8 Second Ride

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        "Daniel?!" Leah whispered through the tattered screen door of her double-wide. Not believing her eyes, she pushed on the screen, stumbled down the cracked sidewalk, and slid into the waiting pickup.
        

        "Hey babe," he drawled, his eyes searching hers intimately.

        "Danny?" She reached out to touch his face, expecting him to disappear into the darkness, but he remained seated next to her. She drew her hand away from his warm cheek in amazement. Danny gave her his trademark lopsided grin and turned his attention to the stereo. He casually punched the search button, settling on Tim McGraw before gunning the engine.

        Leah smiled tentatively as they sped down Union Road and onto Highway 111. She still couldn't believe he was here.  She slid across the bench-seat and settled her head on Danny's broad shoulder. She'd always fit perfectly, the most perfect fit in the world as far as she was concerned, right there at his side. She closed her eyes and sent up a silent prayer of thanks, relaxing as she listened to Danny sing along with Tim. Just like old times.

        Inhaling deeply, absorbing the familiar woodsy scent of his skin, she let go of all remaining traces of doubt. He was here, real... alive. She opened her eyes just in time to see the semi's grill smash through the windshield.

        Leah stood in the street amidst puddles of oil, gasoline, and blood, completely unharmed, and still wearing Danny's T-shirt. She held her breath waiting, watching, until the truck exploded– shooting metal and flames into the midnight sky, just as she knew it would. She watched as her boyfriend appeared out of the wreckage, just as she knew he would.

        "I love you Leah." He smiled at her one last time.

        And just like that, he was gone... again.

© 2015 D.M. Kilgore

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