Hit or Miss: A Short Story

Introduction:

Hello There Readers, 
          For the past couple of years I have had the greatest desire to write something, whether it be a standalone novel, a Harry Potter length series, or a children’s book. I have just been wanting to put something of myself on paper, and now I have. I have written a short story that means a great deal to me. I have been loving thrillers so that is where this story comes from. I wanted to create a plot that keeps my readers questioning what is going to happen and how it is going to impact people. I enjoyed writing this story so very much and I hope you enjoy reading it just as much.
With all my love, 
Chantelle

Prologue: Where it All Began.
Noise, laughter, chaosthen everything stops, and all that’s left is immense fear. Charlotte isn’t sure where she is. All she sees is darkness. All of a sudden a couple of bushes and some cars come into view. Charlotte looks up and is sitting in her car, or at least she thinks she is sitting in her car. She can’t really tell. She looks around some more but it’s almost impossible to make anything out through the darkness. She begins to panic. Charlotte cannot tell what is happening. She tries to look around again at her surroundings. She sees more bushes and more cars. Slowly, headlights appearnow she can see the outlines of a few  bushes and several cars. Her eyes close, she loses track again and hears more laughter, then everything pauses and there is a CRASH! Everything seems to have frozen. Almost like time has stopped. All Charlotte can feel is fear. Earth-shaking, world-crashing fear. Charlotte looks at Poppy, then tears begin to fall. She shakes her head as she remembers what led up to this moment she’d just hit someone with her car. Charlotte and Poppy look at each other blankly. All they can do is stare. “What just happened?” they think. Slowly Charlotte starts to lose focus, the headlights begin to dim, the bushes and cars begin to blur, then all of a sudden all that’s left is darkness. Charlotte hears more laughter and then her stomach turns as  she hears another CRASH! Charlotte jolts awake. She’s shaking, sweating, and having trouble breathing. She tries to calm herself down. She takes long, deep breaths. Slowly she is able to breathe normally again and in minutes she falls back to sleep, only to be awoken again into the same horrid nightmare.




Chapter 1: What the Fuck Did I Do?
Sunday morning Charlotte woke up just after noon with a splitting headache. This in itself was nothing new, since she had been waking up like this every Sunday for the past three monthsever since she found Travis cheating on her with her younger sister, Teagan. Charlotte had been trying to drink herself happy; however, there was something very different about this morning. Charlotte had a bad feeling that she did something that could land her in some serious trouble. She got up and began to pace her room while nervously re-adjusting her messy bun and thinking, “What did I do? How much did I drink last night?” Charlotte couldn’t stand thinking about it anymore. She decided to get up and figure out what the hell happened last night.
With long, strawberry blonde hair that she usually wore in perfect beach waves, and soft, bright green eyes, Charlotte was quite beautiful. At barely five feet tall, she always wore heels, usually paired with skinny jeans and bright colored everything, because it made her feel more confident. She really hated being so short! Charlotte was very caring, sweet, energetic and loved working with kids.  Currently enrolled in college, working towards her teaching credential, everyone thought she was perfect for the teaching program and she really didn’t want to lose this chance. Everything she’d worked for ran through her head as fuzzy memories from the night before began playing in her mind. She was one semester away from student teaching and couldn’t possibly continue with the program if she’d done... what she thought might have done.
        Pulling her long, knotted strawberry hair into a messy bun, Charlotte struggled out of bed and went straight to the kitchen, grabbed a bottle of water, and quickly chugged it down. Hitting the shower was the next step if she was going to kill this headache and figure out what in world she’d done last night. She needed to make sense of it before police come knocking on her door, demanding answers that she currently doesn’t have.  She took a quick shower, got dressed, and banged on her roommate Lola’s door.
“Get up, Lo! I need you, NOW!” Charlotte shrieked, her panic rising.
“Charlotte, go the fuck away. I am so hungover from last night I can’t even think.” Lola warned, annoyed.
