in the blink of an eye, it was gone.
the laughter, the warmth. the feeling of safety.
gone. evaporated. non-existent.
with trembling fingers, she touched her forehead, feeling something liquid and sticky run down the side of her face. a shallow breath escaped her lips.
when did this screaming pain start?
she could not remember. she could not remember at all.
she opened her eyes, tried to focus, raised her hand to her face, concentrating, only to find her fingertips covered in blood.
what is this? where am i?
a blurry shape appeared out of the fog; no matter how much she strained her eyes, she couldn’t focus enough to make out the face staring down at her. she hurt, bad… an agony increased by demanding hands gripping her shoulders, shaking her slightly. the stranger screamed at her. she tried to tell the person to stop, but all her throat could manage was a weak sigh.
if only the noise would stop… it’s too loud!
she turned her head in frustration… and then, she saw it.
through the blood and tears in her eyes, she could make out the smoking wreck of his car. a single sneaker lay on the asphalt, as if carelessly tossed aside. it sat in a sea of shattered glass, metal scraps mixing with something dark and liquid, escaping from underneath the car. through the shattered window, she could see him… the back of his head; his left arm, torn, misshapen, bloody.
he wasn’t moving.
why isn’t he moving?
the stranger, still with her, redoubled his efforts. she did not understand why he would try to hurt her so; he was no longer shaking her, but pressing down on her chest, hard, frequently. it hurt. it hurt bad.
her lips no longer moving, her gaze locked tight on the motionless form in the car, she tried to make sense of all the chaos around her. she couldn’t sort it out.
he had smiled at her, just a second ago. that, she remembered. such a beautiful smile. she had been laughing, too.
and to the sound of a siren drawing closer, the painful, frantic pumping on her chest, her eyesight faded… and she slid, very slowly, into nothingness, the memory of his smile still fresh on her mind.