Stop Light

February 26, 2010
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The cup of Mountain Dew was cold against her hand and the box of food from Taco Bell was warming her thigh. I think they put extra ice in this, she thought, of course, save money, duh. Her family was heading home for the evening and just about to hit the highway, but, there had to be that one traffic light that never fails to stop them. Maybe we’ll get lucky this…..wonderful, she thought as the car came to a close to immediate halt right behind a mini van. At this rate my homework is never going to get done. Well, at least I’ve got some entertainment while my brother and dad are still going at each other. Oh wow, that was a little harsh daddy, dontcha think?

She looked out her window at a small daycare center that was just letting the little children go for the evening, and spotted a young woman attempting to put her kids in the car. Dang lady, you look like you should be studying for a final, not taking your kids to McDonalds! And you really should be paying attention to what your little boy is doing there, and yelling at him isn’t going to help. In case you haven’t noticed, there aren’t any fences keeping him from the highway. She continued to watch the little rascal run laps around his young mother and watched her mouth form words she could only assume were orders, in which case, they meant nothing to the child. Lady, I really think you need to be paying some closer attention to your boy, and is this light EVER going to let us go? Some time this millennium would be nice! She took a quick glance at the stop light dangling from the wire and guessed correctly, it still had not changed, so she went back to observing the little rapscallion dancing around his mother.

You silly little brat, I would’ve put you in the car……umm, lady, Lady! Are you paying attention?! There are no fences! Oh damn! The little boy had managed to completely get away from his mother and got to the edge of the road. No way little bit! she thought as she unbuckled her seatbelt and kept total watch on the boy and passing cars. The child took two steps onto the gum-covered pavement.

Hang on there!

The seatbelt was off her shoulder.

One more playful step.

Dear God No!

The cup of Mountain Dew long forgotten in the floor board.

The car door was flung open.

One little leap-frog jump.

No kid! Oh please no cars!

A jump from the seat and a quick sprint to the destination.

A sudden alerting honk of a horn.

Screeching tires.

STOP!

A feel of a tiny windbreaker and flaying arms.

Feet beating hard against asphalt.

Impulsive pain rushed through her entire legs.

AHH! GOD!

A desperate throw to safety.

The cry of a scraped knee.

The car had come too fast from behind her, maybe the driver was trying to beat the clock and be on time for work before he was fired. She lay on the pavement, arms sprawled out from the throw, and legs caught under the hot tires. What happened?…. Am I dead? What about the kid?…. I hear yelling. Oh God,… my legs, are they on fire?…. I can’t see.

The mother, her father and brother, and the man who drove the victimizing cruiser all stood around her, either too horrified at what they just saw, or too afraid to move her for fear of injuring her more; she wasn’t moving. Will someone please get this…..behemoth of a car off of my legs? I’m awake you… know. Wait, they can’t….hear me, I’m not talking. Ah, that car must’ve given me a……concussion, I can’t….think straight…… or…..what’s wrong……I can’t……no….

Her mind swam into blackness for only an instant, and she gained back her control. Oh man, please don’t…do that again. Wait, what’s that? Someone’s yelling…..my dad? Why is….what do you mean…..I shouldn’t have saved him? Ugh…..my head….What? Daddy, that was my choice, not…..you made her cry, you….oh my gosh, someone help me up, Please! Her dad and the child’s mother stood there over her, tears in both of their eyes, arguing over why she should or should not have saved him. So what if he was playing around…..he’s a toddler, what….do you expect? Wait, sirens, Oh THANK YOU! Thank you so much!

The ambulance pulled up into the daycare’s parking lot, right next to the accident. The paramedics rushed out, equipment in hand. She could barely feel something similar to someone checking her pulse and fingers pressing against various areas of her body. Ok, I get you need to be all professional….but could you PLEASE… get this… Damn Car Off Of Me! What?….FINALLY! Her dad, brother, the driver, and the male paramedic all pitched in and slowly lifted the vehicle off of and pushed away from her legs. I can’t believe how wonderful….that feels…..No wait, Stop! Ahh! The paramedics moved her to her back and put her onto the stretcher; her legs felt as though they were going to fall off at any time. The pain….it’s….torture, please stop. I still can’t talk….I don’t…..no…not again. The blackness in her mind returned, attempting to cover up the pain, and it worked for another instant, but her mind was strong willed and determined to discover one more thing. The paramedics had her inside the ambulance and beginning to hook almost every part of her body up to a wire of some odd sort. I…need to…talk, but how? I can figure this out….just…open…..your mouth….. The concentration was excruciating, but rewarded.

“Please, tell me….is the kid ok?”

“Yes, he’s just fine,” was her professional sounding answer; it was just enough. She took a big, though struggled sigh, and smiled.





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