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He didn't bother to place the phone in the stupid holder on his dash. He didn't bother to change the fact that his seatbelt was digging into his ribcage. He just answered the call and held his phone in his hand, microphone pointed at his mouth, waiting for whatever was so important that Aaron couldn't just wait until he got home.
"I'm on the way home, Aaron, what couldn't wait?" Spencer decided to say. It tasted bitter on his tongue, but there was nothing else he thought to say that would accurately start this conversation he'd been thinking on for a few months at that point. How else could he get to the I'M GONNA NEED YOU TO GET YOUR THINGS AND LEAVE, BECAUSE I CAN'T LIVE IN THESE CONDITIONS ANYMORE part of the talk? Certainly not by answering with a quiet, dainty, "hello?" At this point, he was known for being sassy.
"Hey, I just wanted to make sure you were okay."
"Well, I'm fine. I'm always fine," Spencer muttered. The steering wheel was straining to the left in his grip and he tugged it back into place. His body jolted to the right. "No need to worry yourself."
"I wasn't worried necessarily. You just hadn't been answering my texts."
"I said I was coming home, what else do you need? What would make you feel better about my leaving the house for two minutes, or God forbid, thirty?" He swerved again. He was never a good driver. For some reason he was crying, which didn't help his driving skills at all. The lines on the road became fuzzy caterpillars. He brought his hand from the wheel to wipe his eyes. His knee pressed up against the bottom of the wheel to keep it in place for a moment. Spencer rested his wrist, the one holding the phone, against the steering wheel as well. If Aaron knew the state he was in, he'd actually have a panic attack.
"Spencer, are you okay?"
He took a deep breath, through his nose. The car made a screeching noise and it made him cringe. "I can't do this."
"I can't—Hold on, I can't do this while I'm driving, I might actually crash." Spencer glanced up at the rearview mirror. It was about eleven at night on a Monday. No one would be out at this time, he knew that much. He pulled as far to the side as he could on the narrow road and shut his car off, throwing the keys into the passenger seat.
Out of sight, out of mind. Out of reach.
The two right tires were in the grass. The other two were slightly to the left of the white line. He didn't know this. Of course he didn’t. How could he, unless he got out of the car to check? How could he have known?
"What do you mean, 'you can't do this while you're driving?' Spencer, are you... sorry. I... what's happening?"
"I'm being safe. Does that make you feel any better?" There was venom. Lots of venom. More than a lethal amount of venom, but Aaron was immune at this point. "Is that all this is? You making sure I'm on a leash, and if I get a paper cut, I'm shut away and wrapped in gauze. What are you, my mom?"
"Maybe it would be better if you, uh... came home, and then we could talk about this..."
"When I come home, I want you--"
Gone. That's what he was going to say. I WANT YOU GONE. Those words, tough words, angry, venom words and everything would be fine.
A sideways, glowing snake bite appeared in the rearview mirror, high beams and all. Spencer's right hand dropped the phone. He lunged to grab the keys, but unfortunately, he was close to the bend of the road, and the snake was going 70 on a 35.
The head of the serpent bunted against the left side of Spencer's Volkswagen at 70 miles an hour. Spencer and his car were jolted, turned at a 47 degree angle, and consequently shoved into the ditch ten feet below the main road.
Spencer was now in the passenger seat. His eyes were blurred, but there were moments of clarity, like his hazard lights were on. There was a whining in his ears, like a whistle but worse, more unbearable, more ominous. He heard the whirring of his own blood in his head. He heard the screeching of tires, watched the headlights projecting on the trees get brighter and then dimmer, and then disappear completely. His keys were digging into his hip. His own throat was making garbled noises, and he felt something warm running down his chin.
Over all the pain, the ungodly amount of scorching, stinging pain, he heard one thing.
"Spencer? Baby, are you okay? Can you hear me? Spencer. I'm going to hang up and call an ambulance, I don't care if you're fine. Please answer me."
The whine was high-pitched and pulsating and painful.
And then there was quiet.