I was glad to be out of the nightmare… He turned to face me, beaming a warm comforting smile. I reached over and held his hand. It was so warm and light…
We were driving in his 96 Pontiac Grand AM with the radio blaring Barenaked Ladies, the only music we could ever agree on. We stopped at a red light. He held my hand with his right hand and steered with his left. His grip was strong and comforting.
“Aww,” he said in one of his million-long list of silly voices. “Baby Cow-y.”
I laughed and my breath caught in my throat when he looked at me. His chocolate eyes melted whenever they looked at me. No doubt I became a gooey mess when I looked at him, too. His teeth were so broad and straight, like a movie star. Six years later and he could still leave me breathless with that smile…
“Love you, Schweets,” he cooed and gently squeezed my fingers.
“Love you, too, baby,” I replied, squeezing his muscular hand.
The light turned green. We started to move again.
Like a bat out of Hell, some asshole ran their red light and slammed into our driver’s side door with cataclysmic force. It was both too fast and yet in slow motion. The air bag exploded, knocking his head back and releasing a suffocating white powder into the air. I heard a strange crack as we spun into another car. The horn was blaring as we came to a halt.
His head lolled awkwardly. His face was covered in blood. The driver’s window, as well as the windshield, was spidered for some reason. The horn continued to wail. Coughing without reprieve, I squinted through the powder to see if he was okay. The corners of my vision were going brown. I couldn’t breathe… That fucking horn wouldn’t stop! And I couldn’t let him out of my sight. I reached my hand for him, to shake him awake, to stay with him, but the lights were going out fast…
I was floating above myself, watching the accident happen again. He wasn’t moving… Suddenly, hands were on me, shaking me awake, asking me what happened, asking if I remembered where I was. There were red flashing lights everywhere.
“We were in an accident,” I said. “But that was only a dream…”
“She’s in shock,” said a female voice. “We’re going to get you on a gurney, okay. Take you to the hospital.”
“But it was just a dream,” I insisted before blacking out.
When I regained consciousness, I was in a hospital bed. The smell of sterilization assaulted my nostrils. I looked around and saw a nurse straightening the sheets in the bed next to me.
“Where’s my husband?” I asked.
“You need to rest…”
“Where is he?”
The doctor from emergency came in. Without skipping a beat, I asked her the same thing. She shook her head slowly. I shook mine in response. This couldn’t be true.
“He didn’t make it,” she said.
“You liar…” They had to be lying…
“You fucking liar!” I screeched, with tear-stained cheeks. “Take me to him.”
In the morgue, I saw his body ravaged by the accident. They always tell you that there’s going to be a smell, but I didn’t notice. All I noticed was him. The compacted ribs. The huge gash in his forehead. The several cuts on his face from the broken glass. But he was still beautiful. I still didn’t believe it, so I touched his hand. Stiff and cold.
My stomach lurched and spilled its contents on the floor. Fresh, salty waves cascaded down my cheeks, stinging them. The room whirled around me. I wrapped my arms tightly around my body, trying desperately to hold myself in. It was failing. I dug my nails into my sides to strengthen my resolve, but the corners of my vision were getting brown. The sterile blue linoleum was racing up to greet me. It was like falling from a skyscraper when you’re asleep: Reaching the bottom doesn’t even matter.
Soon, all I felt was a soothing coldness on my cheek. I heard some blurred frenzy in the background.
“She’s fainted! Get the nurse!”
But that could’ve been the neighbor’s TV. It sounded like E.R. or Grey’s Anatomy or something. Some stupid hospital drama that I wanted absolutely no part of…
I was home. No longer in the nightmare, I was in bed, cuddled against his back. It was the presence of an angel. I touched him. His bare skin felt warm and transparent. So close and still so far away, like a phantom memory. He turned to face me, his visage more exquisite than I’d ever seen it. No cuts. No bruises. No blood. No cold, dead expression. Just warmth and light, the glow of love.
“I had the most horrible dream,” I told him.
“Aww, Schweets,” he whined sympathetically. " I love you, baby."
He leaned in and kissed me. Water vapor on a winter’s day…
The nightmare was over as long as I didn’t wake up.
If the worst were ever to happen, I don’t know what I’d do…
A woman isn’t defined by having a man. However, she is defined by her love for that man…
I was inspired to write this from a number of things: a car crash i was in when i was like 10 or 11; my constant fear that the only man i’ve ever loved will be taken from me, and the song “I Have Loved You” by Jessica Simpson. It talks about how even if they don’t work out “if wings take you away from me” she has still loved with all her soul. I very badly wanted to write a short story, and the amalgamation of the above culminated in the result you just read. lol :)
I actually cried when I wrote this, as cheesy as that sounds. Feedback is very much appreciated and encouraged for this piece, as I would like to try getting it publish-worthy! :)