San Francisco, Night
I duck into the parking garage, hoping to escape. But my boots echo on the slick cement, broadcasting my location to anyone listening. And I know they are listening. I make a mental note to myself not to wear these shoes again if there is a chance I’ll get involved in a pursuit.
I start to run up the spiral driveway of the garage, knowing they’ll never match my pace. The sound of my strained breath now masks the echo of my footsteps. Behind me, I hear nothing.
I stop in my tracks to listen more closely. One car door, then another, shuts and an engine turns over. I try to predict their next move as I scan the lot for Daniel’s car.
Then I spot it — a midnight blue BMW — eclipsed on either side by two enormous SUVs. I rush to the newly waxed four-door sedan and put the key in the lock.
The scream of the car alarm hits me like a punch in the stomach. I’m breathless for a moment as I recover. I had forgotten about the security system. I drive a twelve-year-old Buick that unlocks with a freakin’ key! the way it’s supposed to.
My thumb fumbles with the remote device until the siren stops. I can hear the other car inching up the driveway, moving slowly just to torture me. I finally press the button that unlocks the door.
Car Chase #3
The nondescript Ford sedan cuts past my vehicle, giving me enough time to screech out of the parking space before it blocks my path down the driveway. As I zoom out of the garage, I check my rearview mirror and see the Ford right on my tail.
I shoot across the street, making a sharp left. My foot hits the floor. I am surprised by the smooth, rapid acceleration of the luxury vehicle. I realize there are reasons people buy these cars beyond concerns of vanity. I remind myself not to get used to it.
The speedometer reads 50 mph in no time flat. The Ford is about a hundred meters back, but closing in. I slow down to get them close on my tail and then overshoot the right turn onto Sacramento Street, but they know all my tricks and stay right behind me.
Speeding over two hills, the BMW, followed by the Ford, reaches downtown in record time. I check the fuel gauge. Maybe an hour of high-speed driving left. I turn right into an alley and sweep through to the other side, making a left turn onto a one-way street, going the wrong way. Two cars sound their horns and careen out of my trajectory. I check my mirror, expecting to have made some headway, but I can’t shake them.
Driving south of Market Street, I accelerate one last time, more as an act of showmanship than an attempt to escape. I follow it up by slamming on my brakes. I do it just to rattle them, just to remind them that I am still in control.
The Ford screeches to a halt about ten feet behind the BMW. I turn off the ignition and take a few deep breaths. I casually get out of the car and walk over to the sedan.
I knock on the driver’s-side window. A moment passes and the window rolls down. I put my hand on the hood of the car and lean in just a bit.
“Mom. Dad. This has to stop.”
Copyright © 2007 Lisa Lutz