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My mom does that motion where she flings her arm back shoving me into my seat of the car. It’s as if she things the slightest stop will kill me instantly. Her face is pale white and just staring. We both watch in disbelief as a small dog darts across the road. No, no. We did not hit the poor thing. But the truck ahead of us sure did. Call me morbid but it was slightly fascinating. Call it animal cruelty, but the dog ran in front of the truck. There was no swerving directly into the animal. I let out a blood curdling scream as the dog spun around the tire into midair. What really shocked me was the body was not bloody nor imprinted. Just dead– limp.

My mother and I tried hard to find the owners. We knocked on doors, screamed at random strangers, but couldn’t find anyone to take claim of this corpse. Then, we saw a group of college kids. The girl, resembling a Barbie doll with blonde hair and a tan, sees the dog and is in complete shock. One of the three guys holds the limp body, and the tongue sticks out. By now, the girl is wailing.

“We lost him. He ran away. I just rescued him from the pound!” She cried, “Maybe he still has a pulse. I was a veterinarian’s assistant. I’ll check.”

Frantically, she laid in the dirt and gravel with the corpse. Her head was pressed against the matted fur. A finger was searching for a pulse. My mother kept telling her, “He’s dead. There’s no bringing him back.”

However, she believed she was Jesus reincarnated apparently. She opened the dog’s mouth and began to give it mouth-to-mouth. As she pulled away, the dog still had the expressionless face and its tongue hung out. I glared at my mother, who just looked as if she could care less at this point. My mother returned a glance, jingled her keys, and we walked back to the car. There was no chance in Hell that we were watching this girl try to revive a hopelessly dead seven pound dog.

To watch someone or something die sticks with a person. Whether that something is someone close to you or a complete stranger. That person could be the most heartless person, but it will still stay in the back of their head for a good while. The fact is to witness something, within a split second, vanish. It’s the fact that it can’t be controlled. We fear dying yet it’s all around us. For a few days after seeing the dog die, it stuck with me. The final look on its face. But I have to ask myself, perhaps the dog is better off? I mean, these people did not look very responsible for themselves let alone another living creature.

In all honesty, it was depressing. Although I had dealt with my sister’s death years ago, this affected me a lot more. This I saw; I understood. The next week I spiraled into this stage where I questioned nearly everything in its entirety.

“Mom,” I asked, “didn’t that affect you at all?”

When I asked this to my mother, who was just sitting there tapping her fingers impatiently on the steering wheel, she didn’t seem to care. Her face held no emotion. I didn’t really know what to expect. It was a stupid question that I probably shouldn’t have asked. She just looked at me, telling me that she knows what it’s like to lose someone you love. The song on the radio suddenly stopped, we both got quiet, and I just sat there feeling awkward. I guess I just never saw what she did. My whole family went through this giant ordeal, but I can honestly say I feel nothing about the topic. I was only six years old. When I was little I cried, sure, but now I feel numb about it.

Maybe that’s not healthy. Perhaps I should feel something. Bitter? No. Depressed? No. Angsty? Not in the slightest. If anything, it is irritating. Each time people apologize as if they murdered her. As if they knew her; as if they knew me. They don’t, and I like it that way. The distance is for my sanity and the sanity of others’.

I remember when it first happened. As a kid, I really couldn’t understand the concept of death or how severe it is. The same day she died, I begged to go to school. The school’s guidance counselor was at my house, asking if I was sure. No one really expected me to go back so fast because usually a kid finds whatever excuse they can to miss school. But, I went. I’ll never forget when the teacher gave us a bathroom break, and I was answering questions about everything to my friends. We were in kindergarten, and all we did was treat it like another story to tell. It was a grown-up thing, and that made it so much more interesting.

I remember my parents going to court against my grandmother’s ex-husband. They never really explained it in great detail. I just know how they used to tell me that he was the one who gave her the pills, and if he wasn’t such a lowlife that this wouldn’t have happened. I remember when he went to jail, and how we celebrated justice at dinner.

Each person on this planet will eventually meet their downfall. Whether it is in a day, a year, or a few decades. We become so uncertain about what is going on around us. There is only us and fate. The paths we choose are inevitable. Yet, people hold onto each grasp of hope they can find. As a whole, society has morphed dramatically. Plastic surgeons are getting more and more business each year. The aging process is trying to be prevented as much as possible.

Society is trying to swerve around the course of life.

I sit in the car paying attention only to my phone. Within a second, I feel my body slide in the back seat and my mother swear under her breath. My dad scolds her for being so careless and not paying attention. In confusion, I look behind us to see what happened. I see the tire tracks left in a bent line, and animal tracks running through them. I sit back down and sigh.

And it seems like we’re all fixated on how we want to go.

I listen to two girls bicker on what the best way to die is. The chubby blonde rolls her eyes, “Why does it matter how I die? I’ll be dead. Who cares.”

“Um, I just want to die in my sleep. I don’t want to be in pain or a bloody mess,” her redheaded friend glances to the side.

Yet, barely anyone seems to care what happens after we’re born and before we die.

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