Congratulations all! We have been accepted to present at the 2016 conference for Multi-Ethnic Literature of the U.S. in Charleston, South Carolina. I am currently working on the final proposal to the school for travel expenses. Please send me your student information so that they know who I plan to travel with. Thank you all for your hard work and dedication, I look forward to combing over the details in the next week or so.
One Week Later
I spent the morning preparing for my after-school program before I went to campus for a couple classes. The time in between the two classes was spent attending a GoTo Meeting conference for the introduction of a new system at work. I tuned in, as I edited a paper.
After a successful spring kick-off for the young women with ambition’s after-school program, Dr. R picked me up. I got into the backseat of her car because another panelist was sitting in the passenger seat. Inside I sat down on a cat-hair-coated cover. I rocked back against the seat and dared not look. In front of me on the floor was a few layers of cat hair, dandruff, used and abandoned gum, empty water bottles, one dirt stained and broken flip flop and the only thing stopping a stack of hoarded items in the other seat from falling on me was another balled up cat-hair-coated blanket.
“I tried to tidy it up for you a bit back there because I know how OCD you are.” Dr. R giggled.
“No, it is alright. Messes don’t really bother me that much anymore.” I lied.
The drive to Erlanger, Kentucky was the most uncomfortable ride ever. When we arrived, I was the first out of the car before she shifted into park. We all went inside to get the rental car we’d reserved.
After an hour and a half of showing proof of licenses, addresses, insurance and inspecting the car. Upon inspection we noted that its seats were wet, so they gave us a Chevy Cruze last minute.
It was time to go home and pack.
I got into the driver’s seat of the white Cruze and Sarah sat in the passenger seat. The Cruze was a larger sedan than what we paid for and they handed it off with an empty tank, we barely made it down the road to the gas station.
At the Shell, Sarah went to the attached Dunkin’ Donuts for coffee and I went to pay the five dollars in cash that would get me to the SAM’s club in Loveland where I could fill up for seventy cents cheaper. I was so out of it, I ended up purchasing more than gas.
“What’s that?” Sarah asked.
“It’s a wood tip, wine flavored black and mild. Just in case. I haven’t smoked one in years, but I have a feeling.”
“What feeling?” she asked.
“It’s like nostalgia but not. Kind of hard to explain.” I responded as I finished pumping the gas. When I unlocked my phone to map a route to UC, I discovered it was dead.
“Shit. Okay Sarah, you’re going to have to tell me where to go.”
Sarah directed me back onto the highway which eventually led to Clifton and to a side street I had never seen. This was Sarah’s apartment.
“So shall I pick you up from here?”
“No, I will probably be at my fiancés so I will text you the address. Just text me when you’re leaving your house.” Sarah waved as she walked away from the car. I waited until she was inside before I backed out slowly. I drove as slow as a snail would walk, making sure not to hit any of the other cars in the tiny lot.
Back onto McMillan street, I was stopped by a red light. Traffic was congested in that area all of the time.
After five minutes, I was able to pass the bus stop and Drunken Bento only to find out that everyone had to merge left because someone was working on the light by the Gyro place.
After three minutes spent inching forward I passed Adriatico’s and was stopped again by the light on Ohio and McMillan. When the light turned green, the Cherokee in front of me sat and sat. I went around it, accelerating to 30mph. I went down the hill passing through the light near the MadFrog nightclub.
The taco bell was in my sight and I signaled to switch from the middle lane to the far left lane. As opposed to bo-guarding my way into the left lane—the Cincinnati way.
My light was green. Which meant that the light on Highland Avenue was red.
Halfway through the intersection I spotted a car coming at me.
Coming at me fast.
“No, no, no.”
It was inevitable. A PT cruiser. I mean, a PT bruiser smacked the Cruze. T-boning the car so hard that the passenger doors dented inward and I was jerked in my seat.
“Seriously. Why me?” I asked myself as I reached for the seatbelt and simultaneously checked myself for any visible injury.
As I did so, the guy in the bruiser made eye contact with me as he backed his car from the middle of the Cruze and sped around me.
