I sat in the back of an ambulance, a worthless blanket wrapped around my violently shaking shoulders.
Wet to the bone and cold to the soul - floating in a weird plane of numbness as red and blue lights illuminate the tragedy that is my life.
The events of less than an hour before kept playing in a loop throughout my muddled mind, burning the images into memory.
“Mom?” The utter fear in my voice had a fresh stream of tears streaming down her beautiful face.
“I’m sorry, Darling.” her voice raw, bleeding. “This is best for both of us.” she choked back a sob.
“Mom! Slow down! You’re going to kill us!” I was hysterical. “Slow down!” My mother’s hands were clutching the steering wheel, white-knuckled, shaking. The bridge came up and I just knew.
I just knew we were going to go over it somehow, whether by accident or intention.
“Stop the car!” I cried reaching for the steering wheel to yank it to the right – away from the bridge, but the safety belt was stuck.
I was near frantic as the bridge kept coming and the car kept going towards it.
A soft hand landed on mine as I fought to unbuckle myself. I looked up, identical eyes met mine – not only in color but in grief and fear.
“I love you.” My mom’s voice was quiet, resigned. There was no time left to say it back.
The car jolted brutally as it hit the barrier, my body hovering just above the seat,
time seemed to have stood still in the mere moments it took for the car to break through the steel resistance and make a nosedive towards the water.
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to erase the ghastly vision from my mind.
The sound of glass giving way as her head went through the windshield, her limp body laying over the steering wheel as the car rushed towards the water. The blood.
My screams were bubbling to the surface as water poured into the open space where the windshield had been only moments earlier.
I came to spattering water and gasping for breath, finally, air filled my burning lungs. “Mom?” I called the second I could.
My shoulders and feet were lifted from the ground, an instant later my back was level with a flat surface. This isn’t right, I need to get to my mom.
“You have to calm down. No! Don’t get up!” Persistent hands were pushing my shoulders back onto what I would later realize was a gurney.
“Let go of me! I need to see my mom. Mom!” I called out again.
“We need to get you inside this ambulance and to the hospital!” My feet were constricted before I knew what was happening. “Mom! Please let me see my mom, please!” She was badly hurt, I saw it.
“Mom…” the broken sob racked my body. “Mom,” Came the last whimper.
In less than twenty-four hours I have lost both my parents - an orphan at the age of eighteen.