a corner and sees a police car about halfway down the street. Being the curious person she is, she parks her car and starts walking toward the blocked off area.
About halfway down the street Nola feels the pain in her leg return, not as bad as before but still a terrible pain. However, as she walks closer to the restricted area the pain in her leg starts to slowly subside.
Nola steps up to the bright yellow caution tape wondering whether or not she should go any further and risk being caught, or go back to her car. She stays in the same place for a minute, weighing her options. A last, her curiosity takes over completely and she ducks underneath the yellow line.
As soon as Nola is on the other side of the tape she regrets it. The rotten stench of a decomposing body makes her want to vomit. Nola looks around to make sure that nobody is watching her. She starts to walk toward the body bag. The closer she gets to the bag the more the pain in her leg starts to go away. She gets closer, closer, and closer. She's right in front of the body bag, kneeling down. Nola pulls back the fabric covering the body, and what she sees filled her with fear. Nola is staring right back at her face, except she’s pale, and she has a crushed leg with tire marks.