Broken Pavement

January 29, 2012
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I barely had time to make out the blur of her arm racing towards my chest. The back of her hand beat against my body causing me to catch my breath from both the shock and pain in the same instant. She screamed my name, but it was too late. I became more and more blinded as I turned my neck to meet the blazing headlights at my window. My brain went numb, but my foot drove into the gas pedal hoping to escape the inevitable.
We were beaten - absolutely pounded. My eyes shut impulsively to the beat of the strike. A clap of thunder struck my eardrums, filling them to the point I was sure they’d burst. The steering wheel was ripped from within the tight grip of my palms as my entire body, although unwilling, thrust toward the passenger side of the car as if gravity itself were pulling from my left. Pain surged throughout my chest and waist as the seatbelt fought to constrain my lifted body. My mind had drained from all thought and intelligence. I became emotionless - almost unconscious. I had surrendered to a force unknown.
My lids flew open as soon as I’d been positive we were no longer moving. As I gained perception, my focus concentrated on the only thing I cared about in that moment – Becca. I jerked my head to the passenger seat where she sat. Our eyes met. I watched a single tear fall from her eye and then trickle down her cheek. An overwhelming tremor of cold and guilt cascaded from my neck down my spine as goose bumps appeared by the hundreds on my arms and legs. I felt her icy fingers cover my clammy palm, and used the back of my other to wipe away tears I hadn’t even known had fallen.

Terror overcome me as I began to comprehend we were still sitting in the center of the intersection. Noticing the danger that still existed, I ordered Becca to get out of the car, and tried to open my door. But it wouldn’t budge. I jerked the handle brutally in and out with more speed as my panic increased. I felt my chest tighten, and the anxiety fill my lungs. I began to hyperventilate while feeling stuck and hopeless. Frantic, I looked for another way out, leading myself to Becca’s motions to crawl toward her open car door.
Standing on my feet, amidst the cold December air, my legs and hands shook violently. I looked to the car who’d hit us, idling in another lane of traffic. Glass and pieces of their car were scattered along the pavement leading my eyes to the front of the car that seemed to have been folded like an accordion. The door flew open, and out-stepped a woman already on her cell phone. Alive.
I looked to my best friend, who wrapped her arms tightly around my shoulders. Alive.
I cupped my face into my hands, and buried my head into her sweatshirt. My shoulders shook with each sob I muffled. She whispered softy and soothingly, “It’s okay, Logan. We’re all okay. You’re alive.”
Suddenly, I wasn’t so sure. I looked down at the chipped, yellow paint lined on the pavement. I imagined the pieces of paint removed from the once complete line as pieces of myself I was leaving behind.

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