A story of March 4th, the day my friend Kyle (main character) lost his mother and friend
"Why?" I shriek with my wind-chapped lips shrouded in a mask of tears. Teetering on the precipice, I raise my eyes to the sky, searching for an answer. The wind dances across the gorge, playfully lapping at my hair. I can almost hear their laughter in the echo of my sorrow. I fall to my knees, my shoulders shaking with every breath.
My tears fall onto the earth, marring the barren landscape. I run my hands along the gravel, desperate to rid myself of the fiery numbness I had come to know. As a rock slices through the fragile skin of my palm, I let out a gasp. Cradling my fist in my uninjured hand, I watch as my blood trickles from my palm, mixing with the solemn stain that my tears had left just moments before. Closing my eyes, my mind wanders back to that day.
The sound of metal on metal surrounded me. The smell of burning flesh wafted towards my nose as the haunting image of my mother staring blankly into the night encased my vision. I heard my littlest sister, Amie, and my friend's brother, Chadwell, cry from the backseat, trying to escape from the flaming car. I shook my mother's shoulder, trying in vain to get her to wake up from her permanent slumber. Realizing it was a lost cause, I unbuckled my seatbelt and climbed out the window of the crushed passenger side door.
The world spun under my feet as I tried to understand what I was seeing. Flames licked the side of our car as Amie and Chadwell crawled out from the wreckage. I looked across the road to see the drunk driver that had hit our car just moments before lying in the road. It then registered to me that I hadn't seen my middle sister, Ashlee, or my best friend Pasha. I raced back to the mangled heap of metal, desperate to see their faces. I peered through the shattered window and see only blackness.
I turned from the totaled car to see their silent bodies lying on the road. I rushed to Ashlee's side, kneeling next to her bruised figure. I placed my ear next to her chest and held my breath, praying that she hadn't fallen prey to the same fate as my mother. I heard the quiet thump-thump of her heart, and I let out a sigh of relief. Confident that she would be all right, I sprinted across the road to Pasha's side and froze in horror at the sight that lay before me. There was a trail of blood leading from the car to his body. His face was covered in blood and his skull was dented. His arm was twisted at an odd angle and I could barely hear the shallow gasps of breath that escaped his mouth. Blood trickled from the corner of his mouth and the ground began to lurch beneath my feet.
I looked back to the sight of the wreck and saw that the flames had begun to spread. Amie and Chadwell were still lying on the ground next to the car, staring at the sky. A car pulled over and a man dressed in a leather jacket and loose fitting jeans ran over to me.
"Th-there's been an a-accident" I muttered dumbly.
"I know, I called 911, they'll be here soon"
I nodded, looking back to Pasha. My stomach heaved and the Good Samaritan ran to assist my mother whom he had noticed was still trapped in the car. The smell of blood drifted through the air as the man dragged her from her seat and laid her gently on the asphalt. The man raced back to me and asked me if there was anyone I could call.
"My f-father. I need to call my dad. Oh, God. What am I going to tell him?" I sobbed.
The man gave me his phone and I punched in my father's cell phone number. It rang three times before he finally picked up.
"Hello?" He said, not recognizing the man's number.
"Dad", I said, as calmly as I could. "Dad, there's been an accident on Old Jacksonville Highway. You need to come right now, Mom and Ashlee and Pasha are hurt. Please hurry."
I gave him directions to our location as I tried to stay calm, every once in a while glancing towards my mother, sister, and Pasha. I heard the sirens in the distance and sank to my knees, dropping the man's phone on the bloodied asphalt. My father's car pulled up right as the ambulances and police cars did the same. Sobbing, he raced to my mother's lifeless body.
"Dana? Dana, sweetheart, answer me" he said, caressing her bruised and broken face.
His sobs filled the night as the police escorted him away from his wife's body. The paramedics tried to assist me but I waved them away.
"You need to help Pasha. Please. And Ashlee, please help her" I told them, my voice void of any emotion.
They gently placed Pasha on a stretcher and rushed him to the nearest ambulance. Chadwell, now on his feet, rushed to the ambulance and hopped into the car with Pasha. The vehicle sped away, sirens blaring. As soon as they placed Ashlee on a stretcher, my father ushered me into the ambulance with her, as he needed to be with Amie and my mother.
I jumped into the back of the ambulance with my unconscious sister and looked through the window just in time to see my mother being placed in a body bag. We drove away just as they zipped up the bag. I looked down at my sister, my tears spilling over onto her cheeks. I gave her a kiss on her forehead, vowing that I would make sure she was okay.
We arrived at the hospital just in time to see Pasha being whisked away to the operating room, surrounded by doctors with grim looks plastered on their faces. They took my sister away to prepare her for emergency surgery to repair her broken wrist, arm, vertebrae and ribs, her ruptured spleen, and her dislocated hip. Despite my protests, they took me to an examination room where I was cleared with minor bruises. I was then moved to a private waiting room with Chadwell, Amie, and my father.
The minutes felt like hours and I found myself glancing at the clock far too often, waiting for any kind of news regarding Pasha or Ashlee. Years seemed to pass before a doctor finally walked into our silent waiting room. We all stood up abruptly, desperate to hear any sort of news about our loved ones. His face was grim and my heart dropped to my shoes.
"I'm Dr. Steven Gale. Ashlee is out of surgery, and she will be fine, but she is still in critical condition. I am sorry to say that Pasha's injuries were too great. We did all that we could, but he didn't make it."
My heart stopped. I couldn't comprehend the words that had just been uttered. Pasha had to be okay. He was only 18. He couldn't be dead. Screams filled the room as Chadwell and Amie understood what Dr. Gale had just said. I turned around, sending my fist into the wall. I repeatedly punched the wall, screaming that this isn't fair. The pain brought to my hand by the blows it had taken brought me back to reality. I turned my back to the wall and collapsed to the ground, shaking and crying.
I gasped for air as my heart wrenched itself into two shattered pieces. I refused to believe that I had lost my mother and best friend because of some asshole's stupid decision to get behind the wheel after he had one too many. That my mother had swerved the car so that the oncoming driver would hit her instead of the kids in her car but died in the action. That I still had their blood on my hands. That it wasn't me who died. My father ran over to me and held me in his arms. He began rocking me back and forth and I cried.
"I want to wake up!" I yelled. "Please just wake me up!"
I open my eyes and come back to the present. With my blood still seeping from the gash on my palm, I get to my feet. I walk closer to the edge of the cliff, peering over the edge. I gaze once more to the sky, searching the clouds for an answer of why they had to die and I had to live. Realizing there would be none, I raise my arms. Closing my eyes, I take a deep breath and step off of the edge.
Tumbling down towards the earth below, I smile. The wind whistles past my face, bringing new tears to my eyes that cascade across my still bruised face. My body flips and I am staring at the sky. I hear a sickening thump and everything goes silent. The smell of blood fills the air and I am aware of an eerie calm washing over my body as I feel the golden sun kiss my skin. I can barely make out the lonely cry of a mockingbird as my vision begins to fade. The oaks trees sway in the autumn breeze as I sort through my tangled thoughts. I'll see you soon, Mom.