Charlotte slid down Lola’s door, beginning to sob quietly. “Lo, I think I did something bad. I have this very bad feeling…”
Lola, with her chestnut brown hair and caramel colored eyes, was almost the exact opposite of Charlotte. She always wore her hair cut to just past her shoulders, straight or in a half up double top knot. She was five foot seven and a bit more conservative than Charlotte, typically wearing pencil skirts and ballet flats. She always needs to be put together, since she was currently applying to law schools all over the country. She scored very high on her LSATs and could get accepted practically anywhere. Lola was very stubborn, hard headed and justice minded. She could argue her way out of just about everything. Let’s face it, she was born to be a lawyer. With what could possibly be happening with Charlotte, this could be a very good thing.
Lola opened her door and sat down next to Charlotte. Looking square into Lola’s green eyes while trying to make her own caramel eyes look calm and empathetic, she softly whispered, “Shhhh, Charlotte. Calm down, I am sure you did nothing wrong.”
Lola then wrapped her arms around Charlotte and pulled her into a strong hug. Charlotte just stared at Lola’s lavender nails and tried to keep steady breaths.
“Lo, you don’t understand. I don’t remember anything from last night but I keep getting these flashes of my car hitting someone. That doesn’t sound like nothing.” Charlotte whimpered in between sobs.
“Listen babe, you are not stupid or reckless there is no way that you could have done that. You never drive drunk. We didn’t even go home in your car. You couldn’t have done what you think you did.”
“I don’t know, but will you please help me figure it out? Maybe, we can go get my car and I can see if I can try to remember what happened?”
“Of course, give me ten minutes to shower and get ready. Grab my keys and wait for me in the living room. I’ll be quick, I promise.”
“Thank you so much, Lola, I don’t know what I would do without you.” Charlotte sighed and looked for a second like she was going to dissolve back into tears, but Lola stood up and immediately reached down to help Charlotte off the floor.
“I know babe, I know. I always have your back though, always and forever.”
        Charlotte and Lola have been best friends since they were in preschool. On the first day of preschool Lola knocked over Charlotte’s apple juice during snack time.  Charlotte instantly began cryingshe cried over every little thing back thenbut Lola quickly grabbed her own grape juice and handed it to Charlotte. That made Charlotte smile, and her and Lola have been best friends ever since.
Lola has been a true rock for Charlotte since her break up with Travis. In the midst of all that Charlotte was feeling so thankful that Lola is her person, the Meredith Grey to her Cristina Yang, especially if she really did run over that girl with her car. In a panic, Charlotte turned on the news to see if there were any hit and run notices. And to her complete horror, there was. The girl who was hit is in critical condition, it happened right down the road from the party and they don’t think that she is going to make it.
“LOLA,” Charlotte screamed, “Get in here now! There was a hit and run last night, right down the street from the party, and they don’t think the girl is going to make it.”
Lola came running down the hall, throwing her black square glasses on to watch the news with Charlotte. Lola slowly turned toward her best friend,  grabbed her face, and quietly said, “Don’t you dare start to panic. You have no idea if that was you. Let’s go get your car and we will figure it out. Okay?”
“Okay, let’s go.” It all came out in a soft sob. Lola just grabbed Charlotte’s hand and guided her to the car. Lola had no clue what was happening, but she knew that her best friend needed her and she refused to let her down.
        Across town, Poppy had been pacing her room running her hands through her blue-black extension-filled hair, sobbing and mumbling, “What did I do? What in the fuck did I do?”
Poppy was barely able to sleep last night. She kept having a nightmare of her running over some girl after the party. Poppy was too wasted to actually remember running over that girl, but the nightmares all seemed so real she had to have done it. She had to figure out what happened, but she didn’t even know where to begin. She let herself fall to the ground and just sob.
