Inspired by: Percy’s Song
Sadie’s phone rang in the middle of the night. Groggily, she answered it.
“Duncan has been arrested!”
Sadie shot upright.
“What?! What happened? Are you okay? Can I do anything for you? What’s going on?”
“I don’t know. He called me from jail! He was in a car accident or something. I don’t know what’s going on.”
“I’ll be right over!”
Sadie threw off her blankets, she put on a bra and pants. She hopped in her car and drove to Tiffany’s apartment.
Tiffany told her everything she knew, and Sadie did her best to comfort her friend. Sadie tried to get Tiffany to sleep, but she couldn’t stop crying. None of this made any sense.
The next morning they drove to the courthouse where Duncan was to be tried. They finally got to speak to him and find out what happened.
“I was driving home from a fourth of July party. I wasn’t drunk, I swear! But I was going down the highway, and something ran out in front of my car. I jerked the wheel to avoid it and steered into oncoming traffic. I swear there was a deer or something. I collided with another car and spun out into a field, the other car…”
He still couldn’t believe what happened and had a hard time accepting it.
“The car flipped over half a dozen times and killed everyone inside.”
Duncan couldn’t continue, Tiffany sobbed even harder. Sadie’s heart sank into her gut. This couldn’t be happening.
The hearing was brief, and the evidence was damning. Several witnesses saw Duncan suddenly and without reason drive into oncoming traffic. He was to be held without bail. Tiffany was inconsolable.
The judge left the chamber, and Sadie caught him in the hallway.
“Judge Stevenson, can I speak with you for a moment?”
Judge Stevenson did not look excited about the idea but invited her into his office.
“What can I do for you, miss?”
“I’m a friend of Duncan. The man you just decided to hold without bail.”
“Is that really necessary? He isn’t a dangerous criminal or anything.”
“I’m afraid my hands are tied. He is suspected of driving under the influence and killed four people. Actions have consequences, and he needs to answer for them.”
“But his blood alcohol wasn’t above the legal limit.”
“No, but he had alcohol in his system and the breathalyzer as administered hours after the accident. It stands to reason it would have been above the limit at the time of the accident.”
“There is no proof of that.”
“There’s no proof it wasn’t! Besides, he might have any other manner of drugs in his system. We’ll find that out shortly.”
“Duncan isn’t a drug addict. He doesn’t even eat meat. He wouldn’t hurt a fly.”
“Four people are dead, miss. He’s responsible. He’ll have his day in court, but I have the final say right now, and I think the best place for him is behind bars while this mess gets sorted out. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m incredibly busy.”
Sadie stared at the judge in disbelief how could be so cruel to someone she knew to be good. As she stood up, the judge stood too and followed her out of the office. Once she cleared the threshold, he slammed the door behind her.
Sadie walked out of the courthouse and found Tiffany sitting on the steps.
“Did he say anything?” Tiffany asked, expecting the worst.
“No, he’s sure Duncan was intoxicated or something.”
“I know, I know. We’ll figure something out. Want to stay with me for a little bit?”
Tiffany nodded, trying to fight off another round of sobbing.
Sadie helped Tiffany up, and they drove to Sadie’s apartment. They ordered all of Tiffany’s favorite food and watched all of her favorite movies. But the thing that seemed to make her the happiest was telling stories to each other about Duncan.
“Do you remember that time in college?” Tiffany began, “We weren’t dating yet, but you were trying to get me to ask him out. I was adamant that I would not be asking him out and wait for him to ask me out. Being the cool kids we were, we didn’t spend weekends at parties; instead, we went miniature golfing. I desperately wanted to date him, but he wouldn’t ask me out, and you said if you hit a hole in one on the next hole, I’d have to swallow my pride and ask him out.”
“And then you did! I couldn’t believe it. I immediately was drenched in flop sweat, but you gave me no choice. I asked him out, and we’ve been together since.”
They told each other stories all night and felt better, somehow they’ll get through this.