Exit 10

The pungent sweetness of Krispy Kreme wafts through the car. Hazy purple begins to fade from the sky as the last traces of light disappear behind the horizon with the sun. Tyler the Creator plays, filling the car, a steady beat thumping in her chest. Alyssa Samuel watched as the road began to split off and curve into the familiar two-lane right turn of Exit 10. She passed the green exit sign, her hands turning the wheel carefully, not to spill boxes of doughnuts as she began to take the tight turn off the Freeway. Having taken the exit for years, the turn was second nature for Samuel, muscle memory in a way. She thought nothing of it when something caught her eye in her right side view mirror. A headlight… but only one. Motorcycle. She watched as they sped up, beginning to pass her car. But something wasn’t right.
The motorcycle wasn’t quite a motorcycle but more of a bike- black, accented with streaks of green that stood out boldly against the darkness of the bike. But it wasn’t just the bike that was dark, it was the biker too. They wore black jeans and a black hoodie, not a biking jacket, pants, gloves, nothing! They wore no protective gear at all aside from a helmet. Samuel noticed this the same moment she noticed the angle of the bikers turn. Too sharp.
“I remember thinking that the turn this dude was making was too deep and he was gonna fall.” Samuel recalled. The mental alarms were ringing loud and clear now. She began to slow as her concern grew, and as it grew, she began looking for signs that may point to a new driver. She found them on the plates. They were temporary, pointing to a new purchase. She began to prepare for the worst, watching ever so carefully as the biker’s knee dipped closer and closer to the asphalt. As the wheels turned tighter and tighter angles. And as the bike wobbled for just a second before it slipped and started to fly.
“There were sparks coming off the bike as it was skidding across the ground.” Samuel recalled.
“It was just really loud.” Samuel mentioned, remembering the sound.
The scraping of metal echoed in her ears. The click of her emergency lights ticked in the back of her mind. Her mothers frantic cries of panic and worry filled the car. But it didn’t matter as the dull thud of her heart pounded in her head. And as quick as it happened she was already there. Doughnuts be damned, there were more important things to be done.
As much as she didn’t want to be right, she couldn’t deny that her gut feeling had been spot on. She had predicted that the biker would take the turn too deep and lose grip and then watched that exact thing happen. The crash had been earsplitting, sprays of orange and yellow sparks littered the air and asphalt. Momentum left the biker flying opposite to the bike, landing hard with an ugly thud onto the freeway entrance a few lanes away. Brakes squeaking, she parked, pulling over and turning on her hazards. In an instant, her feet were on the ground, fingers wrapped around the rubber case of her phone. It sat in her stomach, the eerie calm that was keeping her head screwed on her shoulders. Panic had no place here, not now. But irritation was quickly squeezing in. She called her mom to call 911, wondering why she hadn’t already. While her legs made quick work of closing the distance to the biker, her eyes drank in everything. His helmet had flown off his head in the fall, his bike totaled. Before she could even get there, she realized, to her horror, that he was not only standing but walking to his bike. He was trying to walk it off. He limped towards his bike, groaning as he hauled it up and began trying to start it. His hands shook as he ignored Samuel as she called to him, telling him to leave the bike and that it was totaled. He just shook his head insisting on biking.
Voices carried through her ears, the red lights of cars lit up the scene. Samuel became aware lof what was happening. People were mad. Struggling to pick her jaw off the floor at the sight of it. Cars passing by, some stopping to check if everyone was okay but most… were angry. Angry that they were being inconvenienced by the near death of this biker. Anger boiled her Samuels’ blood, disgusted by the lows her own race could stoop to. Frustrated groans caught her ears, turning her hair, there was the biker, attempting to start his bike to no avail. “Dude, i-it’s totaled I’m sorry.” Samuel said, but her words fell on deaf ears. Again and again, the thunk of the failed bike starting reverberated through her ears.
It wasn’t long before everything was taken care of and Samuel was back in her car. Her and her mom drove in silence, still in shock, not knowing what to say. Her mom stared ahead saying nothing but a single “Wow.” A deep exhale from Samuel was all you heard before she simply repeated her mom, saying “Wow.” They drove the whole way home in silence.