The black cocktail dress was cliché but appropriate. Dena thumbed the pearls fastened around her neck as she sighed, and looked towards the full length mirror. She didn’t want to go but forced herself to oblige her husband. She met him at the venue since he was coming directly from the hospital.
Words the doctor slung around with his colleagues buzzed around her like irritating flies. She hoped her face didn’t give away annoyance. Instead she worked hard to fall right in step with rising laugher, topic shifts, and serious tone highlights. She tried not to yawn. The wine that sloshed around her third Bordeaux glass slightly numbed her exasperation.
It was time to go home. In five short blocks Dena could slip into her favorite baby doll nightie, and dive head first between king sized 1500 thread count cotton sheets. Driving home she yawned and closed her eyes a little. She was definitely buzzed but not drunk. She didn’t recognize the impact for a few moments. She hadn’t hit a car. Maybe it was a deer. That would be strange since she was surrounded by industrial buildings.
Dena had been riding too close to the bike lane. The biker Dena hit, a college student at Notre Dame, died instantly. After the police arrived on the scene a breathalyzer confirmed the illegal amount of wine in Dena’s system. She was eventually convicted of involuntary manslaughter, and is currently serving twenty years in prison. Intermittently, Dena is visited by her three daughters and husband.