What does Ryder think?


Ryder did not know what to do.

This letter had shocked him much more than the previous letter had.

He took a deep breath in and slowly let it out. He put down the letter on the bed and looked up at the wall opposite to his bed. There hung a picture of him and Adrian when they were six. Both of them had their arms around each other and they were goofily smiling at the camera. Both had missing teeth. It was a picture he cherished. It had been taken on a trip during summers.

Ryder shook his head and covered his face with his hands. She was in the car that killed Adrian. But she had not been driving it. What exactly had she been doing in that car? How did she end up in a stolen car? He didn’t know. But the sixth letter proved an important point. Whoever this girl was, she knew exactly who had killed Adrian. This brought him back to that same question. Why didn’t she get the police to arrest the driver? But this time, Ryder did not let his emotions control him.

No, he would not accuse her of anything. He had to remember that she herself was in some sort of a problem which is why she ended up in that car. He could not point a finger at her until he knew the whole thing. The most important thing was that, somewhere in his heart, he knew she was innocent. From what he had learnt about her from the past few letters, she couldn’t hurt a fly. He believed in her. She could never do something wrong.

But why had she been in shock? What had happened? The things she wrote increased his desperation to know the truth.  The accident explained her fear of speeding cars. But that must not have been the only reason for her aversion towards cars.

There must be something else. It was at this point that Ryder remembered something. It was another memory.

If he hadn’t read this letter, this incident would never have come back to him. It was the last week before school officially ended before Christmas. Ryder had woken up late that morning. But that had just been the start to a bad day. After that while showering, he had slipped on soapy water and landed hard on his butt. But God hadn’t had enough. Following that he had burned his tongue while accidentally having bitten on a hot toast. But that was not the end of it.

He had come out running through the door only to find that the naughty kids in the neighbourhood had flattened one of the tyres of his car the night before. As a result of that Ryder had to literally run all the way to school. By the time he arrived, he was all red in the face and had difficulty catching his breath. But he had made it to school almost fifteen minutes before the bell rang. Well, playing basketball had proved a boon in some way.

He had leaned against a tree to calm his crazy beating heart and had heard snippets of a conversation between two girls in the parking lot. Actually he had just heard one girl crying while the other comforted her. He couldn’t see them as they were somewhere behind him, but he could hear everything clearly.

While one of them sobbed quietly the other asked her to drink some water while patting her back.

From the sound of her voice he understood that the one comforting the sobbing girl was definitely Abigail, his sort of friend, from English class.

But he didn’t know who the crying girl was and at that moment he hadn’t cared. He just waited until he was calm.

Following that he had seen Adam, Abigail’s boyfriend walk past him towards the girls. He remembered Adam looking tired and exhausted. His eyes were bloodshot, almost as if he hadn’t been able to sleep for weeks.

Ryder understood his position. Adam must have been in a similar situation like him because not even a month after Adrian death, Adam’s best friend Tyler McKenzie committed suicide after jumping of the school building. It had been disastrous. Two consequent deaths in the same school, people were aghast. Investigation had proved that Tyler and his brother had been a part of a drug racket and the debts had pushed Tyler to take his own life. Within two days of that, his elder brother Mark had been arrested and not long after that he committed suicide as well.

Tyler’s family was crushed and decided to move towns as they could not bear to live there anymore. So within two months, the entire town had witnessed three deaths and a drug scandal and neither had been pretty.


As he looked for his water bottle in his bag, Ryder heard Abigail say, “It’s alright. You’ll grow out of it. Your phobia of cars is not going to stay forever. Try walking to school if it affects you so much.” But the girl had just sniffled as an answer. It was at that moment that the bell rang and Ryder had dashed to class forgetting everything else.

Ryder hit his forehead. If only he had waited to listen to the girl’s name. He would have known who his letter friend was. It had to be her. If Abigail knew her, then they were most definitely in the same year. This incident had taken place not long after Adrian’s death. There was no chance of it being anyone else.

Even though he hadn’t put Abigail into his suspect’s list, this incident proved that she could not be his letter friend. But it also proved that she knew his letter friend very well.  Ryder sprang up from his bed and started pacing his room. Abigail clearly knew about her car phobia. So if he asked her about the incident, what would be the chances of her remembering it?

It wouldn’t hurt to try. He lunged for his phone and scrolled through his call list. Spotting Abigail’s number he called and put it to his ear. He held his breathe as the phone rang. But after two rounds of rings the call disconnected. Disappointed, Ryder looked up at the clock.

Just one and a half hours to Graduation.

She must have been getting ready. Dejected he dropped the phone back onto the bed, but then instantly sat up again. She would definitely see his missed call and would call back. He would ask her then. Till then he wasted no more time and picked up the letter with March 2016 written on it. He ripped open the top, pulled it out and started reading it.