        Poppy was a senior fashion student. Currently trying to put together her fashion line for her final project so she could finally graduate and start her own clothing brand, just like her idol Brooke Davis from “One Tree Hill.” She was planning on calling her line, “Sewing Poppies.”  Poppy only wears clothes that she made herself. Maxi dresses, crop tops, tank tops, sundresses, all the works, all handmade by her. If she wanted to be a top fashion designer, she needed to advertise her clothing. She constantly had people asking her where she’d gotten her clothes, so she knew she was going to have a top line someday. That is, if she isn’t a murderer.  She had too much at stake to have run over some girl.
        When Poppy’s roommate, Hadley, finally got home from work, she noticed Poppy sobbing on the floor by their couch and came running to her. She reached out for Poppy and cradled her in her arms and whispered, “Sweetie, it’s okay. Stop crying. Everything will be alright. Tell me what happened.”
        Hadley worked nights as an RN; she just finished nursing school last year and practically eats, sleeps, and breaths nursing. If Hadley isn’t in her scrubs, she is in LulaRoe Leggings and Perfect T’s. She was more into comfort than fashion. Her long brown to blonde ombre was often in a high ponytail. The only times she ever dressed up or did her hair were special occasions and date nights. She was honestly just too busy with work to really focus on anything else. Hadley worked at a hospital two towns over, so she hadn’t heard anything about what happened with the hit and run just yet.
        Poppy quickly explained what happened in between sobs. “I don’t know exactly what happened, but I’m having nightmares that I ran over some girl last night while driving Charlotte’s car. I don’t know H, it just feels so real, like it actually did happen. I was so drunk last night. I blacked out. I don’t remember much, so I have to believe that I did this.”
Hadley ran her nails, painted nude for professionalism, along Poppy’s back trying to comfort her.
“Hon, listen. You would never drive drunk, even if you were blackout drunk. You are not that person. Let me see if there was even someone run over last night, this is all probably just a nightmare.”
Hadley pulled out her phone and began searching for any accidents in the last twelve hours. To her complete horror, there was a girl who just died from a hit and run right down the street from where the party was last night. How could she possibly tell Poppy this? However, before she could decide, Poppy grabbed Hadley’s phone and began reading the page. She began to sob hysterically again, this time even harder than before, and began to struggle with her breathing.
        “P, calm down. You need to just breathe. We still don’t even know if you did that,” Hadley said, trying to console her friend.
Poppy and Hadley hadn’t known each other for very long, but they’d instantly hit it off. They’d begun living together about nine months ago, after Poppy had posted an add on Craig’s List. It was right after her boyfriend, Shane, had moved to California to pursue his acting career. He’d broken up with Poppy, saying he needed to “find himself.” Poppy has been trying to find herself every Friday and Saturday night since, by going to different parties and getting drunk, hoping to forget her pain. Hadley had been trying to help her friend heal in a better way, but it hadn’t been working so far. “Maybe this will be a good wake-up call for her to stop drinking so much and actually try to heal from this,” she thought to herself. Hadley couldn’t believe she’d just thought this, but it was true. Poppy needed a wake-up call, and this could be it.  
“H, what the hell am I supposed to do? I do not want to be a murderer. I don’t want to have killed this girl,” Poppy nearly shouted at Hadley.
Hadley calmly suggested a plan of action. “P, let’s go over to Char and Lo’s house and talk to them about what they remember.”
“Y-yeah…” Poppy stuttered, as she tried to tone down her sobs and catch her breath. “Let’s head over there.  Hopefully Charlotte or Lola will have some answers. Maybe they’ll remember what happened.” Poppy honestly saw absolutely nothing else she could do.
Hadley, Charlotte, and Lola had been best friends since high school. Hadley was a transfer freshman year, and Charlotte and Lola were assigned to show her around.hey became fast friends, and then a few years later,Hadley introduced the two girls to Poppy at a party they all went to together after Hadley had first moved in with Poppy. Poppy and Charlotte had hit it off quickly, but since Charlotte’s breakup they’d become even closer, given the fact that they were both trying to forget about their former loves  by drinking the pain away every weekend.
