The car was driving for hours, we already forgot how sunlight felt. Darkness followed us whatever we went and the only light was our car’s headlights. I had no clue where we were going, Carl didn’t tell us that part. He said that less we knew the better – guess that is one description for a drug deal. On this Friday night, we decided to step it up a notch and Carl had some guys meeting us with a polite amount of coke.
“Pretty far from town if you ask me,” I said.
“Ya, this guy super paranoid.” Carl made fun of him and continued steering like it was any other deal.
I sat right beside Carl. In the backseats were Chris and Tomass – both high on weed. They both kept staring outside the window, well, we all three did that. All three of was wondering about the same thing, probably. Tress outside the road started to look the same. My mind was going through hoops of light hallucination from acid I took an hour ago. Can’t say it was strong, but it was doing its job.
We drove off the highway into some weird looking forest. Into forest that looked like any other ordinary forest, but something was off – something wasn’t right. All of us snapped out of whatever we were.
“Man, are you sure about this guy? I don’t like this. Like who would make us drive an hour from town in some shady forest for an ounce of coke.” Chris was right, who would. I kept asking myself the same question.
“How you know this guy is legit Carl?” Tomass added.
Tomass was our nerdy guy in the group. We made fun of him from time to time, but he knew that we mean it as a joke. He was our squads’ sweet side and we liked him for it.
“Relax guys. This guy is legit.” And we continued driving through muddy roads in some weirdly fucked up forest.
“How can you know that? Do you even met the guy?” I had to spit out my pilled up question
“Of course I had. How’d you all think I got this deal? Listen, when this is over, your gonna thank me.”
That was it, all the questioning ended. It was like he put a mute on us with that last sentence leaving his mouth. Now, all that left was to slide into leather seats and await the stop of the car.
Solid twenty minutes passed; twenty minutes of driving through curvy mud road, and we arrived. I can’t say dude was legit or some cheap corner boy, but everything about him gave me mixed feelings. Strangely he wasn’t alone; there was another one – his second hand or something. Once we stepped out of the car, the other dude started coming our way, grinning funny.
He greeted us say and began shaking our hands, gently. I felt like I was paranoid, was I? Or that was simply acid making me imagine all sort of stuff.
Carl was already at the guys reach, the ones we made such an effort to get here; Hans was his name, or at least that’s what I thought it was. It was hard to hear their conversation with music pumping from their BMW. Tomass and Chriss stood with me outside of our car, right between all the action, lighting up their cigarettes. With few feet away it was Chris with Hans and on the other side was our car – some shady standoff you only see in the movies.
Their cigarettes burned with a sweet smell of vanilla and I asked them if they bought them like that in the shop. After asking that, I realized how stupid the question was and put hands in pockets, with one eye glancing over the deal. The shady guy, that came to us earlier, was now circling our car like a suspicious shark before his next meal. By every second we spent there, I became more anxious about the whole situation. Dude went over our car, asking all sort of question, like what model the car was and how much the rims cost – casual guy conversation. It was Chris; he loved it and couldn’t shut up about it. They all talked and talked, leaving me and Tomas between two conversations.
“How long this will last, how you think?”
“Maaan, I have no idea.”
Acid was doing its thing. My lips felt heavier than before, but I felt amazing. I can’t describe how colorful it began turning and I completely forgot how to talk with Tomass.
“Dude you’re alright?” he would ask me.
“I think… It’s the acid.”
I swallowed a huge chunk of my own spit. He lightly laughed at me and I chuckled with him.
Chriss joined our duo and then it happened. Hans whistled to the shady dude and he pulled out switch knife. All of us looked at what will happen now, this is what we all were afraid of – them fucking us over. With mediocre force, he shoves it into Chris cars back wheel and went straight to the other one. Carl turned to Hans with anger in his face.
“WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS?”
Carl yelled at him, trying to intimidate him in some way.
“Change of plans. Instead of making a deal, we’ll just beat the living crap out of you and take your shit.”
His face and words were calm, like this wouldn’t be his first time.
The light of another car appeared and it looked like it stood there all this time, and somehow we didn’t see it. It was the bush leaves that hid it away. From unknown car stepped out another four dudes and they meant business. With bats and knuckles, they came to our direction. I glanced over to Carl and he was flying down to the ground already, right after Hanse’s punch. He sniffed his nose and looked at us.
