Destiny awakes with amnesia. She'd been driving on a wet road, about to leave flowers at a memorial marker of a deceased classmate, when she almost met that same fate.
Her mother, Mildred, is beyond restrictive, and she doesn’t want Destiny to have her cellphone back. A nurse sneaks it into her room, but it’s useless without the passcode. After her hospital stay, her mother becomes physically abusive.
Destiny and Gabriel, the boy she’s developing feelings for, decide to drive around to jog her memory. She’s positive she crashed near a memorial marker. When they find the place in question, and when Destiny remembers her phone’s passcode, nothing is as it seems—and Mildred is crazier than she thought.
14+ due to violence and adult situations
Going to library, see you later
I’m a responsible person—when I want to be—letting my parents know where I am. At a red light, my purse falls down. I curse, unbuckling my seatbelt to pull it up. Since my air conditioning is broken, the windows fog up and it’s hard to see. I roll down the window.
The condensation is relentless, so I pull a beach towel from the backseat and wipe the windshield. Now that I see better, I speed up. The red eyes of brake lights glare at me. Other drivers honk if I go around them, middle fingers are raised, and curse words drift out of open windows. I have things to do and everyone better get out of my way. Anger simmers in me, but I squash it down. This is the new me. The old me was angry all the time, which got me nowhere. It also hurt others. I regret doing the rotten things I’ve done.
When I turn on a quiet road, I speed up. The road is full of houses flashing Christmas decorations: an inflated Santa, a floppy Santa on an artificial chimney, and plenty of lights around doorways, fences, and palm trees.
It continues to pour, but no one is blocking my way with their annoying brake lights. The sky has become darker, as if Mother Nature flipped a switch. I hit the pedal some more. I’m a few blocks from Atlantic and a library that’s right before it, and I see cars are clogging the entire intersection. I groan.
A closed gas station with the store gutted and construction vehicles in front of it come into sight. Since this is a shortcut, none of this is very familiar, although I have a sensation that I’ve driven around here before. Or it could be the effect of the rain. Every wet road looks the same just about now.
The rain finally lets up, going from heavy, to a drizzle, to none at all, and I sigh. On my right, opposite of the gas station, is an empty lot with a real estate sign. The grass is wild and overgrown. There’s also one of those lollipop-shaped memorial markers next to a tree stump. It’s on the swale of the lot with a garland of pink flowers around it.
A streetlight shines on it as if it were a spotlight. I slow down, lean forward, and strain my eyes to read the name on the marker. Someone died in a car crash on this spot and I’m curious to see if it’s for the person I bought the flowers for—even though this is the last place on my list to visit, with the address written on a sticky note that’s inside my wallet. This could be the spot. If it is, I can park here, place the flowers by the marker to pay my respects, and leave.
The lettering is small. The pink flowers are bright and beautiful against a bland landscape. Their frilly petals are feminine when everything around it—gas station, construction signs, pipes, and cinder blocks—is hard and ugly. My gaze roves around the flowers and letters. I slow down some more.
I read the name aloud. “D—” I begin pronouncing the name and am cut short at the first syllable. My foot, which was off the accelerator, twitches back onto it and without meaning to, I’m speeding forward. My car skids and spins. I clutch the steering wheel. The tires screech and a scream is caught in my throat. Then I let it loose.
“Ahhhhh!” My scream is primal, forced from my lungs … no, even deeper … from my abdomen… The sound wrenches out of my mouth and into oblivion as the world becomes black.