“Someone’s coming,” Dan hissed.
Jimmy instinctively flattened himself against the ground. Then he wondered what good that was supposed to do. He wasn’t trying to hide his body, he was trying to hide the body that was under the car.
He got up on his knees and continued looking under the car. “Think it might be the muffler?” He spoke a little too loudly.
“Maybe. Let me get my tools out of the back of the van. See if I have something that can help us out with this.” Dan’s voice was also a little louder than it needed to be. Jimmy resisted the urge to glance around and see if anyone was noticing.
Dan rummaged around in the back of the van for a while. Jimmy knew Dan had a tool box down there. He also knew it was within easy reach and there was no reason for Dan to spend so long back there. He was killing time.
Jimmy’s mind raced. What could they do? There were people around. They couldn’t risk moving the body. Or moving the truck, for that matter. They had already decided they couldn’t report it. Dan would go to jail for manslaughter and that just couldn’t happen. He had a family to provide for. He had kids.
So now Jimmy was stuck in this mess with him.
After what seemed like hours, Dan reappeared on the other side of the truck with his tools. He handed a few to Jimmy at random and they both made themselves look busy while the body just lay there between them.
“I have an idea,” Jimmy whispered. “Why don’t we leave it all here and come back tonight, when no one’s around? We can move it then.”
“It’s too risky. What if someone comes along and finds it?”
“We could report the van stolen. Claim someone else was driving it when it ran him over.”
“Then I’d have to lose everything in it, or it would look suspicious. Besides, it’s too close to home. I don’t think they’d believe anyone stole it and parked it just a few blocks away.”
“What if it wasn’t stolen from your house? What if you had taken your car out of town when it got stolen?”
“Then how would I have gotten home?”
Jimmy shrugged. “You called a friend to give you a ride home.”
Dan didn’t say anything for a while, which Jimmy knew meant he was thinking it over. They both continued to go through the motions of working a car that had nothing wrong with it while Dan came to a decision.
“Need some help?” Jimmy turned his head to see a middle-aged man standing behind him, smiling broadly and holding his hands on his hips, as though assessing the problem.
“No, thanks.” Jimmy waved a hand at the stranger in what he hoped was a casually dismissive gesture. “We got this covered.”
“I’m pretty good when it comes to cars. Been working on them for more than thirty years.”
“Thanks, but we’ve put so much time into this car, we know it like the backs of our hands. It’ll just take us a minute to get this sorted out.”
“All right.” The man held up his hands, palms facing outward. “Just thought I’d offer. You have a good day, now.”
“Thanks. You, too.” Jimmy’s voice squeaked like a teenager’s. He cleared his throat and turned back to face Dan. They exchanged a look under the car that said That was close.
“I don’t have the right tools for this here,” Dan announced. “We’ll need to go back to my place to pick up some things.”
Jimmy nodded, picked himself up off the ground, and followed Dan as he made his way onto the sidewalk and walked briskly away from the van, tool box in hand. “What are we doing?” Jimmy whispered while trying to look casual.
“We’re reporting it stolen. I don’t care about the stuff back there, I just want to get as far away from here as we can get.”
“That guy saw us.”
“Yeah, but he doesn’t know our names. He doesn’t even know if we own the truck. Better to risk him telling someone than stick around and let more people see us. We just have to leave it.”
Jimmy nodded as they rounded a corner, leaving the van out of sight.