“Okay guys, let’s be done with it, my girl can’t wait for me to come home.” We were surrounded. I thought, this is it, this is how we go.
We tried to brawl our way out of there, pushing them aside, but they kept closing us in. Everything was happening fast, to fast for my tripping conscious. Chris fell down next, right next to me. He was stabbed in his stomach from a shady guy, with who he had such interesting conversation. I gathered all my strength and with an elbow in front of me, I pushed through them. I ran and ran, without looking back. The trip from acid was fading away; tear slid across my cheek, I knew that my friends were gone, but I couldn’t stop – I had to get out of there. Everything looked the same. Trees blurred together, paths felt like leading onto muddy road all the time.
I was minutes away, running and never looking back when a sudden shadow appeared in front of me from light coming behind me – they found me. My mind couldn’t think of anything, I could just hear their car engine reeving behind my back. I wanted to stop, but I couldn’t. And then I felt it. Heavy bump on the back sent me flying into the nerest ditch, knocking me out for a brief moment.
“This one a fighter-“
“What should we do with him, Hans?”
“Just stab him and be done with-“
Their voices chattered above me. I opened my eyes and saw Chriss, with blood all over him, and instantly I snapped. I began rolling and moving my body left and right. My hands were free, I wasn’t tied together, they were playing with me. I put myself up and realized. I was surrounded by everyone one of them and they were laughing. I was their amusement for the night. They weren’t any regular drug dealers or anything, they were psychopaths and they enjoyed every second of it. When I looked at my feet, seeing my friend bodies lying on the ground, motionless, I found myself hopeless and there was nothing I could do. My head raises to one of the guys, as he was taking the shovel out of the trunk of the car. Whistle from behind me. Once I turned, Hanse’s fist met my cheek and pitch black picture poured over my eyes.
“Fuuuck, me man!”
I opened my eyes and we were still in the car, still driving.
“What is it, man? Are you tripping already? Damn, I can’t wait when we get our hands on that coke and I can join you.”
Carl stepped harder on the gas. I tried to understand what happened. Did I dream it or this was some last memory dream? We rolled out the town in the same direction, the same road we took in the dream of mine.
“Man, are you sure about this guy? I don’t like this. Like who would make us drive an hour from town in some shady forest for an ounce of coke.”
“How you know this guy is legit Carl?” Now it was getting weird.
“Relax guys. This guy is legit.” No, no, no, this can’t go like that
“Carl… STOP THE FUCKING CAR!”
“Dude, are you tripping? Who am I asking, of course, you are”
Carl looked at me and laughed, he thought I was tripping my mind off because of Acid, can’t say I wasn’t.
“Carl I’m being serious. This deal gonna get us killed, literally.”
“Whaaat?! Can you believe this?”
He turned to Chris and Tomas, but they didn’t know what to say. Some part of them wanted to believe me; the other one thought I went nuts from drugs. No one believed me, sure, I wouldn’t either.
I sat for a few seconds and I couldn’t, I couldn’t go through it, even if it wasn’t real. I had to do something. I had to change their minds, but there was nothing that could change the stubbornness of Carl. I opened my mouth and with sorrow from my eyes, looked at Chris.
“I’m sorry guys.”
I grabbed the steering wheel and steered us into a ditch, right next to the road. Our heads bumped against the dashboard and again – pitch black darkness was the only thing I remembered from then.
Heart pulse monitor beeping into hospital woke me up. I flickered my eyes, trying to acknowledge what was going on. This was a hospital, my town’s hospital. The doctor rushed in right after I woke up.
“Oh good, you’re awake. How are you feeling David?”
“Emm good. Where are my friends? Where’s Carl? What happened to Chriss and Tomas?” I had so many questions
“Well, David. Chriss and Tomas are fine, seat belts saved their lives.”
I knew what was following next. First, it was the good news and then the bad, I tried to prepare my self for them.
“Carl on the other hand. He might never walk again.”
It shrugged my hearth together. Hearing that best friend might never walk again made me sick. I couldn’t think about anything, rather than Carl and my friends. The guilt of pulling that wheel will haunt me forever – did I saved or ruined my friends lives? Her voice continued chattering, but I couldn’t hear it and in a blurred version of words, I heard one word – police.
“What?” I asked her
“The police is waiting outside. They want to ask some questions about the accident.” It wasn’t an accident, I caused it. I had to choose between telling the truth or remain living with the guilt. ‘God, what did I did.’