Shivering, I reached out and traced the spiderwebbing cracks in my windshield, the pressure of my fingertip making the fissures spread with the tinkling sound of breaking glass.
My mom jumped, startled by the sound, and turned away, burying her face in my dad’s shoulder. His arms came up around her, and he pulled her close, smoothing his hand over her hair as I watched, dumbfounded. I knew that at one time they’d liked each other well enough to get married and eventually have me, but I couldn’t remember the last time they’d done more than glare at each other during pick ups and drop offs. Or bitch about one another when they thought I wasn’t paying attention. This was just weird.
Feeling like I was seeing something I shouldn’t, I went back to fiddling with the windshield, tugging at the long blonde hairs embedded in the broken glass. As I pulled them free, several shards broke loose and plinked against the dashboard sounding like muffled rain.
Stiffening, my mom turned and pulled away from my dad’s embrace and moved toward the driver’s side door–well, where the door had been. The fire department had torn it off to get me out. My dad tried to tug her back, away from the car. His lips were moving, but I couldn’t hear anything except the sound of my own rasping breath and the occasional snap of glass.
Ignoring him, my mom stuck her head in the car and looked around. Her eyes were red and swollen, and she looked utterly exhausted. Guilt, hot and sharp prickled along my nerve endings. I’d done that. I’d done that to my mom. My carelessness had caused all of this.
She reached down and grabbed something from the floor. When she straightened, I could see she held the silver heart pendant she’d given me on my sixteenth birthday.The chain was broken like pretty much everything else in here. I vaguely remembered clawing it from my neck after the impact when I’d felt like I couldn’t breathe.
She held it up to the sunlight as tears streamed down her face.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered. “I didn’t mean to break it. I didn’t mean for any of this.”
She closed her hand around the metal, and for a moment, I felt warm–as if her body heat was seeping into me through the metal. And then, I felt nothing as I stared at my parents through the broken glass and watched as everything around me faded from view.
That’s it for me, today. Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ stories. And thanks for reading!