Written for Diane Freese's Micro-Fiction Contest. Prompt = a family tragedy
|In ten seconds, she would be dead.
I gave her the finger, my eyes narrowing in a specific disgust reserved for such idiot drivers. She diverted her attention from the road to glare back at me with that same misplaced malice.
Because she never saw the tractor trailer, never glimpsed even a moment of the impending crash, her last visage was one of hate.
And her last sight was of my hating face.
We never knew one another, not even for the length of a clumsy introduction at a mutual friend's party, not even as co-workers across some empty office space, not even in that temporary camaraderie fashioned waiting in line at the grocery store. I'd never seen her before - not even the one time I could have, right after they'd cut me from her stomach, taken me away and made us strangers.
I think I realized who she was at the instant of the impact. It was then I knew something else as well: there are no strangers, and hate is an illusion.
I'll never hate that way again.