”A car accident shatters the protagonist’s life but at the same time brings a new love (paramedic, doctor, physical therapist, fellow member of a counseling group) nto it.”
–1200 Creative Writing Prompts
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Even after three years, that car crash was still tearing Darius’s life to shreds.
Rain fell like bullets around him, hammering off the playground equipment above and around his head. He pulled his jacket–already several sizes too small for his awkward, lanky limbs. Dad had never bothered to buy him new clothes after the crash, like he hadn’t noticed his son had continued to grow even after his mother had died.
Mostly, it was like he hadn’t noticed he still had a son at all.
Not that it mattered much now. Darius wiped his runny nose on the back of his hand and sniffled. He convinced himself it was just the cold. After all, he wasn’t some little kid anymore. He was twelve–almost thirteen. He was too old to cry.
Besides, it’s not like his father had been there for him much since Mom’s death anyway. Instead of just feeling alone, now Darius was alone, and he could figure out what to do with that. It had to be easier than trying to remind a grown man what he had left to live for.
Darius sniffled again. Yeah, that had worked well for him, hadn’t it?
The sky was murky and gray, heavy with clouds and sadness as Darius curled up under the plastic slide and pulled his collar up over his chilly, red ears. He’d lost track of how long it had been coming down like this. It was like the sky was crying for him when Darius himself was far too numb to cry–like the universe was mourning the suicide of a man Darius was beginning to doubt was even worth the tears. He wound his ankles around one another. His shoes were so tight they made his toes feel even colder. He didn’t think it was possible to feel colder.
A sound caught Darius’s attention–the scrape-slosh of someone walking through wet gravel. His head popped up out of his jacket to hear better, but the rain pounded down louder than it had before. A surge of adrenalin rushed through his system and his gut tied up in an uncomfortable knot.
If he’d learned anything these last few years on the streets, it was that the others like him–the other cold, hungry, and homeless men and women in the Bronx–weren’t very keen on sharing with each other.
He jumped to his feet–got ready to run.
That’s when he saw her.
Her bright, sky-blue eyes peered at him from behind the rock-climbing wall. Her head was wrapped in a ratty scarf, but long, vibrant locks of orange hair fell out from beneath its folds like rays of sunshine through the clouds overhead. When he noticed her, her pink, chapped lips opened in a gasp and she ducked behind the wall again. He barely got a glimpse of her freckles before her face disappeared.
She had to be just a child–eleven or twelve at the most. Just like him.
Darius fumbled over, his knees stiff with cold and fatigue. When he got to the wall, she was gone.
A flash of her orange hair fluttered around the corner of the ladder. Darius watched the girl run off across the park. When she reached the far end, she turned around to look at him just once before darting into an alley. The rain fell hard on his head and soaked in through his hair, but Darius couldn’t help but smile.
Somehow, he didn’t feel quite as alone anymore.