Hadley laced her arm through Poppy’s as they walked together to the car. They needed answers fast, or Poppy was going to completely lose it. Hadley was exhausted and didn’t want to deal with a massive breakdown, because she didn’t have the energy to console her the way she knew Poppy would need. She was really relying on Charlotte or Lola having answers. She wasn’t very optimistic though, because Charlotte has been drinking just as much as Poppy and Lola is usually hooking up with guys and nowhere to be found at parties. Maybe Hadley would be surprised for once, and her best friends would know what had happened?




Chapter 2: Could it Have Really Been Us?
        Charlotte and Lola got to Anthony’s house, where last night’s party had been, as quickly as they could. Lola was a little surprised she didn’t get pulled over, she was driving so fast. However, she barely spared a thought for it, she was so worried about Charlotte. Lola could see that she was slowly losing her mind, and she needed to find a way to prove to Charlotte that she was not the one who hit that girl… that unfortunate girl, who had ended up dying just forty-five minutes ago. Charlotte kept biting her nails, something she only did when she was really stressed out. Her hot pink polish was beginning to chip off because of all the biting. If she kept it up, soon it would be all gone.
        Charlotte and Lola started to walk up Anthony’s long, winding driveway. They’d had to park pretty far back, because there were still several cars left over from last night’s party. Halfway up the driveway, Charlotte began to quietly sob. “Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck,” she hiccuped. All she could think was, what in the fuck did she do last night? The tears began to flow quickly and uncontrollably. At this point they were never going to stop. Lola reached her hand out and grabbed for Charlotte. They both stopped walking and quietly just slid down to the cement. Lola immediately tried to calm Charlotte down, gently saying, “Babe, everything is going to be alright, just calm down.” “NO!” Charlotte nearly screamed, “The girl…” Charlotte could barely get the words out, and was crying so loudly that she was having trouble breathing. She tried again. “The girl… She, fuck, she died. She actually died. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck…”
        Charlotte and Lola stayed on the driveway for about twenty minutes while Charlotte just sobbed and muttered fuck. She was screwed, her life was ruined. There was no way she could get past this. She was a murderer. She had killed this girl. Lola tried to console Charlotte as best as she could by repeating, “You don’t know you did this. You don’t know you did this,” over and over again, and wrapping her tan arms around her best friend. Charlotte had stopped listening, though. She couldn’t shake the feeling that it was her, that she was the one who had driven her car straight into that girl, had barely even stopped before realizing what she had done—and then had sped back up and kept going. How could she get past this? She was going to go to prison. The only way she would be safe was if someone else had committed the crime, but it just didn’t seem like that was very likely.
        Lola finally looked at Charlotte, gave her a small encouraging smile, and helped her up. It was time to get some answers. Charlotte, less willing to leave their spot on the ground, was so unstable on her feet that Lola had to practically carry her up to the front door of the house. Lola rang the bell and Anthony answered the door almost instantly, a harrowed look on his face. “Charlotte, Lola, come in! Did you hear what happened to Lena? She got hit by a car last night and she... she died.” He nearly spit out the last part.
Well, Charlotte thought, at least I don’t have to explain that part of it. But how the hell am I supposed to ask him what else he knows, without causing suspicion? Anthony motioned for them both to sit down, so they did.
        Luckily, Lola began the conversation. “So, um, Anthony. Lena got hit just down the road from your house, right? Do you… know anything else about what happened?”
        Anthony looked from Lola to Charlotte and back to Lola, and then he said “Nah, the cops came by earlier this morning to ask what I knew, but I was up in my room playing strip rummy with some fine ladies and smoking the entire night. I was high as a kite and didn’t come downstairs  at all after midnight. So yeah, like I told them, I didn’t see anything. I wish I did though. Whoever that sick bastard was who killed Lena deserves to rot in hell. Just leaving her like that. If the driver had stopped or at least called 911, she may have survived. She was left on the street, they say for about three hours. If they had gotten her into surgery sooner, she may still  be alive today. So yeah, I wish that I had seen what happened so I either knew who the motherfucker was, or I could at least help the cops be one step closer to catching whoever the fuck it was. They haven’t even found the car yet. Whoever it was could be halfway to Canada or Mexico by now… Woah, Charlotte you look like a mess. Are you okay? What’s up?”
