The sun is shining, the autumn is crisp, and it’s an ordinary and perfect New England afternoon. Jason ends his day’s work and drives home, the car stereo is roaring, and the singer Johnny Blue is wailing “Come through this red light.” Looking back, Jason feels really ironic, who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor?
Those faces, Jason couldn’t get them out of his mind. They are nocturnal nightmares and daytime apparitions that never stop. Those faces kept appearing before his eyes. The face of the woman in the passenger seat was contorted with rage; the driver, the dead guy, had his face slack and lifeless after hitting the pavement; and the kid in the back seat, oh my god, the kid in the back seat, pale , his eyes widened in horror, seeing his own father being beaten to death with his own eyes.
Jason never quite understood the maddening system of lane markings on many of New Hampshire’s roads: one for northbound traffic, one for southbound traffic, and the middle lane is basically a free-traffic lane for vehicles in both directions. Pass, first come first served. There are bright yellow left-turn arrows painted on both lanes, and you can turn left into the middle lane. Just wait for the car next to you to reveal a vacancy, and then, with a quick prayer, you can squeeze in with a kick of the accelerator.
He thinks the setup might still make sense in theory, as long as every driver in the world has full attention at all times, soccer moms don’t look in their mirrors with makeup while driving, and arrogant businessmen don’t drive at 70 mph Reading a newspaper in the driver’s seat, conceited teens don’t drink and drive fast to show off to their mates.
In other words, such a world does not exist at all.
So, on a beautiful cool, clear fall day in New England, Jason Sorrell shot someone to death while waiting for a red light, and Johnny Blue’s song about running a red light proves that God is enjoying the irony event. And Jason just turned a corner and drove home without putting on makeup in the mirror, reading the newspaper, or driving fast after drinking to show off.
He just drove home.
He turned a corner, where the middle lane had bright yellow arrows drawn, and the halfway lane meant nothing to Jason. In the middle of the driveway was a silver pickup, motionless, about five years old.
Jason guessed that the pickup was waiting for a spot in the opposite direction of traffic to make a left turn. That’s a reasonable guess, after all that’s what that stupid lane was designed for. But that’s just a guess, because the driver of the pickup, the dying guy, didn’t bother to signal his intentions with a turn signal.
The pickup suddenly advanced as Jason approached from behind. Jason slammed on the brakes, still not sure what the driver was doing. Is he going to turn left or accelerate into Jason’s lane? Jason made a quick decision. He accelerated past the pickup, and it became clear that the pickup driver was trying to merge to the right instead of turning left. He started to squeeze right and still didn’t. Turning on the turn signal, Jason slammed on the accelerator, and his Mustang quickly passed the confused truck driver.
Passing the pickup, he glanced angrily to the left and looked straight into the car when he saw the first face. the woman’s face. She’s probably in her thirties, quite attractive, but there’s a deep hostility carved into her face, and it’s unbelievable that this hostility is directed at Jason! She screamed through the closed car window and gave Jason a barrage of abuse, presumably because Jason wouldn’t let her stupid husband, the dying guy, squeeze into the driveway in front of him.
This woman doesn’t seem to realize or doesn’t care that the middle lane can only turn left, not right, or, even more stupidly, that her dying husband doesn’t bother to turn on the right or left light.
Jason was stunned for about 10 seconds, the time it took to stop the car at the light. Maybe Johnny Blue wants to run a red light, but Jason doesn’t.
The shock began to transform into a slow-burning, righteous anger. Who does that woman think she is, to yell at someone who has done nothing wrong? And what the hell does her stupid husband think he’s doing, standing on the sidelines trying to squeeze into high-speed traffic without using his turn signal?
Jason sat at the signal light, knowing the pickup was behind him, he didn’t want to look in the rearview mirror, he just lost his anger. He wondered if the woman was still out of control, screaming and roaring. He knows yes.
He doesn’t want to look.
He could feel his face flush with anger.
Finally, he looked at the rearview mirror, and his emotions began to spiral out of control.
The situation took a turn for the worse.
Jason Sorrell has spent most of his life in New England, and like many local sports-loving kids, he grew up playing hockey and excelled at the sport, earning statewide honors three years in a row in high school. Immediately after high school, he played minor league hockey in Canada for four years, eventually concluding that he had limited talent in hockey and that if he wasn’t serious enough, he would be wasting his youth by chasing an impossible dream.
So after four years in minor league hockey, Jason gave up the sport, a choice he never regretted. But during his sojourn in Moose Jaw, Saskatoon and dozens of other remote Canadian towns, Jason Sorrell discovered that he was not only a good hockey player, but also a good fighter, tall and strong. Be fearless. While he’s mild-mannered when he’s not playing ice hockey, he can be quite brutal in certain situations.
