Monday, December 19, 2011

The Birthday Party

Scooter looked up at Max from the hospital bed. Max had finally been allowed to visit. He wasn't nearly as badly hurt as his friend.

Scooter wore a brace round his neck, he was too weak to speak. Max should have been reassuring him. But he wasn't.

Scooter looked helplessly back at Max. Max could see the liquid growing in his friends eyes. The pleading look asking why. Why was he in the hospital not safely home in his own bed? Why was he now in a world of morphine, blood doners, plaster and bandages. He should be back with his Star Wars posters and Simpsons DVDs. It wasn't fair, was it?

Max was trying not to think of the accident but looking at Scooter he couldn't avoid it. That rainy night, Scooter's birthday, stealing his dad's keys and taking the HSV for a ride. It was all Max's idea, Scooter's eyes were a reminder of that. It was Max behind the wheel, not used to the power of the V8.

The night had been dark, the roads around Scooter's house wet and windy. Max was in the middle of the road and had to swerve to miss the Volvo coming the other way. Max remembered the look on Scooter's face when they went off the road, it was the same one as now.

It asked why?

Why did we do it?

Max started sobbing uncontrollably. He'd nearly killed his best friend on his 11th birthday.

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