        “We…” Lola began, but Charlotte subtly placed her hand on Lola’s knee, so Lola stopped and Charlotte continued. “We just wanted to see how you were doing. We figured the police had come by and interrogated you, and we just wanted to see if you were okay and whether we could do anything to help. I also, um, hate what happened to Lena and it’s just hitting me hard. You know, we just barely started to get to know each other and now I don’t get to know her at all anymore.”
        It was true; Charlotte and Lena had just started to become friends. They’d met  a couple of weeks ago, and had only gotten to hang out a few times. Lena had been an absolutely gorgeous young woman. She’d had long blonde hair that was always perfectly doneprobably because she  had her own chair at a salon, and was one of the most popular hairdressers in town. Not only was her hair always done to perfection, but she was also perpetually dressed in the most chic clothing. Lena had bright blue eyes, beautifully tanned skin, and amazingly defined curves. Saying that she turned heads wherever she went was an understatement. Every guyand quite a few girlswanted to be with her. To everyone’s disappointment, she was spoken for, even though no one seemed to know who exactly had  done the speaking. They’d never seen Lena alone with anyone.
Charlotte just kept rambling, unsure of where half of the shit she was saying had even come from.  She could barely think. Her head was spinning. She always got like this whenever she was upset or nervous, just talking everyone’s ear off. The only thing that was running through her own head at that point was, that she herself was the sick bastard who murdered Lena. She was the reason that she wouldn’t get to know Lena any more than she already had. What the fuck was she supposed to do? Lola just sat there quietly, holding Charlotte’s hand, and hoping that Charlotte could  get herself together soon. Otherwise, Anthony was going to get suspicious. Charlotte paused her rambling as her stomach twisted. She felt like she was going to puke. She needed to get out of there.
        But before they could get up and leave, Anthony began to talk again. “Yeah, the police asked me for a list of people that were at the party, so, like, I know they’re going to be interrogating all of you until they figure out who this son of a bitch is, which is so fucking good, because that shit head needs to be thrown in prison, or even worse if you ask me.”
        “Um, Anthony, we need to go. I have to do some studying before work, so we will talk to you later. Try to have a good day?” Lola said, as she grabbed Charlotte’s hand and led her toward the door. Anthony called after them, “Charlotte, good luck with the questioning, no need to be nervous, you got nothing to worry about… I am sure of that.” Charlotte and Lola both looked at each other. It was a little odd, the way Anthony had said that. Shit, did he know something?
        They quickly ran to the car, and Lola began to drive home. Charlotte checked her phone and immediately noticed that a strange number had called. “Shit, must be the cops. What the hell am I supposed to say?” “Char, babe,  you don’t have to say anything. You don’t really know what happened. You just have a feeling. So you say nothing.”
        Charlotte took a deep breath and called the number back. She was on the phone for a few minutes, during which she learned that she would  have to go down to the station at five pm to talk to a detective. She hung up, her thoughts racing. What the hell am I going to do? I have four hours to figure out what the fuck happened and I don’t think that’s enough time.
        Meanwhile, Poppy and Hadley were headed over to Charlotte and Lola’s as fast as Hadley could drive without getting pulled over. They did not need to deal with police right now
or at all, for that matter. Poppy could barely hold herself together with just Hadley around, let alone a police officer.  If she saw a cop in her freaked-out state, who knows what she would say or do at this point? Hadley could see Poppy deteriorating, and knew she needed to keep her stable, but so far she was not doing a very good job. Once they got to the girls’ place, Hadley reached over to Poppy, grabbed her hand, and slowly began trying to console her friend again by gliding her short tan nails along the side of her friend’s hand.
