Accountability Partner

Chapter Six

“Let’s grab a bottle and drive to the river.”

For whatever reason, we seemed to be in a hurry tonight. We pulled into a dark empty parking lot. I chose to jump out first and collect myself before walking around to meet her. I hadn’t felt this way in a long time. I grabbed her by the waist, we kissed, and danced right there beside the truck. I remember walking ahead of Barbara and turning back to watch her. My walking backwards found me in the middle of a spiderweb. I hate spiderwebs even more than spiders. This had me confused. There were no trees anywhere near the walkway. As I reached the gate, I gained a better view of the steel beams overhanging the bridge. All the handrails and beams were covered in spiderwebs. I’d never seen an entire bridge caught in a spider’s web. Neither one of us took more than a few steps across the bridge that night. If only the itsy bitsy crawlers could speak. They would’ve said something like, “The bridge is closed. You’re walking backwards in the dark. You’ll get caught up in a place you don’t belong. Turn away from this before you get bit. You’re playing with a creature known for its bite.”

That night felt like a dream. Lights on the bridge bounced off flowing waters of the river. We climbed back into the seats of her truck and lit a cigarette. The empty bottle laid on its side in the seat between us as we pulled onto the main road. Barbara decided to take a different route back. I was buzzing hard. The window was cold, pressing against my cheek as I stared at my blurred reflection in the side mirror. I tried counting the passing trees to sober up but it wasn’t working. My eyelids fell to rest for a moment and then I heard a loud clank noise in the floorboard. Suddenly the truck began swinging sideways, and spinning out of control. There was a loud scream right before I realized my back was against the ceiling. We were tumbling down a hill and that’s when my eyes closed again. Sirens rang out in the night from a distance, and the smell of gasoline forced my eyes open. I could hear the hissing of smoke coming from behind me, but I couldn’t move. I tried calling out for Barb. It was no use. The sound of sirens grew louder and louder. I heard yelling from above but the mouthful of pine needles and blood prevented me from lashing back. My attempt at pointing my finger back behind me fails and spotlights land on my face.

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