For One Last Time

(A Short Story)

Twinkle’s Lane

May 16, 2020

“It’s not my fault!” he shouted. Hot tears were coursing down his cheeks, but the vast crowd of laughing faces around him paid no heed.

“Shut up, just shut up already,” he hissed at them. They didn’t listen. In fact, they never did listen. They had started laughing at and mocking him ever since his great day of shame. And since that day, they had never stopped. They always followed him – to the meetings, the practices, the roads, and worst of all, when he was alone in a hotel room, with guilt almost eating him alive.

“It’s not my fault,” he said to them, and even more, to himself, trying to convince his conscience that it had been a mistake; nothing else; no deliberate scheme was there. But even he knew the truth. 

Tomorrow, he would go for the final race of the European Grand Prix. And he knew they would follow him there, too. He rose up from his pathetic position on the floor. He had to be strong… for his own sake. What would the media say if they saw him like this? They would question him. And at worse, they would find out about his deliberate willingness to have done what he had, during the race last month.

The next day was a day of anticipation and worry. Even the masked mocking faces around him had reduced their gay laughter. Only thirty minutes were left. Tension was high in the air. Everybody was warming up their skills as well as their tires. He noticed his prime competitions well: A Mercedes-Benz Hybrid, a Red Bull and a Maserati. He knew the others well enough and he knew he would win against them. Confidence was one of his virtues, though as of late, he seemed to be losing it.

The final standing race was about to begin. All the cars returned to their assigned grid spots. The anxiety and pressure in the air was almost tangible. He gritted his teeth once before loosening up his whole body.

He had to win. His sole focus had to be on the track, not the crowd around, not the bitter mocking faces, not his conscience.

The starting lights lit up one by one. The race began. Each participant was competing neck-to-neck. The air rushed past him like a bullet, a never ending bullet. But it wouldn’t and couldn’t stop him. He brought out all the pent up frustration and skill and put them behind the wheel. Hours felt like minutes. And with 51 laps, it wasn’t long before only 1 lap remained to be completed. He didn’t know how much time had passed by because now his primary focus was on leaving behind the Benz-Hybrid.

He remembered what had happened exactly a month ago. The same thing. Only it had been with a different person. He knew what he had to do if he was to win. It was simple and easy. Just get close, hit them a little while maintaining control over the tires of his car, make them lose control, and then go win the race. Tell them it had been a petty mistake. They’ll believe him. After all, he was a racer with a great reputation and skills. But was he ready to do the same thing that had ended another life? His heart ached.

He accelerated one last time. And… he won the race, by not more than a second. It was too close a call. And that was when he swerved right, hitting the Mercedes that had almost made him lose. The mocking laughter around him restarted. He had done it again, but this time it had been after winning the race. He would end it just the way it had started: with an intentional crash, and his winning. He didn’t deny it; he was selfish. But it hadn’t been his fault, had it? He had been selfish just so he could win. And now, he would leave it to justice and fate.

As for himself, he wished fate wouldn’t let him live and make him fight in this game of winning, losing, and being selfish anymore… 

Because the last time he had won, he crashed and killed someone. His own brother. It hadn’t been his fault. It had just been his game and his compulsion to win.

Short Story Sanctuary

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