“Hang up and call the police. Now. Tell them where you are. Where are you?”
“Cliff Road, you know where the bend’s in it?”
“Call 9-1-1 and don’t move. I’ll be right there.”
The phone switches to the keyboard, and I push the series of three numbers I never, ever thought I’d have to use. A voice comes on, calm and reassuring, “What’s the nature of your emergency?”
I steal a glance through the murky darkness toward the hole in the guardrail, hoping to see a person climbing up the hill out of the woods. Nothing. “I’ve been in an accident, and the other guy might be dead.”
The dispatcher has a voice like my kindergarten teacher, soft and warm like oven-baked cookies. She gets my location and tells me to stay on the line, the emergency responders are on the way.
The road is empty. Not a car passes. The dispatcher keeps asking if I’m still there.
“Yeah, but no one else—” I stop so I can listen. A faint wail of a siren, then blue lights strobe over the dark trees. A police car, followed by something that looks like a combination ambulance and emergency repair truck, pull up on the side of the road behind me. A fire truck appears a few seconds later. Two policemen get out of the car. One sets up flares on the road near the broken guardrail. The other one taps on my window.
“Are you all right?” He leans down and peers in at me.
I roll the window down. Nod my head. For some reason my voice won’t work.
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