That's not me. The person with contorted legs barely visible by the now deflated air bags. That's not me. The person whose head hit against the passenger window leaving a circular crack in the glass of the passenger door like a red spider web. That's not me. The limp frame that can not move. That's not me!
The person slumped over the steering wheel, blood coated on olive skin like a new crimson overcoat. That' s not you. Moments ago when you were driving and we were singing. Before, when we had the radio blasting, vogueing to Top 40. Moments ago we were still on the road, not pushed into the guard rail. Moments ago I felt safe. Now, as I watch the smoke fill up in the car I feel anything but.
I felt the crush. The crush of metal, the scraping as we went into the barrier. The shriek you gave out before the car pushed up against it further. I try to move my hand over to yours but my arms don't budge. Every part of my body feels likes its covered in stone. I feel disconnected and detached from myself. Every nerve wants to twitch and spasm, I want to raise my voice so loud that I can break wine glasses miles away. But I am immobile.
My consciousness has run away – it has removed itself from this wreckage, pulled away from my body. I'm drawn outside of myself, I feel myself drift away - pearing down and hovering from a distance. My vantage point is outside of the car – as if I am standing by the other side of the guard rail. My entity deviating from my body; floating into the air like the smoke rising from the flames. I'm dissociated from the scene . Out of this bruised and beat up shield of flesh and skin, I am no longer here. I'm not here anymore.
Time stands still.
I can't tell if a few minutes or hours has passed before a women walks over to your side and bangs on the window. I can't hear her but I know she's screaming. But you fail to respond – finger tips still stretched over the silver dashboard. She keeps banging but I can hear nothing. Silence has surrounded me like vacant space. I call to her but she doesn't hear me. I feel invisible. I feel deaf, I feel mute, I feel frozen, I feel everything, I feel nothing. I hate her. I don't know her but I hate her. She did this. Her Red Dodge charging in your Freestar. She calls to you again. You don't answer. Wake up! She has no visible bruises. Wake up! We are left with nothing but ruin. Wake up! I want you to wake and tell me it's okay so I can merge back into my physical structure and hold you. I want you to hold me, to shake me awake. I want this to be over. I want to wake up. She reaches in her pocket and takes out her cell phone.
My thoughts are pacing and my breath is uneasy. Cars pass us by. I scream for them but there is no sound. I don't like this feeling. Two men in navy blue with badges that shimmer in the street light walk towards us. No, the timeline is off. First the ambulance came. Maybe they came together? Everything feels like it's happening quickly and not at all – at the same time but like a dream as well. I feel trapped. I feel like a stranger that's unwelcome to my own reality.
The girl is sobbing, hands entwined in reddish brown locks, her face looks mortified as she talks to the EMTs. They nod as they listen but their eyes are focused on the car. They try opening your door but quickly realize the guard rail is so embedded into the hood that they can only crack it ajar. The hood looks like crumpled paper. I don't hear the scrapping of the metal as they pull but I can imagine it. I can imagine this orchestra of tragedy composed of the ambulance and the patrol cars sirens, the scrapping of the metal, the sobbing of the other driver, the screaming that I'm trying to belt out. I imagine it all around around me.
With a crowbar and the jaws of life they yank your door open. One of them reaches for the seat belt and helps your limp frame out of it, holding you in his arms like he's cradling Swarovski crystals. He knows how to move through the air bags and shards of glass meticulously like a surgeon moving quickly and precise. He's a pro. How many times has he done this? How could he witness this over and over? I can't even get through it once.
He places you on the road and works on you. Light blue gloves on your chest as he pumps down. He begins to count. I lip read his words. One. Two. Three. Four. I didn't thank you enough for home cooked dinners. I should have danced with you every chance I got. Five. Six. Seven. All those times I chose to sleep in late or hang out with friends over having conversations with you. I have so much to learn from you. Our family history and what your life was before me. Eight. Nine. Ten. And I selfishly want to hear about how your life was changed for the better when you had me. Eleven. Twelve. Thirteen. You can't leave me. You can't Leave me. Fourteen. Fifteen. Sixteen. When was the last time I told you I loved you? Are you proud of who I have become? Seventeen. An arm reaches out from the back of the car for me. They can't take my body away from yours. I will not leave your side. Eighteen. Nineteen. I'm not afraid to die, I am afraid to be without you. I'm afraid to lose you. I can't lose you! Twenty. Twenty-one. Twenty-two. I can't remain on an astral plane that you don't exist in. I will tug on and follow the red string of fate back to you. I wasn't the best daughter but I will be better. I will love better. I will be less selfish. You can't leave me. Twenty three. Twenty four. Twenty five. More hands reach for my body but I'm still not in that shell. I've become a hermit, leaving my space, waiting for you to join me on either this realm or the next.
I imagine that the string that connects us reflects our relationship. Though we squabble, though we sometimes throw words like Malatov cocktails, I will forever be where you are. However tattered, broken or strained our relationship is, the connecting force between us, the symbolic red string of fate will always bring me close to you. I will bargain with every deity – take my left arm – I only need one. Take years off my life in replace for more of yours. Take everything from me, if I can keep you close.
Your hand twitches.
He stops to smile. He leans his ear closer to your mouth and his fingers glides under the collar of your black turtleneck. They bring out the gurney. Relief feels like cold water on a summer's night.
You mumble my name. Its the only thing I hear. You call to me like a soothing lullaby. All the surrounding noises flooding - overwhelming me. I bring my focus to my body – still on asphalt by the guard rail. Two EMT s keep trying. Counting. One sighs and looks down. She moves her hand and places it on the others shoulder but he keeps pumping down on my chest. He doesn't stop. His counting is haunting - rough and raspy.
I didn't focus on myself this whole time. I dissociate myself from my own revival. It seems trivial to focus on me when I want only the best for you. The defibrillator makes a jolting sound as it charges up.
I wanted only for you to be happy. With ever cell in my body, I love you. I will always love you. My savings is under the ring divider in my jewelry box. It's okay. I feel something. It feels like deep breaths. I feel calm. Like tranquility fluttering around me. I keep hearing my name. Over and Over. Louder and Louder. Clear.
My eyes bolt opens as I gasp. The air tastes like rust and smoke. My head feels heavy and weighed down on the cold floor. The Autumn air feels raw on my open wounds.
“It's okay.” The male EMT crouched over me and said. “You're both okay.”
It's okay. It's safe to breath now. I feel at peace.