Car Crash – A Short Story

Her body jerks in abrupt movements as the car whips swiftly across four lanes of traffic, in a quick instant she feels her world fall from underneath her and her mind floods with memories. No one believes that one’s life truly flashes before your eyes when in moments of panic, I beg to differ.

The road was covered with a thin layer of slick rain that happened earlier that day, the skies had cleared and sunshine was made visible in the perfectly blue sky. The minds of the passengers ran with different thoughts; what we were going to have for dinner, who was going to get the shower first and other thoughts that were all happily related to returning home after a weekend away. Within the blink of an eye all thoughts changed and all thoughts matched.

First her body jerked right, and then a quick left after that it repeated. One hand gripped her seat belt, and the other her cell phone. Sitting in the middle of the back seat meant that the security of the chest strap wasn’t an option; her upper body matched the trucks movements, jerk to the right then back to the left. Yet while all this was happening she wasn’t thinking about how quickly her body was moving, what the outcome would be, or the injuries she would endure; at that moment in time she stopped thinking and let her memories play quietly but quickly through her mind.

The truck stopped; of course it seemed like hours when realistically it had been under three minutes. She sat dangling sideways being held in the truck only by her seat belt, glass was shattered around her and it was hard to focus on the surrounding environment. Voices were close but at the same time distant, and the next thing she remembers is the click of her seat belt releasing her and the resulting fall to the side of the truck that lay plastered flat.

Outside of the truck the silence seemed unbearable as she stumbled to the guard rail to look at the accident from a different perspective. Being inside the truck and then being an outsider looking in was like polar opposites. For what she had thought was flat didn’t fit the definition at all. The truck leaned against a now dented guard rail, which marked the start of a thirty foot drop. The world started to come into better focus and she took into consideration both her parents, uninjured, and the rest of her family, who had been traveling behind, and were now at her side.

Her adrenaline kicked in, the funny thing that you read about in papers, the super drug that gives people unbearable strength and a high tolerance to pain. Pushing herself off the guard rail she made her way to the back of the horse trailer that had always been attached to the truck but slightly forgotten in the moment of things. Unhooking the doors and climbing inside, both horses were unloaded and removed from the crumbling piece of equipment that minutes before was as sturdy as could be.

Witnesses ran to her side, trying to make her sit, attempting to take her horse off her hands. She pushed them away politely and continued her journey, away from the accident and up to the farm house that stood just steps away. Greeted at the door the horses were put in an empty pasture and now, since there were no other distractions, it was time to focus on personal injuries.

Glass filled her shirt, her pants, and even her shoes. Small cuts covered her hands, face and back. It was impossible to discharge of the sharp objects without completely stripping down. First her shoes, then her sweater and finally her pants by the time she was done, what seemed like the entire back window, laid on the floor beneath her feet.

Working up the courage, she made her way back down to where her life had just changed drastically. Tears stinging the back of her eyes, she glanced over the truck, trailer, witnesses, and of course the car that caused this whole mistake. Using all her strength she put one foot in front of the other and stood waiting for the moments to follow.

The days to follow were almost as scary as the accident. Having to find the courage to revisit the accident site and the now destroyed trailer was painful but finding the strength to repeat her story, and deal with the comments that were said through others eyes, was close to impossible. Every time she closed her eyes, the scene flashed before her and every time her eyes were open she looked out into her now empty back yard, where the equipment used to sit. Day after day the memories continued to catch her off guard.

Courage, mistakes, and pushing through a hard event were three things she constantly thought about. How could she get through the day if the accident was constantly nagging for her attention? Assuming the only way to get over the accident was to revisit the scene she sat in her car, keys in hand. Minutes ticked by, memories continued to flash and then she slipped the key easily into the engine and slowly made her way out of the lane.

Five quick turns and she was just seconds away from the place that changed her life. She rounded up to the top of the small road, to relive the memory in an identical motion. Hands gripping the steering wheel, foot hovering above the brake and eyes glued to her surrounding she slowly faced her fears one kilometre at a time.

The first time was hard, the second time was harder, but the third time well it proved to be impossible. Just as she rounded the corner one last time, to prove to herself she could face her fears, a hard sharp rain started pounding from the sky. Instantly she slammed her brakes, gripped the wheel and closed her eyes. The last thing she remembers was a small car veering out of control towards her and glass shattering around her as the world went dark.

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