Ponyboy’s Perspective: I steer with one hand firmly grasping the wheel, the other massaging a knot in my shoulder. Even though teaching is often mistaken as easy, it can be so much more physically exhausting than it may seem, I now know. I squint through the windshield, trying to make out as much as I can through the drops of rain shooting like bullets off the foggy windshield in the dark night. Something about it feels lonely. I can’t see the faint red glow of another car anywhere on this empty two-lane road. The only thing I can see for miles are deserted stretches of landscape on ether side of the road. Then something in my gut abruptly tells me to slow down; something feels wrong.
The first things I can make out in the distance are the beams of light flooding from two headlights, but they’re coming from the wrong angle. This is definitely wrong.
As I draw nearer, I pull over to the side of the road, leaving the truck running to provide light, and rush in the direction of the light. The closer I get, the more uneasy I feel to my stomach. The street is coated in a layer of bloody glass, and in defiance of the rain the scarlet color doesn’t seem to wash away. I stand there alone, staring as it sparkles and glitters eerily in the light. Rain plasters my hair to my neck, drenching my clothes, and making my teeth chatter together, but I don’t care. Then a movement to the other side of the demolished truck catches my eye, and I whip towards it. A young man’s limp body lays there, barely alive.
Without hesitation, I dash to his side, and crouch beside him. “Mister, won’t you help me please?” he cries weakly. It feels like purgatory, but after what feels like eternity an ambulance’s tires crunch over the glass, close to where the boy and I wait. They lift his nearly lifeless body onto a stretcher, his face more pale than I believed possible for a human being. The blood coating the asphalt is more than I believed a person could contain. Just like the blood that came from Bob’s motionless body.
As the taillights of the ambulance fade into the black of the night, somehow I already know what’s going to happen to him, if it hasn’t happened already.
I return to my car with shaky hands, feeling numb from head to toe, inside and out. I focus on the white, yellow, and black lines of the road, but all my eyes can see it the dying man lying beside the highway. I can still see the trail of blood across the broken glass leading from the front seat of the overturned car to the last place he would ever rest alive.
I didn’t know the man. I shouldn’t care. But I do. I think of who he might have been, and the people that are going to mourn for him. Maybe he had a girlfriend, or was newly wed to a beautiful wife that he was crazy about. I can see her wrapped in a robe in the middle of the night, quickly flinging the front door open with hope and worry in her eyes. Praying that it’s her lover. But the sight of the state trooper quickly extinguishes the fire of that hope. I can see her eyes well with tears as the the trooper gently tells her, “Your baby died, in a wreck on the highway.” I can see her shaking her head in shock, denial, and disbelief. The whole image disturbs me, bringing out every ounce of sympathy in my body in a burst of emotion. Before I realize what’s happening, I feel hot tears streaming down my cheeks.
I step into our bedroom to find (Y/N)’s sleeping figure laying across the bed. She sleeps on her stomach with the blankets covering as far up as her hips, revealing her bare back as it rises and falls. Her arms wrap around the pillow that she rests her cheek on. Her hair flows down the back of the pillow, like a sheet of pure glossy (y/h/c). I smile through my tears at her beauty.
I undress out of the sopping clothes, shower to restore my warmth, and join (Y/N) beneath the covers. But, as I expected, sleep evades me, and I give up trying after only moments. I lock her delicate fingers in mine, eyeing the golden ring on her ring finger. The one I gave her only two years ago before we finally married. I sit up in that room full of darkness, and then pull her onto my chest, wrapping my arms around her. Her arms snake around my torso in response. I gently kiss her forehead while she stretches.
“Ponyboy, what’re you doing up this late?” she mumbles warily, her eyes still closed.
“Nothing,” I assure her, “go back to sleep.” She doesn’t hesitate to oblige. I just stare at her sleeping figure, stroke her hair gently so not to wake her, and hold her tightly through the odd hours of the night, not at all able to rest. And again, my thoughts return to that wreck on the highway….
A/N: Sorry for another sad one, guys. This was inspired by Bruce Springsteen’s song “Wreck on the Highway,” so if you’re interested it’s a great song. It really captures how solemn the story is. I thought, what better than to combine two of my favorite things? So here’s a mix of Bruce Springsteen’s great rock music and The Outsiders. Anyhow, thank you so much for those of you who liked my first imagine, I really appreciated all the feedback! Please let me know how I did on this one, too, and I promise I’ll respond. I’m open to all forms of criticism, though please keep anything hateful to yourself. I love all of you guys, stay gold!