He’s hankering for a tip. Going on about how I’m the last pick up of the night and how lucky I am because most taxi drivers would never stop in this neighbourhood, what with all the bag heads and crack whores and-shaking his head, what was I thinking walking around here in a nice suit like that?
Business trip I tell him. Needed a walk after a long flight. Got lost.
Our eyes meet in the rear view mirror. I look away.
That’s when I see her, face down in the middle of the road. I scream stop, but it’s too late. The taxi jolts like we’ve gone over a speed bump. He slams the brakes and we skid to a stop.
His face is white. I guess mine is too. We’re both breathing hard.
I reach for the door handle.
He asks me what I’m doing. He says he has four kids. A mortgage. He can’t afford to lose his licence over some smack head and think about it-she’s probably dead. Maybe she was dead before we hit her.
Then, quietly, he says they’ll be questions. It could make the papers. And they’ll want to know what I was doing in that part of town.
I want to tell him that she’s a human being-that we have a moral obligation to help, that if we do nothing then we’ve as good as murdered her, but my mouth is so dry the words won’t come out and then it’s too late anyway because the taxi is pulling off and the next morning, when my hands won’t stop shaking, I tell my wife I must have caught a cold.