It all happened so fast. People crossing the pedestrian bridge above were able to see it all. But who couldn’t want to see all of that, you would like to see how lives end and how tragedies happened?
The SUV was driving extremely fast. Eileen, the driver, was worried about so many things. She had just received vey bad news and just wanted to head back home or anywhere she could feel safer, loved and appreciated. She had been crying and was in no state to drive. But there had been no one to tell her that, no one that could stop her from making that mistake.
On the other side were the Martins. Joanna and her husband Matt were in a small car coming back from the hospital. They had received troubling news: Joanna was pregnant with their fourth child. Normally, a couple would be happy and celebrating. But in the Martin’s car, there were only long faces and sighs. Raising such a big family was very hard on them. They had stopped doing all those nice things life has to offer to invest them in education and diapers and food and so on. Their children were too young to understand but they really needed that time off.
But they had been silly and that’s why they were pregnant again. If they didn’t want more children, the solution would have been really easy. Well, apparently not easy enough for Joanna and Matt who kept having unprotected sex just because they had been together for over fifteen years. Actually, that was the other thing. They weren’t really that attracted to each other anymore. They didn’t feel anything when the other got naked near them in the mornings or even when they showered together. That’s what Matt was thinking when he got distracted, let the car go a bit to far to the left and then it was chaos.
Eileen was so furious, so sad and so broken that, at first she just let gravity do its job. Her body was propelled out of the window just after the two cars had crashed against each other, done several circular turns and then hit the side of the road. When she was conscious of what had happened, Eileen realized she was on the ground, probably bleeding and not really able to move. She could feel the wind caused by the passing cars and felt suddenly even lonelier than ever before. How could people be so mean, so awful, that they wouldn’t even stop for an accident?
Joanna and Matt had been wearing their security belts and that was good because their car had been flipped over. The baby chair they had in the back was one against the roof of the car and they were both bleeding but still breathing normally. Matt was the first to wake up and he was so scared the first thing he did was liberate himself from the belt and they try to get out. In his attempt, breaking the window with a kick, he realized his wife was there. Of course he had known this all the time, but it was as if his survival skills had made him forgot about her, at least for a minute.
He then screamed and Eileen heard him, far away, but clearly. She then knew there were more people involved but, somehow, she couldn’t care less if they felt as miserable and broken as she was. Because even with so much physical pain, Eileen’s heart was the one that hurt the most. She even began to cry right there in the pavement, not even trying to lift a leg or an arm. She just lay there and cried her eyes out, thinking about how she had run into her long time girlfriend with another woman. And they weren’t kissing or touching. She even felt disgusted, truly sick about it and she vomited.
Joanna was bleeding. She had hit her head during the accident and Matt was worried he couldn’t be able to move her like that. He decided that it was best to get out of the car and ask for help or see if there was any police coming or ambulance or whatever was available. He cut his hands with the glass but tried to ignore the pain and just stumbled out and suddenly passed out. He only did for a few minutes but during that time he dreamt about the time it was only him and Joanna. He remembered their first date, how they had planned to eat in this fancy Italian restaurant but then had problems with the reservation and they ended up having some tacos in fancy outfits. They really loved each other that day.
After crying so much, Eileen opened her eyes and realized she really needed to start thinking about what was happening and decided to try and stand up but the thought of Erika and that woman together were like a film in her head that she wasn’t able to shut down. It hurt her badly because they had been together for a long time and they were doing all these things together like looking for an apartment and even planning to get a baby through adoption. It had been Eileen who had met Erik when she was a girl afraid of the world and with no knowledge about anything. She had been the more mature woman that taught her everything that she may need to know and apparently she had learned it all too well.
Like trying to scare some flies away, she moved her arm a bit and finally tried to stand up but realized she couldn’t. She could only see forwards because of her position but had a feeling there was something wrong with her legs. Having been so worried about Erika, she had not realized that her legs didn’t feel as before. They did not feel at all.
Matt woke up from his dream and realized there was a man running towards him and asking him so many questions. It seemed to be a policeman but he really had no idea. He answered what he could, not even knowing if it made any sense and then heard an ambulance and a fire truck.
He stood up by himself, trembling and with pain all over his body, and saw that there was another car that had been involved but he couldn’t see anyone in the driver’s seat. Maybe that person was also trapped or maybe that person had fled the scene. His mind was everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Thinking hurt him but he couldn’t stop doing it. He walked to his car and a fireman asked him to remain away for the moment. He nodded and decided to wander off in the opposite direction. He didn’t care about the voices that spoke to him, policeman and people on the bridge above. He couldn’t hear them and felt everything was slowing down so every single sound made no sense to him.
The paramedics picked up Eileen first and she remained awake during the whole trip to the hospital. However, she wasn’t able to speak. She really wanted to answer the questions, she really wanted someone to know that it was all her fault and that she had been cheated on but nothing came out of her throat. Her heart was still hurting to much and, with morphine, she felt a little bit better and then fell into an uneven sleep in which she would imagine entering several room and in some of them Erika was with the other woman and in other she could see her parents or herself when she was just a little girl. She recalled her past times back then and how much she loved horses.
The second person to get into an ambulance was Joanna. Her husband nowhere to be found, she had to board the ambulance alone after several men were necessary to pull her out of the car and then up into the ambulance. She was bleeding internally, as determined by the instruments used by the paramedics. The driver was ordered to rush to the hospital but only two minutes after that they told him there was no real emergency anymore. Joanna was stable but she had lost her child, so they didn’t have to be fast to save anyone.
Matt kept walking until a distracted old man run over him. The car lifted him and pushed him to the side of the road. The old man didn’t stop to see what he had done. Matt lay there and then came back to his body for a while. And realized how miserable he was, he realized how sad he had been for so long and it was all because his life had failed to be what he wanted. He loved Joanna and the kids but he wanted so much more from life, so much more than responsibility.
In the hospital, Eileen was put in the room next to Joanna, who got better quickly but got almost insane when she was notified about the baby. Then she learned, through a nurse, that Eileen was in the other side of the wall, so she tried to choke her with a pillow, because the nurse had told her it was Eileen who was to blame for the crash. It was the only way Eileen came back to the real world and the only way Joanna could realize how ready she was to be a mother again, when she couldn’t be one anymore.
Meanwhile, Matt lay there in the pavement. And cried too.