“Oh hell nah!” I yelled as I clicked my seatbelt back into position. I continued down McMillan around the taco bell, making a right onto Highland and right onto the path that the PT Cruiser sped down. I spotted him pulling into a Church parking lot as he turned his lights off. “You slick huh? I think tf not.” I pulled into the lot and blocked the car from the exit.
I poked my head out the window, “What the fuck? Are you serious bra? Where’s your license and proof of insurance?” I mimicked the television shows. I stared at the figure in clear view. Young, handsome, curly afro and smooth dark skin. It was clear now as to why he decided to hit and run.
“I sorry. I can’t. Can we not call cops?” the young man said in a thick accent.
“Unless you have two-oo-oo thousand dollars in your car right now, we are calling the police.” I stated as I picked up my phone. “Shit. Shit. Shit.” It was dead. I checked the block. It was empty and it was dark.
This mf pulled off on me twice!
I flipped the car in reverse and jumped on his tail. He took me down Highland, then Dorchester and made a right onto Reading where he ran a red light. I remained on his tail. I flashed my brights on, off. On, off. On, off.
The speedometer read 75.
I started honking the horn. We swerved in and out of cars doing 85 passing the Horseshoe casino.
I rolled the window the rest of the way down. Crisp air hit my face as I yelled out like a lunatic.
“Somebody call the cops! Somebody HELP ME!” I screamed at the city-goers enjoying their drinks. He took a right and then a left then another right onto Main street as I continued screaming out the window to draw enough attention for someone to call the police.
Where were they?
I followed him in a four square, up Main, down E 13th, down Walnut passing Lachey’s, up E 12thand then left back onto Main street. The he turned up E 13th.
A one way.
Blocked by a white BMW, he had nowhere to go. The driver honked their horn and the young man flipped the cruiser around and parked it. After the BMW moved, a line of cars was formed in sight. They attempted to move down the street but I blocked the road.
The young man got out of the car and made his way towards me as the line of cars played a tune of their own.
“Please. Please.” He said with his hand around his head crying. As the various honking notes hit the air causing nosy neighbors to emerge from their homes.
“No!” I shouted. “FUCK YOU. FUCK YOU. FUCK YOU. BACK THE FUCK UP!” I shouted from inside the Cruze as I cleared the way for the other cars. A tear flowed from my eye and I started shaking. “Can somebody call the cops?” I asked the residents. Eyes stared but no one picked up a phone or made a motion to.
“This girl, this girl needs someone to call the cops. Cops please.” He chuckled through his tears.
A male in a highlander with his wife pulled up and looked down into the Cruzes’ window.
“Hi, yes, she is right here. What happened?” the man asked as he spoke into his phone.
“A hit and run.” I said before the tears poured from my eyes. “It happened on McMillan, tell them the license is…” I read the license off as he repeated it into his phone.
“Thank You.” The man said as he hung up. “The police are on their way.” He said, then drove off. Other people stood outside of Low Spark to record the car that turned down the one way. The police finally showed up.
I was relieved. Feeling safe enough, I got out of the car and approached the cop.
“Ma’am, why are you driving the wrong way down a one way. It is clearly marked.” The officer asked.
I rolled my eyes.
“It was a hit and run and I chased him.” I pointed to the young man. The cop looked puzzled.
“You look like a business woman. Like you work in an office but, not a detective. So you know that was dangerous right, what made you do that?”
“He ran and this is a rental. My phone is also dead and I have never been in an accident.” I spat out as the adrenaline rushed out of me.
The officer analyzed both cars and took notes. I took photos. The young man confessed to running into me and the officer told me that he would be charged with Motor Vehicle Accident.
Since we left the scene of the accident it could not be filed as a hit and run. I over heard that the car wasn’t his and I was glad that all he’d have to do was have insurance pay for the vehicle and personal injury—if any. A strict parent’s wrath is more of a punishment than any fine in my book. Once the paper work was signed and the information was exchanged, the cops helped me get the Cruze righted. The second cop that showed up gave me old school directions on how to get to the airport and exchange the rental.
I flipped the car around and drove off.
When I found the highway, I rolled the window down again and lit the black n’ mild.