His specialty is the oldest hockey play in the books: Rolling up an opponent’s jersey to wrap his head around his head and slapping his opponent in the butt to settle disputes. It’s the oldest move in hockey because it’s the most effective. And Jason used it to perfection. In the 20 years since he quit hockey, Jason rarely thought about the move and never used it.
But the muscle has built up its memory, like a rogue cancer cell, waiting for the right moment to strike.
Jason couldn’t control himself. He looked in the rearview mirror and had to know if the woman was still yelling. He was right, that stupid woman was still roaring and cursing, the originally delicate facial lines distorted with anger, turned ugly and disgusting. Her reaction was completely out of line, and Jason’s anger continued to ferment. He knows he should just ignore the whole thing and thank God of Ae for never letting him be with such a crazy woman. But even though he kept telling himself to wait for the lights to turn green to drive away, even though he kept persuading himself to do so, he opened the door and strode to the pickup, as if his legs had thoughts of their own.
That’s when he saw a second face. The little boy was strapped to the car seat, just behind his crazy mother’s seat. He was about 4 years old and he was half scared and had no idea what was going on. As soon as he saw that face, Jason knew he was wrong. He turned and walked towards the Mustang, doing what he was supposed to do in the first place – get out of the hell and go home.
But it was too late.
Because the crazy woman was screaming at her husband, calling him a fool and a coward, saying that if he were a man, he should stand up to this idiot hillbilly on a wild horse. The situation didn’t get worse because Jason didn’t care about the crazy woman or what she said to the poor husband.
But then Jason heard that distinctive metallic sound of the doors of the new van opening, the husband got out, and Jason was full of the co-pilot’s harsh cursing, spurring her husband into a fight.
Jason found that successfully implementing the method of “rolling up the opponent’s jersey around his head, then hitting the opponent in the butt” in the first few seconds of the incident was indeed the correct response. But it’s not enough to just grab the jersey by the opponent’s back and yank, because the opponent probably thinks the same way.
His technique is to grab the jersey with his left hand, while shoving the opponent’s waist with his right hand, making the opponent back and down, which is convenient for pulling the jersey over his head, while also allowing the opponent to loosen Jason’s jersey.
While the opponent might throw a punch or two in the interim for a short-term advantage, it doesn’t help, and Jason is free to take it at will until he gets tired of the punch and slides to the penalty area in victory.
Jason once read about Boston Bruins’ veteran tough guy, Derek Sanderson, having the team’s coach sew his jersey to his hockey pants before every game so opponents couldn’t jump on him. It seemed like a good idea, and Jason did the same later.
The scolded husband stepped out of the van, and the roar of the mad woman followed like an infectious disease. Incredibly, she’s still going. Jason turned to face the guy. His physique was bigger than Jason had expected, but his expression was cowering and his posture was decadent, as if his wife had taken time out of his energy. Jason almost felt sorry for the poor bastard.
Until the guy swung his right hand and punched him.
The punch didn’t do much damage, as Jason saw the movement of his punch and feinted, dodging most of the force, but it certainly reignited Jason’s anger. Arguably to fight back, Jason reacted instinctively as if the last 20 years didn’t exist. He reaches behind the guy with his left hand, grabs his Ecko sweatshirt and punches him in the temple.
The man in the Ecko sweatshirt must have never played hockey because it was all too easy. He crossed his arms to resist the blow, and Jason rolled his sweatshirt easily over his head, throwing three uppercuts in the face. Although his face was wrapped in a thick cotton sweatshirt, Jason heard and actually felt the bones in his face crack and even shatter. Did the first punch, the second punch, or the third punch drive the bone fragments into the man’s brain? unknown. Does it actually matter? Dead is dead, the guy never comes back. The fight was over in seconds, five at most. Jason let go and the man was like, um, like a dead man, down on the sidewalk next to his pickup. The sweatshirt slid down, and Jason took a closer look at the third face, bloody, broken, and lifeless. By this time, the lights had turned green, and other cars drove past pickups and Mustangs happily along their paths, and no one stopped to investigate and no one wanted to get involved.
The quiet environment is distracting. The guy’s wife finally stopped chattering and sat stiffly in her seat, staring at Jason as if she didn’t quite understand what just happened. Jason knew how she felt. The only sound was the quiet sobbing of the little boy sitting behind his mother. He was bound and safe, but there was no security to protect him from the horrific sight of his dead father lying in the street.
Finally, a patrol car came to a slow stop behind the crime scene, moving slowly with its lights flashing. The patrolman got out of the car, glanced at the body at Jason’s feet, and called for support and an ambulance. It didn’t take long for Jason to sit in the back seat of the patrol car, handcuffed together, staring blankly at the scene… something just happened here.
The body is now surrounded by technicians, police and paramedics at the crime scene, and the widow and her child have been taken away, but it doesn’t matter and it doesn’t matter. Jason could still see their faces clearly, as if they were right in front of him. He knew he would see their faces all the time.