IN OR OUT?

The lights had continued through him and stayed bright in his eyes.

 

He had endless energy and a need to feed his motor to enable it to run as long as the daylight held out. It wasn’t so much that Davy Peters was a hyper kid, it was just that he wanted to experience everything life had to offer. For him there was no future. It was “in the moment” where Davy lived and that was always enough for him.

He loved summer vacations the most. His days started with the first peek of sunrise and ended well after the streetlights’ first flicker. There was always a pick-up game to play, or places to explore – always something to do. Davy ran just about everywhere, there was no slowing him down. And young Peters would come home every now and again to grab his baseball mitt or his trading cards; his slingshot or his bike. The constant slam of the screen door would always elicit the same response from his mother.

“In or out!” she’d yell. “Quit slamming that door and either come in or stay outside”

“Not ready to come in yet, Ma!” Mrs. Peters always heard trailing off in the distance.

“In or out!”

Those memories flooded Dave Peters’ thoughts as the last few people filed past his mother’s casket. With all the energy that he seemed to store up, he wished he could have given some to his Mom as her health waned. But, nothing could have prevented the brain aneurysm that took her swiftly; painlessly. All the happy times and the struggles didn’t matter at this point. At this moment, Dave felt her loss tremendously.

He always assumed that the anguish would subside with time. But now, with both of his parents gone, he felt isolated and alone. His workload always kept Dave moving, and just like the ‘old days’ that was always enough for him. And Peters retained his desire to go as far and as fast as his now four wheeled vehicle could carry him. Nothing slowed him down. In fact, he started to take unnecessary chances, almost to the point of being reckless.

The occasion of the second anniversary of his mother’s passing weighed on Dave’s mind. He turned fifty late last year and that mid-life thing kicked him to a new level of irresponsible. The sports car he bought himself to celebrate the day was the quickest thing he had ever owned to drive the streets legally. He wasted no time finding that out. Peters loved to get on the open road and let her rip.

That night was no different. Dave was very unsettled and a bit inebriated from the drinks at dinner. His penchant for speed raised the stakes. No matter how swiftly he went it still wasn’t fast enough. When the rain started to fall, he paid it no regard. The third turn on Old Boston Road was tight and hidden. But as Peters accelerated, he started to hydroplane. All his driving ‘skill’ couldn’t prevent him fish-tailing into a spin. It wasn’t until he finally got control of the vehicle that he saw the on-coming headlights.

Dave felt no collision. He felt no pain. The lights had continued through him and stayed bright in his eyes. Had he driven into a tunnel, he wondered? As he neared the source of the light, it got larger. And brighter. And more serene. Dave saw two silhouettes in the luminance. And he heard a voice.

“Davy, In or out!” it said softly. “I can only hold this gate open for a sort time. Come in or stay outside”

“Not ready to come in yet, Ma!” Mrs. Peters heard trailing off in the distance.

She smiled. It was then Dave felt the pain. He saw a new light with people huddled around him. An incessant beep sounded rhythmic and deliberate.

“I think we’ve got him!” Dave heard someone say.

A face came close to Dave’s. She searched his features and whispered into his ear.

“I guess it wasn’t your time to go out, was it?”

Davy Peters finally made the right choice.

“In or out?”

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