I didn’t mean to actually act on the idea that had festered in the back of my mind. I wouldn’t have done it if I knew this was going to happen. I couldn’t have known that my life was actually going to be in danger, in fact, as of now, I am a dead woman; all thanks to my sick guilty pleasure. Right now I am trapped in my own car, watching as a man grins at me, his front tooth chipped. He douses the car in gasoline; the smell is strong and putrid, my head begins to pound. I close my eyes, hoping whatever will happen in the next thirty seconds will go by fast.
I think back to how I had gotten myself into this situation. I had just finished up at the school I work at as an advisor — the last student I met with had cried in my office, fearing she would not get accepted into any of the colleges she had applied for. As a guidance counselor, you become attached to these students, it’s as if they become your children – or in my case, siblings. At twenty-four years old I landed a position at my old high school as the guidance counselor — I was the youngest to be hired. After watching as this girl helplessly wiped the snot from her face, I told her that I would do everything I could to help her out. The stress of college application deadlines was not only affecting students, but it was eating away at me too. My regular eight-hour days had turned to twelve-hour days with no breaks. I had decided I was finally done. I packed up my belongings, snuck out the back door, and got into my car.
I took the same route home, nothing ever changes in this sleepy town — the most exciting thing to ever happen here is when a new restaurant opens. Given the small population of the town, restaurants don’t even tend to last very long. Turning into the driveway, I parked my car and sat there for a minute. Lately, my life had felt like a routine – there was nothing exciting happening anymore. My boyfriend of two years had dumped me a week ago, the stray cat that comes by every evening had stopped doing so (I’m blaming coyotes on that one), and my parents decided to take a month long vacation to Australia — we aren’t even on the same time zone to have proper conversations. I had friends, but they all seemed to be too busy for me.