The Stain

March 30, 2017
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I saw nothing at first. Then I heard a scream.
The stain, it was grape juice stain made from the kind of juice that was sickly sweet and made for toddlers. I was the one who happened to splatter the juice all over the car seat, with my sticky grape juice hands, when I was young. It was a long car ride, and I couldn’t sit still. One second the juice was in my chubby fingers and next it was flying in the air, then splattered on the car seat. That same stain was there for years, and as I grew up and my sister was born, it was watching and waiting for the right moment to make a difference.
    It was a cold winter night as my sister, Kami, and I were huddled up in our big fur coats all decked in winter gear, ready to go trekking down the driveway to the car. The night was bright with a full moon illuminating the streets. The front door locked with a defined click as my parents stepped down the stairs from the porch to unlock the car and to load all the bags. The lights on all the other houses were off, except for ours, as they were already fast asleep in their warm beds. Winter in New York has always been brutal, but this year the snow seemed like it just didn’t want to let go. I peer through the fogged up window into the car. This car was the worst. It was a Honda Accord the 1998 model, my dad’s first car.  He said it was like family, but I just considered a piece of junk. Especially with the dreadful stain in the left corner of the backseat. Dad unlocks the door from the inside of the car, while I help Mom load the bags into the trunk. Kami casually leans against the car door examining her nails.
“Karly, can you please sit in the ugly seat? You never do!,” she says pouting.
I sigh and cross my arms. This was the same fight we have every time we get in the car, since the moment she was born.
“Kami, you’re only ten. I’m the older one. You have to get in the ugly seat,” I scoff,” There is no freaking way I’m sitting on that ugly stain.”
We continue to argue loudly in the driveway, our breaths coming out as puffs in the cold. Mom clears her throat to interfere, because she knows that I always win.
“Girls, stop. Karly sit in the stained seat, Kami sits there every time,” she pauses to shoot me a disappointed look, “And for god’s sake, get in the car before you catch a cold.”
Grudgingly, I mumble and get into the ugly seat, as me and Kami have named it. Kami comes around the car and climbs into the seat next to me, her face glowing with success. Dad starts the engine and backs out of the snowy driveway. The car is quiet all the way until we make the exit to get on the freeway. Then Kami starts humming a random pop song, probably by Taylor Swift, under her breath while attempting to read in the dark. I pull out my phone to check the time, 10:08 pm. Sighing, I plug in my headphones and try to tune out the constant chatter of my parents, in the front seat. I stare out the find to the lights on the freeway, passing at an alarming speed. I check the time again, bored, 10:58 pm. My leg began bouncing up and down,impatiently, waiting for the 11:00 to appear on the home screen, so I could snapchat it. Kami was sleeping, her head awkwardly drooping against the seat head. I press the button on my phone again, 11:08 pm. I turn to look at Kami again. The soft rise of her chest as she breaths, and  her silent snore made me feel somewhat comforted. Once again I check the home screen, 11:12 pm. The air grew increasingly stale and humid, and I struggle to take off my jacket without hitting Kami in the face. 11:17 pm. I turn to stare out the front window, and I feel it.
I see the lights first and hear a scream, from inside the car. The screech of the tires is almost unbearably loud and I hear the glass crashing and the windshield shattering into bits and pieces. My phone gets yanked out of my arm by the force, and I hear it thud to the ground. Alarmed, and hanging upside down, only to be held up by my seatbelt, I turn to my right to see Kami’s head hanging limply against the seat, and the soft rise of her chest is longer to be found. I close my eyes, and listen for my parents over the piercing sound of the police siren, I hear nothing.  I can’t comprehend what has happened, but my own mind blocks the sounds of everything around me, so I only hear the sound of my heavy breaths. In my silent state, I catch a glimpse of the wretched truck. Crying to myself, silently, the world becomes clear to me, and the stain is in center of it.

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