By M.A. De Neve
Sheila couldn’t find her keys. Damn.
Why hadn’t the designated driver
waited until she was inside the house before he took off? She decided she’d
give him a bad online
review and call Lyft the next time she decided to go partying. After a night on
the town she was in no condition to drive. At least she had gotten home.
Her purse clattered to the sidewalk.
Lipstick, wallet, iPhone, Kleenex, glasses case, all tumbled out. Some items
rolled away. She dropped to her knees and started gathering things up, but she
couldn’t see much in the dark. She found her flashlight and flicked the switch.
It didn’t work. She must have forgotten to buy batteries again. She stumbled
forward. Her keys were a tangled mess. She couldn’t find the right one in the
dark. But the bedroom window was open. She hadn’t left it that way. Maybe she
had. She kicked some object in the dark. Whatever it was, she had missed it
when she gathered material from her spilled purse; she’d get it in the morning.
She stumbled toward the window, climbed inside, snagging her panty hose on the
window latch. It was dark inside, but she managed to crawl to the bed. She fell
“Stop,” Sheila moaned. Her mouth was
dry; her head hurt. The woman who had screamed stood in the bedroom doorway.
She was probably thirty-something, but looked fifty. Her hair was pulled back
into a bun; her features distorted with anger. “Get out of my son’s bed.”
Sheila rolled over. A wide-eyed
teenage boy lay beside her, his hair ruffled. He too had just awakened.
“Bobby?” Sheila recognized one of her
“Get out,” the woman screamed. “You whore.”
“God, I must be in the wrong house.”
“Miss Grayson,” the boy, Bobby Benson,
looked surprised. His mother pulled a cell phone from her pocket and called the
police. Sheila got up quickly. Should she rush to the window and try to escape
or try to explain? She chose the latter. “I went out last night, and I had too
many drinks. The designated driver I hired… I…He…He must have dropped me off at
the wrong address, the wrong house. I didn’t notice in the dark.”
She couldn’t find her purse. She hoped
she hadn’t left it on the lawn. She turned back to face Bobby. “I’m sorry.”
His mother shouted, “I’ll have you
arrested for this.”
“It was just a misunderstanding. The
“Bobby, I hope you know you’re
grounded for the next hundred years.”
“Me?” the boy said. “I didn’t do
“It was all my fault or rather the
designated driver’s fault. He dropped me off at the wrong house.” She caught a
glimpse of herself in the dresser mirror. Her mascara was smeared; it looked
like she had two black eyes. Her hair so carefully styled the night before now
stuck out at odd angles.
“Get out of my house,” the woman
“Yes, of course. Could I call a cab? I
can’t find my cell phone.”
“Out.” Bobby’s mother somehow found Sheila’s
purse and flung it at her. More contents spilled out. Sheila was on the lawn
looking for her cell phone when a police car pulled up.
Mrs. Benson ran to greet the officers.
“She slept with my son last night.”
“No, I didn’t. I just got in the wrong
bed. I didn’t touch him. He didn’t touch me. At least I don’t think he did.”
“She’s his teacher; I want her
After being fired from her teaching
position, Sheila drove a cab. She had looked for another teaching job and
attempted to straighten out the misunderstanding with Bobby’s mom and with the
school board, but so far, people preferred to believe the worst about her. Bobby
bragged to his friends about the night he spent with his teacher.
Sheila couldn’t even get a job as a
Winter brought freezing temperatures
and slippery roads. Driving a cab was a hell of a way to make a living.
She usually didn’t work the midnight
shift, but the regular driver had called in sick, and she needed the money. She
had pepper spray in her purse. She knew how to use it.
Of course, she got calls from the bars
when they closed. She preferred not to think about her own last evening in the
bars. The hangover had been terrible, and the police questioned her for hours.
Bobby’s mom insisted she was a sex offender, and wanted her listed as such.
After all, Bobby was just fifteen. Mrs. Benson wanted her sent to prison.
She pulled up in front of the tavern
door, turned off the music on her iPod down and studied the man who got into
“Where’s your car?” she asked.
“Think we can make it there without
you messing up my back seat?”
He stared at her and swayed some more.
“You want the address.” He slurred his
words, but she managed to understand.
She glanced back at him from time to
time as she drove. “How you doin’ back there, Greg?”
“You know my name.”
“We’ve met before.”
Instead of driving him home, she drove
him far into the country to a rest stop in a national forest.
“Where am I? This ain’t home.”
“No, Greg, it isn’t, and you didn’t
drive me home either when you were the designated driver. She opened the car’s
back car door. He fell onto the pavement.
“I’ll freeze to death.”
“That’s the idea.”
M.A. DeNeve is a crazy
lady, tree hugger and bag lady. Her
short stories have appeared in Over My Dead Body, Yellow Mama and Mysterical
-E. Her novels are available on Amazon. She lives with her husband,
Peter, and ten cats.
Marie Rhiel is
the Assistant Art Director for Yellow Mama Webzine. She was
born and raised in Bronx, New York, presently living in New Jersey. She
reconnected with her passion for art in 2016 and has
had her work exhibited in art galleries around northern New Jersey ever
since. She is a commissioned painting artist,
who also enjoys photography. Her work has also appeared in
Black Petals and Megazine Official.