Snow fell quickly and covered everything it possibly could. Snow covered cars, lampposts, the tops of tall buildings. I heard nothing except the call of the wind and the crunch of frost underneath the foot of anyone who dared to walk outside. Everyone who walked outside was bundled in layers and looked hidden under big puffy coats and thick scarves.
Unfortunately, I have to be outside; just because there is no more bread, eggs, or anything else in the refrigerator, I need to freeze to death. But, even though there was snow in my shoes, I didn’t want to go home. I didn’t want to listen to my brother, Elliot, rattle off facts about terrifying natural disasters.
“You should be careful, many people died last year because of snow. And I know that last spring you were ranked first in the state for track. But, you don’t need to show off and run in the snow. I don’t want to go to the hospital because you slipped on the ice and didn’t heed my warning,” he said just before I left the house. “And, Leo, don’t drive, it’s really dangerous,”
“I’m not even old enough to have a license. And anyways, who uses the word ‘heed” and I slammed the door.
Everyone is always saying things like ‘stay safe’ and ‘watch out’ and ‘don’t get hurt’. Since when did snow ever hurt anyone? Why don’t people trust me enough to not injure myself? Yes, once I wanted to see if I could do a backflip off the monkey bars and ended up breaking my arm. But, that was five years ago!
As I turn the corner, a roar from behind me startled me and I almost tripped. A red car raced past me and down the next ice-covered street. The bright red looked like one red rose in a sea of white roses. But, all of a sudden their was a pit in my stomach. The car rolled on the ice and it started to swerve. Soon the car skidded sideways on the street and crashed violently into something I couldn’t make out through the snow. Without thinking, I drop the grocery bags I was holding and race towards the car. My grey hat flew off, and by the time it hit the ground I was almost at the car.
No one had gotten out of the car.
I wanted to run faster, but the wind was tossing my around me like a basketball. Sliding on the snow I finally got to the car. Even though it was freezing outside, I started to feel hot and uncomfortable. There was only one person in car, but their head was on the steering wheel and all I could see was their dark, neatly combed hair and black suit jacket. No one else was around to help. It was up to me. I couldn’t crumble down; I had to do something. I tried to not panic. But, my efforts were like trying to keep water in cupped hands; the rational thoughts were now trickling away no matter how hard I tried to hold on to them. And even though it was freezing, I started to sweat.
When I collected myself, I called 911. My hands were shaking and I did what the person on the other end said. I had to tell them my location so the ambulance could come. I could barely make out the words on the street sign. I stuttered the address into the phone.
Every five seconds, I peered into to the car as I paced around on the street. After an eternity, I heard sirens. The sound of sirens was like hearing my favorite song. Through all of the snow, I see the ambulance turn the corner I had turned only a few moment ago.
It seemed like a blur, but I heard someone say, “I don’t think he going to make it.”
As soon as I heard those words I began to struggle to stay alert. My head started to pound. Every object around me started to become fuzzy. It was my fault. I couldn’t go home, I was a murderer. This man’s death was all my fault. My entire world started to crumble over a stranger. ‘This is not possible,’ I thought to myself. I had to use all of my effort to stay conscious. Why did I feel this way about someone I didn’t know? I hated myself for feeling this way.
The paramedics turned the face of the victim and I felt all of the blood rush out of my face. ‘This is not real,’ I thought. ‘He wasn’t the one in the car,’ I told myself. One of the paramedics started coming towards me. So, I turned around and ran. I felt the wind in my face and the snowy ground under my feet. The words were moving through my mind faster than my feet were moving on the ground. And, my feet were fast. I tried to forget his face, but it was burning in my brain. All I could see was that face- his face. The face that died years ago. That face was the face of my father. My dad couldn’t be in that car.
My feet tried to keep steady on the ice as I ran past my hat. I was wrapped in isolation, fear and confusion. My head kept search for answers. But, my only conclusion that seemed reasonable was I was having nightmare. My dad doesn’t wear suits to work. He doesn’t own a red car. But, I am sure it was him. He had the same dark brown eyes that I have. And, his hair is always perfect.
Something was different when I turned the corner that made me immediately stop. The buildings were taller. The clouds were darker, as if there was smoke inside of them. There were more electronic signs. ‘What is going on? I can’t be lost, I just turned this corner,’ I thought.
In swift motions I looked all around me. My eyes were drawn to a bright computer screen in a unfamiliar shop window. It was difficult to make out the words on the screen, due to the snow, which had turned a dusty grey color. I moved closer to the window and pressed my trembling hands against the window. In the corner of the screen, it said ‘December 20, 2032.’ I rubbed my eyes, but it was no mistake. Suddenly, everything in my brain made sense like I had found the last piece of the puzzle. I do not know how I knew, but I just did. Somehow, I had been sent exactly fifteen years in the future. And just for a second, even though I still had so many questions about why this was happening, I was relieved.
But, the disorientation came again. ‘If it is fifteen years in the future, I would be fifteen years older. So would my dad. He couldn’t be the man in the car. Anyway, that man looked a little younger than Dad is now,’ I said to myself. For a couple of minutes I was pacing in front of the shop window trying to figure this out. When I realized who was in the car, I stopped in my tracks. It was me who had died. I was always reckless in the snow, but I never thought that this would happen.