A lily sat on her table. She picked it up, and flung it against the wall. The shattering vase broke into thousands of pieces, shards flew back at her cutting her face and her hands, but she didn’t feel them. She was already in too much pain.
She took her cut up hands smearing the blood on her face as she pressed her hands to her eyes, wiping the tears down her face. This was fitting, she thought, this blood soaked face, and tears streaming down her face. This was what she deserved. She had caused so much pain to another and now it was her turn to suffer.
Jeanie couldn’t stop thinking of the accident. Earlier she found herself out Christmas shopping, having the time of her life even, purchasing gifts for all her family and friends. Earlier, life had been different. It was before the car pulled out in front of her on the busy road. The yellow car was imprinted on her mind, she would never forget that car. She would never forget the expression on the driver’s face. It was a young woman. She had clearly failed to see her vehicle before she pulled out, and nothing could have prevented what happened next.
Jeanie hit her car. The next few minutes were excruciating. The yellow car smashed in on the driver’s side never had a chance, it spun three times before coming to a stand still on the side of the road. Jeanie in her big SUV, had a little whiplash, but her vehicle was fine.
The police were there in minutes, there being a station just around the corner, but it wasn’t enough. The woman from the yellow car did not survive – and all Jeanie could think about was how she wished she could have stopped. She was taken to a nearby hospital, but released quickly when they found no injuries. There were more pressing matters for the staff – like informing the family of the woman of the accident. Jeanie didn’t mean to hang around so long, but she couldn’t help it. She stood back pretending she was just another visitor to the hospital and she saw the grief of the family in full force.
She saw the shock, the hurt, the pain. Jeanie couldn’t help but absorb all of it, as she felt she was the cause of such pain to another. The accident was not ruled her fault, it was ruled an accident, but Jeanie couldn’t stop seeing the face of the woman in the yellow car.
That woman had a life, a family, her own Christmas shopping to do. Jeanie felt the brunt of the pain as excruciatingly as if it had happened to herself. Jeanie tried to explain to her husband, but he didn’t seem to understand her pain, her guilt.
Jeanie grieved for the woman and her family, feeling her loss as great as if it was her own family’s loss. This is life, she thought, her phone beeped signalling a message. She checked seeing the message from her daughter. She was stopping by.
Jeanie got up from the floor to clean up the mess, thinking as she did, so this is how it is? Life just keeps moving forward? Something terrible just happened, and yet we keep moving forward? Jeanie knew she had to clean herself up soon and she had better get a hold of herself.
No one would know of her pain, she vowed to herself. It would be hers to keep. Alone. She would grieve on her own, and in her own way, vowing to never forget the woman in the yellow car.
Jeanie got up to shower.
Be careful driving out there this winter folks. The roads can be treacherous. ~Mel
Tags: short story