“This is my favorite song!” My best friend Darcy screams from the passenger side of the old grey Volkswagen I’m currently driving. Lady Gaga’s Born This Way is playing on the radio, which is already on full blast as we drive through the snow. My boyfriend Alec is sitting on the backseat, holding on to the beautiful bouquet he had gotten me earlier.
My boyfriend. It still felt weird to say it, even after two months.
Alec’s come with us to watch us perform a modern rendition of Swan Song, and being the perfect boyfriend that he is he had recorded the whole thing so we can watch our first performance of the year over and over again.
See, Darcy and I are dancers, mainly ballet, and I had my first solo performance at tonight’s show, something I have worked toward since I’m a little girl and my mum has brought me to my first lesson.
The road ahead of us is dark, and it’s only a few more minutes until we can leave the highway and we’re in Columbus, Boston.
Even though there is a snowstorm heading our way and the sight is awful at this time of the night, there are many people on the streets. I would never voluntarily drive in this weather, but for my dancing and the chance to perform, I would do anything.
Our dance studio has worked for months for this one night, and we were told that some high numbers from surrounding colleges would attend our performance. My applications were already sent out, and all I was waiting for now was to see if I could get into my dream college.
The Boston Conservatory at Berklee.
With a little luck, someone from Berklee saw me tonight and would add in a good word for my application.
“I’m going to soak in the bathtub all night long after this! I can barely feel my feet anymore, that’s how much I’ve been exercising.” Darcy is massaging her feet as she says that, and I know exactly what she means. My feet are bruised and aching, and I have no idea how I even managed to dance tonight, that’s how sore they were. I had angry blisters on my toes and even some chafing from the pointe shoes, so a hot bath sounded wonderful right now.
“Me too, maybe I’m going to book a massage later this week, we could go to-”
Something hitting my car from the back interrupts me, and we all scream out in surprise as I try to hold on to the steering wheel and straighten the car out again. I look in the rearview mirror and see a black car with tinted windows, but due to the storm I can’t even make out what brand it was. Another hit comes, and I lose all control of the vehicle as I try to prevent us from hitting the car in front of us. We swerve to the far right and hit ice, and all I can do is move my foot off the gas pedal before we crash and everything turns black.
I jolt awake in my bed, sweat streaming down my face and my left leg hurting like a bitch before I realize that it was just a nightmare and I’m not in that car anymore. I’m safe.
Darcy’s scream is still ringing in my ears and the picture of us driving off the street and down the side of the road just moments before everything turns black is stuck in my head again.
My heart is racing almost as fast as back then as I push my red hair away from my face and quickly turn the bedside lamp on.
It’s been a while since I’ve dreamt of that night almost four years ago, and I have no idea why the memory is back all of a sudden. It’s always the exact same dream. The same memory.
I take deep and even breaths to calm down, but the pain in my left leg is making it impossible to focus. The ache starts in my knee and spreads all the way down to my toes and up to my hip.
When I touch my knee, I can feel the scars from the accident and the following surgeries I had. The skin around it looks horrible, as if a butcher who never learned how to properly sew a wound was at work instead of a professional.
The pain has never really gone away, either.
I was just lucky that my sister agreed to let me move in with her almost a year ago, and that her apartment building has a functioning elevator.
It’s not that I didn’t want to stay at my parents place anymore. My parents were there for me every step of the way, but I couldn’t stand their sad and worried looks any more or how they wouldn’t let me do even the smallest things for myself.
I know they only did it because they loved me and wanted what’s best for me but it’s definitely easier now that I live with my sister Alice. She gets me, and even if she disapproves of some of the things that I do, she lets me do it because she knows I won’t listen to her.
I’ve been barely living my life these last few years, getting by day by day in the hopes that tomorrow I would wake up, and everything would be just like before. But sadly time travel isn’t a thing yet and without my college degree, I am not going to be the one to crack that riddle either. Instead, everything around me has moved on and I’m stuck in 2017 where my life was still intact.
It’s been four years since I last danced ballet.
Four years since Alec moved away and left me.
Four years since Darcy died.
And four years since I killed her.