        “P, you really need to calm down. You don’t know if you killed that girl or if you were involved at all. Let’s just get to the girls’ apartment and talk to them. I’m sure that they have answers.” But Hadley and Poppy still didn’t know that Lena was the one who had been killed. Poppy is still pretty fragile right now, that they both will know when Poppy founds out that she was the one that killed her, she was going to completely lose it. After Shane had left for California, Poppy not only began binge drinking she also began to explore her sexuality and started dating girls. For the past three months, she had been dating Lena and was completely head over heels in love with her. Losing her is going to make her lose her mind. Honestly, Poppy is not likely going to be able to get past this if she thinks that she’s the one who killed Lena. Her drinking will worsen, she might add other destructive behaviors... and who knows what will happen then.
        Poppy already looked like she was losing her mind, incessantly running her white painted nails through her hair. She couldn’t seem to sit still. Suddenly, her phone began to ring. Without even thinking she picked up the phone and said, “Hello, Poppy here.” “Oh, God.” She mouthed “It’s the police.” Poppy was on the phone for about a minute before she completely broke down, sobbing her heart out. She had just gotten the worst possible news that she could have imagined at this point in her life. She finally hung up the phone and just looked at Hadley, sobbing.
        “H... it was Lena,” was all Poppy could get out between sobs.
        “What do you mean it was Lena?” Hadley asked.
        Poppy took a deep breath and slowly repeated to Hadley what she had just been told by the police. “So, the police said they needed to question all the people who went to the party last night about the accident. Then they told me who the girl was… it was.. it was Lena. I killed Lena. The police want to talk to me at four this afternoon to ask me about the party .” That was when Poppy’s composure slipped again and she completely lost it. Hadley just reached over and hugged her friend, the girl who had quickly become a best friend. Hadley had been the only one who’d known about Lena and Poppy’s relationship. She knew how much Poppy had loved Lena. She was immediately worrying about what this was going to do to her. Honestly, she knew that it wasn’t going to be good.
        Poppy’s mind flashed to one of her favorite dates with Lena. It had been two weeks ago and they’d driven to the beach to have a picnic. Poppy couldn’t help but smile, remembering that evening... Lena had looked so beautiful. Poppy could see her vividly: she’d been wearing black skinny jeans, a black lace kimono over her floral crop top, with black flats, her long blond hair in loose beach waves. Her blue eyes were especially bright because of the very subtle smokey eye makeup she was wearing. God, Poppy missed running her fingers through Lena’s hair and looking into Lena’s gorgeous eyes. The beach was deserted that day, so Lena and Poppy had the entire stretch of water to themselves. They had set up their blanket and food on their normal rock, facing the setting sun. Poppy had already been drifting back to this date a lot the past week, because it was the date that she realized she was deeply, truly, head over heels in love with Lena. It was a love like she had never felt before, but real, passionate love. Poppy had pulled Lena into her that night and kissed her. Their hands began to roam around each other’s bodies, exploring what their clothes didn’t cover. Then, they slowly began to undress each other, and Poppy whispered to Lena, “I love you more than I have ever loved anyone. I am hopelessly completely in love with you, Lena.” Poppy would never forget what had happened next. Lena’s face had lit up with so much love and passion, and she’d grabbed Poppy and kissed her tenderly. When they pulled away, she said, “I have been waiting to hear you tell me that. I love you too, Poppy. More than you know.” They then finished undressing each other and ran into the ocean to explore more of each other’s bodies. That was the first night that Lena and Poppy had been intimate together. Poppy had been completely awakened and her life forever changed, because of that night with Lena.
        After what seemed like forever, Hadley and Poppy  finally arrived at Charlotte and Lola’s apartment. They knocked on the door, and when there was no answer, Poppy began to bang on the door until her knuckles became bloody from the sheer pressure she was using. Hadley tried to stop her, but surprisingly, Poppy was much stronger than Hadley and just kept hitting the door until she couldn’t anymore.  She finally slid down to the ground and began to sob again. Hadley sat down next to her and tried to clean up her knuckles with the supplies she had in her pursebeing an RN  really paid off  in horrible moments like this. The girls had nothing to do but sit there, staring at each other, until Charlotte and Lola finally came home.

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