Short Story by Ben Loory (The Jakarta Post, August 27, 2018)

The Ambulance Driver ilustration Budhi Button - The Jakarta Post.jpg
The Ambulance Driver ilustration Budhi Button/The Jakarta Post 

A woman works as an ambulance driver. She saves lives every single night. Every morning she goes home and crawls into bed happy.

But one night something terrible happens.

One night the woman’s out driving the ambulance—rushing a heart attack victim to the hospital—when a boy steps out from behind a parked car.

She hits the brakes, but it’s too late.

She runs him over.

***

It all happens so fast—the woman can’t believe it. She jumps out and runs to his body. She picks him up and loads him into the ambulance. She drives to the hospital as fast as possible.

She stands by the doctors as they work on him.

She keeps standing there after they walk away.

She keeps standing there for what seems like a lifetime, until the nurses come and lead her away.

***

The woman goes home. She doesn’t know what to do. She sits on the edge of the bed. She looks at the TV but finally turns it off.

None of it makes any sense.

***

The next day the woman sees a notice in the paper. She goes to the boy’s funeral. She doesn’t know what to do or how to act. She stands against the wall in the back.

Read also: The Writer – Short Story by Ben Loory (The Jakarta Post, April 30, 2018) 

Up in the front, she can see the boy’s mother standing there beside the casket. She wants to go up to her, wants to say something but can’t think of how to apologize.

So in the end, the woman turns away and walks home. It’s cold out; the wind whistles by. She goes in and sits down once more on the bed.

After a while, she closes her eyes.

***

At work, the people are understanding.

It wasn’t your fault, they say. It was a terrible accident. It could’ve happened to anyone. Take some time off. It’ll all be okay.

***

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