You were driving home late. In the rain. There was no reason to expect there would be a baby crawling across the road. You suppose it could have been something else, but in your heart in you know it was a baby. A human baby. Crawling across the road late at night in the rain.
You thought about stopping. You didn't. This is the stuff of pure panic. Adrenaline. You keep driving. Your hands are trembling. Your leg is shaking, barely able to stay on the accelerator pedal. For several minutes you fiddle with the radio knobs. Then you turn the radio off. You drive in silence except for the sound of the rain.
A baby. A human baby. Back there in the road. In the rain. It has to be dead. There is no way a baby could have survived being run over by your car. Being run over by you. Maybe you should go back. Maybe it could be still alive. Maybe there is something you can do.
No. That's impossible. You have to keep going. There was no one else on the road and not a building in sight. What was that baby doing there? What kind of terrible parent leaves a baby to crawl across a road in the middle of nowhere? It is the fault of the parents. That baby shouldn't have been there. You can't let your whole life be ruined because some idiot let their baby crawl across the road in the middle of the night. What was it doing there?
You pull over. There is a dirt field. You stop the car but leave it running and step outside. You stand for a moment, then fall down on your knees. Nausea overcomes you. You try to expel all the venom you feel building up inside of you. It isn't enough. You think about praying but even God wouldn't listen to you now. Baby killer. Keep driving. Keep going. Pretend it never happened. That baby shouldn't have been there. Poor parenting.
Something makes you turn around. You aren't sure why. Maybe if you go back it won't be a baby. Maybe it was just a doll or a paper bag filled with sand. No. You know it was a baby. You saw its eyes looking at you. Those eyes are still looking at you. You wish you hadn't quit smoking. This is one of those times a cigarette would be helpful. Your hand is shaking so badly. It needs something to do. It needs something to hold onto. You try praying. No one is listening.
There it is. Just up ahead. This is where you hit the baby. Why was it crossing the road? What was it doing way out here? There isn't a house around for miles. This is nowhere. Yet, you are here, so it has to be somewhere. You don't even remember why you were here or where you were going. You just were. And so was the baby. You see it in the road. It isn't moving. You think about stopping but you keep driving. Maybe it wasn't a baby. Maybe it was just a doll or a paper bag filled with sand. So hard to tell in the dark and in the rain. Maybe you were wrong. Maybe those eyes that are still staring at you aren't the baby's eyes. Maybe it is all in your head.
You turn around again. You were going somewhere. Maybe you will get there by morning.