Stop. Let time be still, or at least slow.
But do I want it to, as the glass shatters behind him and his eyes widen as he is thrown forward? Do I want this to stop?
I want it to have never started.
His arms reach for me so slowly, like the whole world is in slow motion, or like moving through molasses. His anguished cry is lost to my deafened ears. The world is silent.
Suddenly, my mind is crowded.
The argument. What was it about? All the yelling and the crying and the red haze before my eyes. Was it something that mattered? I can't remember. Please let it have been something important.
His hands clutch my shoulders with bruising strength. He pulls me with him. My seat belt bites into my neck.
Suddenly, we're moving the other way. The grip he has on me doesn't weaken. He pulls me into his chest. One hand covers my face. The other holds me close. A lover's embrace.
Love. He loved me. I loved him. Sweet kisses on summer nights. Lustful looks by the bonfire. His coat keeping me warm in the snow. The flower he tucked behind my ear in the spring.
How long has it been since that flower wilted?
We rock back the other way. He hides my head with his arms. His stubbly cheek presses against my hat.
A birthday present from him. Just last month.
I cannot blink. My body will not obey me.
The light that haloed his form is gone. Headlights. The halo was made by headlights.
We rock again. The arm that isn't shielded by the seat begins to move. I'm reaching for him. Sharp pain. I've been cut. Flying glass is everywhere.
He shattered the vase. It was my mother's. The pieces fell and one cut my foot. His face. Horrified. I laughed. He looked even more ashamed, as if he had damaged my mind by cutting my foot.
It was nothing like this pain.
Time. I want more time with him. But as I think the words, everything speeds up.
My scream tears the night. The crashing cars make a sound like death awakening. Somehow, tender, bleeding fingers find my ear and push my hair away from it.
How can I feel something so small with all the pain in my body? I'm out of breath. My scream is cut off. Time slows, only for a moment. Words are whispered in my ear.
I hear only his voice; the meaning of the words is lost in my mind as time quickens again.
He pulls me tight, tucking me into the cover of his body. The sound of broken glass falling is all around, but I feel no more pain.
I start to move. His arms fall away. His eyes. Wide open. They are glassy. Death. I hold death in my arms. Tears fall from my eyes and splash his face. I cannot move.
His words, whispered in my ear, come back to me. This time I understand them. They ring in my ears like the sound of broken glass, and I understand.
"I love you."