Switching sides

“Damn, I’m about to be late!”, I cried as I rush through the door, hurriedly grabbing my keys. Even though I drive fast for a living, I always seem to be late. My car engine roars as I turn the key in the ignition, and the squeal of tires echo throughout the neighborhood, undoubtedly waking up my neighbors. The world zips by as I mash the gas to the floor, and I feel like I’ll sink into the seat as the car continuously accelerates. Wait a minute. Are those sirens?! My palms start to sweat and the steering wheel slowly gets slippery. I breathe a huge sigh of relief as I see an ambulance zip by in my rear view mirror. “Too close for comfort,” I think to myself.”I better make my way to the meet quickly.” As I pull up to the meet, I see the usual cast that I race with. “No challenge,” I said smirking to myself. “Seen and beat them all before.” As I turn to check my engine, I see a new car slowly inch to the starting block. It was a matte black Nissan sports car, with a huge rear spoiler. It definitely looked better than most of the cars I see everyday. Out of the car steps a tall, gorgeous blonde who I definitely have never seen before. Even though this was her first time here, she didn’t seem lost at all, and made her way to the sign up sheet immediately. “You sure you know what you’re doing?”, I said as she made her way back to her car. She took some time to respond, as if she was holding back a laugh. “You’ll find out soon enough,” she said grinning widely. I shook my head I walked back to my car, ready to dispatch this newcomer. I cruise up to the starting line, ready to dust all these fools. I grip the wheel just a little tighter as the flag is sharply raised. As the flag is yanked to the ground, the screeching of tires fills the air. We zip through the town as we slowly approach the freeway, with me in the lead of course. All of a sudden right before the turn into the freeway, the same black Nissan slides in front of me. The other two cars are nowhere in sight, and she’s actually trying to be some competition. We both weave through traffic frantically on the freeway, each of us scraping to get an edge over the other. “Alright, time to finish this”, I mutter as I push the button for my nitrous. Immediately the car rockets through the line of cars and onto the final turn. I slam the gas pedal to the floor harder than I ever have before. Victory becomes closer and closer until I see the same black Nissan soaring through the air. She found a shortcut I’ve never encountered in my 5 years of racing. She drifts right in front of me and through the finish line, handing me my first L since January 2014. We not getting into that. The crowd went ballistic, as they had never seen a newcomer win a race, let alone against me. They surround her car as she pops out the window, celebrating her win. I get out of my car slowly, still in shock that I took an L. I try to make my way through the winners circle, but before I can put my thoughts into action, the deafening sound of multiple sirens fills the air. Everyone scurries to their cars, frantically trying to evade capture. I start the car faster than I ever have and put the pedal to the floor. After I get on the main road, I see two cop cars in pursuit. I yank the handbrake and turn the steering wheel as hard as I can in an attempt to lose them. The cop cars miss the turn and slam into each other while trying to regroup. I think I’m in the clear when all of a sudden I see a cop holding a gun I’ve never seen before. It is long and metallic with what looks like a harpoon tip at the end of it. He shoots and it pierces the back of my car. Immediately all the electronic function in my car dies as my car slowly decelerates to a halt. As soon as I step out of the car to run, I’m met by the cold metal of a double barreled shotgun. The chase is over. As soon as I put my hands out they slap the cuffs on me and shove me into the back of a squad car.

I wake up in an empty room, still handcuffed, and completely alone. The ticks on the clock seem to go so slowly, each second feeling like a minute. Finally, I hear the door open and in the room steps what I think could be a detective, followed by the same girl that beat me the other day. Our eyes lock immediately and I’m stunned. “What are you doing here?”, I say, dumbfounded to see her with the enemy. She doesn’t say a word and then the detective starts. “It took a lot of resources to track you down”, he mutters as he slaps a folder down right next to me. “In that folder, is every charge we’ve got against you. The folder looked about as big as the Bibles that the pastors carry. Excessive speeding, Reckless driving, hit and run, resisting arrest, assault, I don’t’ have to tell you how bad this is.” I open my mouth to speak but he stops me. “We got a deal for you. We’ve been tracking you and we know you’re a good driver.” “Not that good”, the blonde girl says as she snickers. The detective glares at her then continues. “We need undercover drivers to help us stop street racing in this city. Work for us, and all these charges against you will be dropped. Refuse, and the only racing you’ll be doing is running from Big Bubba.” “Fine,” I say, defeated. “But let me use my car, I’ve had it for as long as I can remember.” “Oh that car?” They look at each other and they both erupt in laughter. “What’s so funny?” I say clenching my fists. “Don’t worry about it bud, we’ll provide your transportation. Makayla, this is your partner and problem now. Keep an eye on him and make sure he gets the job done.” The blonde girl sighs and frees me from the cuffs, then leads me out to get started on our first assignment. “I don’t want to hear a word from you,” she snaps. “I’m trying to get this job over with as soon as possible.” “Alright then, let’s move then”, I say, sharing her frustrations. Little did we know just how much work we had to do in order to finish street racing in this city.

Jeffersonville High School, 2019