Crash - Memories

A terrible, painful, burning sensation ran over my entire body as the vehicle collided with me. I hadn’t noticed it until it was only too late. I was in a hurry to return home. I stayed far too late after school, distracted by… well… that wasn’t important, and I was worried for my sister, concerned about what might happen if I wasn’t there with her. Perhaps I should have been alerted of the out-of-control car skidding in the rain, when shrieks had filled the air, warning me of the danger I was in. But it was too late.

My cheek was pressed against the cold asphalt, becoming damp from the rain that gathered in puddles. My hair clung to my forehead as the raindrops continued to fall from the sky. I dully noted the many screams and shouts, but it was only background noise. I took a deep sigh and closed my eyes slowly, and I think I could feel something warm running down my legs and forehead. But I couldn’t be sure as to what it was. Ahh...I’m sorry. I couldn’t keep my promise...

...I remember that day. It was warm...the first pleasant day that had come that year. The sun was shining and gently beat down upon our backs as I lazily stretched out across the large table cloth. My mom spread out the three plates on the cloth as my dad began to take out the sandwiches.

“Mommy?” I asked cutely, pushing myself up.

“Hmm?” She reached in the hand woven basket - one that I had made with her weeks before.

“After lunch, can we go and take a walk? Can we catch the butterflies? Can we-” My dad cut me off with a laugh. “One thing at a time, don’t get ahead of your self yet.” My mom smiled and continued, “There aren’t even any butterflies yet!”

I pouted. “Then when will they come, Mommy?” My dad ruffled my hair with a grin. “Not for a few weeks. But expect to see them soon! Now, let’s get eating!” I giggled and reached for a sandwich...

...It must have been a couple years later. I sat on the ground, my eyes glued to the screen. I watched the brightly colored dragons soar in the sky while I chewed on my cereal absentmindedly. Only did a few shouts distract me from the show. I pulled my attention away from the television, glancing at the door. From behind it, I could hear loud, raised voices. Confused, I opened the door. Walking to the source of the sound, I came across my mom and dad in the kitchen with angry looking expressions on their faces. They immediately stopped when they saw me standing there.

My mom quickly glanced at the clock, pulling my hand to the door. “Ah! If we don’t leave now, I’ll be late for work!” I had almost forgotten about going to daycare…

“Mommy?” I asked while she opened the car door.

“What is it?” I sat down in my car seat while she strapped on my seat belt.

“Why were you and Daddy talking in loud voices?”

She looked away and didn’t say anything for a while. Then my mom turned back and smiled. “Daddy and I were just having a disagreement. Don’t worry about it.”

And yet…even at that age, I knew something was wrong…

…I sat, huddled on the top of the stairs with my arms wrapped around my younger sister. She had been born four years before. I remember how she used to be a little ball of innocent sunshine. Now, she was shaking, whimpering, her eyes beginning to water. The enraged shouts from my parents reverberated throughout the house. I wanted to run down to the kitchen and scream for them to stop, but I was so scared. So scared… I could only remain on the stairs, and wrap my arms tighter around my sister. She clutched her worn teddy bear in her arms. My Dad and I… We picked it out of a shop for her when she was born. The memory of it overwhelmed me as salty liquid began to trickle out of my eyes.

Why didn’t I do something…

…That day, my parents both left the house. They argued. It got so bad that day. My mom left first, slamming the door behind her, driving off with one of the cars without another word. My dad left minutes afterwards, driving off in the opposite direction, leaving my sister and I alone in the house. I gently pushed open the door with two bowls of cinnamon ice cream in my hand. I never understood why, but my sister and I adored this ice cream. I homemade them from a recipe from the internet. I never got a chance to ask my parents about what they thought about it. They were never around for me to ask, and they never seemed like they were in the mood.

My sister sat on the floor with a dusty photo album in front of her. She clutched a frame in her hands. She looked up at me with a weak smile. I silently offered her a bowl of cinnamon ice cream, which she accepted. She ate it slowly, almost as if savoring the taste.
She flipped the page of the album to a picture of us, all of us, together, laughing. My heart felt a pang of nostalgia. Those times were now long gone. My sister gently removed the picture from the flaps that held it to the book and opened the back of the frame. Slipping the picture inside, she closed the back and looked at it. She placed it on her night table.

We sat there eating the homemade ice cream in silence.

“Sis?”

“Yeah?”

“Promise you won’t leave me.”

“…I promise.”

Everything hurt. Everything, but not as much as the pain in my heart. I felt tired. The edge of my vision was becoming spotted and blurry. I could faintly hear my name in the background, but I couldn’t make out the speaker. I was being lifted - onto a stretcher? I closed my eyes slowly, with the faint thought in the back of my mind that I might never open them again. I’m sorry… I’m so sorry that I broke my promise.





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