My hands haven’t stopped shaking. I can’t believe I did it. I just reacted. Didn’t think he was a kid. Didn’t think. He was a kid, can’t believe it. He’s alive, at least. My flatmate made me hot chocolate, but I can’t hold the cup long enough to drink any. I just can’t stop shaking. Seeing his body flop to the floor and the blood. So much blood. Why didn’t I just stop. We were on the road. He wasn’t going to hurt us.
After the hospital we got driven home, the police dropped us off. Louis barely spoke to me on the way home. I think he was in shock as well. The police kept on telling me it wasn’t my fault. I was too busy crying to listen, but he was saying that he shouldn’t have been doing it. But he was just a kid.
“Hey, are you okay?” Lizzy asks as she walks in. “Jules? You okay? You haven’t drank anything since you’ve been back.”
“I’m not thirsty.”
“Come on, sit up, you can’t just lay in bed all day. At least let me cook you something.”
“I’m not hungry.”
“Please. Sit up at least.”
I don’t respond. I just wish she would walk away and leave me alone. I close my eyes and try to make myself stop shaking. The kid. The blood. The stunned silence. The screaming. The sirens.
“It’s not your fault. He was a stupid kid, he shouldn’t have been messing around in costume like that. Not with what happened last week.”
“Still a kid. Probably didn’t understand.”
“We’re not that much older. I wouldn’t have done that, at his age. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t have either.”
“Not the point.”
“He’s going to be okay. We can go and get some flowers and chocolate tomorrow morning and take it to the hospital. I’m sure he will be fine.”
I don’t say anything. I’m not sure if it was the other way around I would want him to visit me. It’s not like I know him at all.
“I’m going to make you something to eat.”
She gets up off my bed and walks out of the room. I don’t move. I can’t move. Apart from the shaking. I want to cry, but I’m too tired. I’m just going to lay here for a while. The blood seeping into the pavement. The hands over peoples’ mouths. It’s all just there. Waiting like someone else’s holiday photos, sitting behind my eyes.
My phone starts ringing, I ignore it. It rings again. I shift a little in bed, but nothing more. Again. I sit up and look at the screen. It’s Louis. I thought it’d be my parents. Probably worried about me, but I don’t know if they even know what happened.
I ignore the phone again, but it carries on ringing. I answer it.
“I can’t stop thinking about it. I can’t believe what happened. Everyone here has gone out, but I just can’t. I’m sitting here watching it over and over again. I can’t believe it. Why would someone do this? I just don’t understand. It was an accident.”
“I can’t stop imagining it.”
“Imagining? Haven’t you seen the video. It’s all over facebook. Someone filmed it and put it online. I don’t know who. So many of my friends have shared it.
“What? Who would do that?”
“That’s what I mean. It’s sick.”
I sit up and move over to my laptop.
“I’ve watched it none stop. It’s only a short video, but I can’t believe someone was filming it. I can’t find out who uploaded, but it’s been shared over and over again. Everyone is going to watch it.”
Slowly the internet loads up and I see that I’ve got a few messages from people. The first one asking how I am. Another saying they saw the video.
“I can’t believe it. Do you think we were set up?” I ask.
“I don’t know. I thought that, but I honestly just don’t know. It makes no sense.”
“They couldn’t have known how it would end. It was probably just someone who saw it and pulled out his phone.”
“Probably, but it’s still sick. Why upload it to facebook.”
I find the video and click play. It’s taken from across the street where we were standing. We’re already standing on the Kettering Road when the video starts. I’m standing near Louis. Both of us out of breath, panic over our faces. The streets slow down. People turn and look. I turn and push him. Desperate, and he falls backwards and bounces off a moving car. His body collapsing out of view. A moment of silence, and then screams.
My hands cover my mouth, mimicking the video.
“What happened?” Someone asks.
“Did she kill him.”
“Did you see that.”
“Oh my God.”
The clip ends as we move towards the boy. Louis pulling out his phone to call an ambulance.
“Did you watch it?”
“Yeah I just did. I can’t believe it. Why would someone upload that.”
“That’s what I’ve been saying.”
“Have you seen the comments?”
“What do you mean?”
“Is that Louis and Jules? I can’t believe she would do that. I know her from school, she wouldn’t hurt anyone. Why would someone dress up now, after last week. Some of them are so mean.”
“I didn’t read them. I’ve just been watching the video over and over again.”
“Someone should push her in front of a car. He’s just a kid.”
“Ignore them. It’s just idiots on the internet.”
“Someone tagged me in the comments.”
“A dick from school. Asking if this is me?”
“I’m feeling really angry right now. It was an accident. I’m going to go now.”
“Okay, if you want to speak, call me. Remember that it isn’t your fault. It was just an accident. Remember that.”