The one thing your character regrets learning the most is……
This was my first idea. I didn’t want to use it, but once I had it, it stopped any other ideas coming to me. So I went with it. Remember this is unedited!
Tom sat on his bed visibly shaking. It didn’t matter how many time his lawyer told him, or his mum, dad, sister or Jen for that matter, he was petrified of going to jail. If he didn’t know if he was guilty how would a judge know?
It had been like that for the last three months. His mind swung from thinking it was totally his fault to knowing 100% that he was innocent. He’d be convinced one way, and be accepting it, then something would happen – probably something completely unrelated – and he’s change his thought completely. How could a judge know?
For about the millionth time, he tried to recall that evening. He remembered dropping Jen off. After their half hour in the car saying goodbye, he’d driven off, turned the corner at the end of her street, and then nothing until he was out the car looking down at the kid.
He looked younger than he was, tiny, smaller than an average 15 year olds, but that was due to the downs syndrome. Tom’s first thought was that he was dressed like Humpty Dumpty: red trousers and a blue and white t-shirt covering his round belly. His arms were stretched out to his sides, one bent the wrong way. And blood. Everywhere. Tom looked up and saw another boy by the side of the road. Frozen. Then there were lots of people around. Chatting. Asking HIM if he was ok, Calling an ambulance, Tending to the kid. To Jason Sidney.
Tom knew. He angle of Jason’s head wasn’t right. He knew there was no way he was ok, or ever going to be ok again. He looked back at his windscreen. Smashed and covered in blood. Tom tried to move away from the crowd, but didn’t make it more than a step or two before he was sick. He was sick until there was nothing left and then he crumpled on the floor next to the contents of his stomach.
‘He’s only a boy himself, he’s probably only just passed his test’ he heard someone say from behind him, before that person – Mrs Jennings as he later learnt – came and put a coat around him. It was a warm July evening, so he hadn’t noticed how much he was shivering.
Of course he heard them talking that evening, and the snippets of conversation haunted him ‘No chance to stop,’ Just walked in front,’ ‘not going fast,’ without looking.’ All from witnesses that were going to say it wasn’t his fault. it didn’t stop the what ifs though. What if he’d taken another route? What if he had have given Jen just one more kiss? What if he’d been going even slower than the 30 limit he was driving at? What if he’d been going faster, and drove past before Jason Sidney stepped off the pavement. What if…? What if…? What if?
Now, sat on his bed, waiting for the knock on his door – one of his parents telling him it was time to go – all he could think was how he wished he’d never learnt to drive.
As always, I’d love to hear what you think, go on, please let me know…