Minute Detail

Cara Thereon's kitten sipping milk from her finger

The red light turned green and I entered the intersection. Bright headlights blinded me and I heard the impact long before I felt it.

I shut my eyes and blew out a breath. Or maybe it was pushed out of me. Time still, paused as my path in life stopped abruptly. Then altered course.

It was like I could see everything in minute detail.

The glass floating in front of my face, the way the metal door at my left crumpled into my side, and the slide of the car as the impact pushed me sideways. I felt the way my body buckled under the strain. So many fast things that happened in slow motion.

As the car settled on its side, I was left hanging by the seatbelt as agony ripped through me.

Quiet settled. Another pause. My mind circled slowly to the things I said.

The last time I spoke to my husband replayed over and over. Did I say I loved him and mean it before I slammed the phone down? Regret burned a hole in my gut.

My leg was trapped beneath the console, my arm pinned between the bent door and my chair, and blood trickled down my cheek into my eye. I couldn’t focus on that, my head full of sadness that I couldn’t take back my words to him.

I couldn’t hear the sirens. Not over my heart. It filled my head, louder and louder until it too paused.

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