“Ethan, look out!” I screamed in panic and pushed my feet against the floor as I turned my hands to fists, dropping my phone on the ground. But it was far too late for a warning.
It had been far too early in the morning to be driving around, and Logan
had hardly had any sleep. Still, he was the one with a driver’s license and we
had to get home. So he had decided he would take the two of us home a couple of
hours ago. He would be fine, he had assured my sister as we left her. She had,
obviously, doubted him and told us she would call us halfway through to see how
we were doing.
The first hour had seemed just fine. We were chatting with each other or singing along with the radio and both of us seemed awake and alert. Yet, after a couple of hours we were getting silly, the kind of silly you get when you have had to little sleep, and started teasing each other. We were tired, of course, but did not want to admit it too each other.
If only we had known then.
We should have listened to our bodies and should have stopped the car.
Slowly the sun was rising through the forest and gave an enchanting look on the landscape. It was beautiful. We were so far away from civilization, it looked like we were the only two people on the planet. It was beautiful, but dangerous. The low sun shone in our eyes and as I talked to my sister on the phone, Logan did not see the turn nor the tree until the last moment.
“Ethan, look out!” I screamed in panic, far too late. I tried to break
and dropped my phone.
Logan tried to turn the car with a yank at the wheel, but it had no use. The car skid for a moment, then hit a tree stump at my side for a moment. I banged my head against the door and remember a high tune rang through my head.
If only the car would have stopped there, everything would have been fine. Only it didn’t.
Logan had been driving far too fast on the small road in the snow and
the car could not be stopped by the tree stump alone. After it bumped against
the stump, it slid further by the snow, down the hillside. The car rolled down
the hillside and I yelled as loud as I could. Logan somehow managed to grab my
hand and for a moment I caught his green eyes.
At last, the car stopped rolling when it crashed against a tree at the end of the slope. With a shaking hand I wiped my brown hair away and felt something wet on my head. I expected pain, but the adrenaline numbed it all away. My heartbeat was racing so hard, I feared it would be pumping too much blood through my veins. My breathing was fast, quivering and I could feel an irony taste in my mouth.
Slowly I became aware that I was shaking heavily over my entire body. Though my body seemed nearly completely numbed by adrenaline, I began to feel screams of pain coming from every inch of my body. My chest felt small, too small for my lungs and breathing became difficult. I felt Logan took my trembling hand and I wanted to look at him. My neck felt like it was made of iron and was so heavy. I couldn’t turn it, it seemed stuck or so. Warm streams of liquid were not only gliding from my head now and my lungs seemed to shrink with every hasty breath I took.
“Skylar,” Logan said, his voice was trembling. Carefully he pinched my hand and I immediately clenched it. Again he said something, but his voice seemed so far away.
My lungs were so small, only a newborn could use them now. I was aware of my heartbeat, which was slowing down. I could hear it as if it was a voice talking to me. It was slowing down in an ironically fast pace, as my lungs seemed to shrink ever more and more. I wanted to fight it, wanted to stop it, but a feeling as a warm blanket came over me. I closed my eyes and listened to my slow heartbeat.
Eventually, my heartbeat stopped.
And with it, all sounds stopped.
I opened my eyes. The car looked grey and dull. Logan sat still as if
asleep and seemed to have a grey mist over him. The world around the car seemed
grey and dull, as if it was an old world that was no more. An old photo,
nothing more than a fading memory.
And there was no sound, not one sound at all.
My eyes were drawn to my door. The tree, against which we had crashed,
was gone and a small, bright path appeared before my door. I unlocked my
seatbelt, opened the car and stepped out. A wind blew in my face and played
with my hair. It felt fresh, like the first day of Spring.
When the last snow is still melting.
Out here, the world seemed brighter and birds sang in the distance. I
looked over my shoulder, but there seemed to be an indistinct border between
where I was and where the car was. The world with the car was grey, dull,
soundless and seemed so empty. The world where I stood in was bright, colorful,
filled with singing birds and peaceful. There was no way I was going back, even
though the line between the words was very thin and could be crossed easily.
I followed the path with my eyes and saw it led to great, magnificent mountains with the most beautiful sunrise you have ever seen and with colors yet to be discovered. However, the sunrise was not blinding and I could see the landscape in its full beauty. Because the sun was rising, the last stars were still visible and they seemed to smile down on me. The landscape was filled with trees, flowers, and a graceful flowing river. Everything seemed to echo the waving of the wind as they were glowing in their beauty.
Peaceful. The entire landscape, the entire world was peaceful. I was aware of every sound, of every color, of every touch of the wind. And there were no words to describe it. The rising sun greeted me as the wind caressed my skin and played with my hair. The ground was so soft it almost felt like I was floating as the birds sang their lovely songs.
A smile came on my face. This was perfect. I loved it. Everything seemed so new and young here, while the landscape seemed ancient at the same time and had something everlasting about it. I was eager to move on, curious what was behind the mountains. There was a whole new world before me. I could feel it, I just knew it. And it wanted me to come and explore it. It was already welcoming me with the bright colored sunrise.
But just before I could move towards the welcoming mountains, I felt a
pain in my chest. I gasped for air, and for the first time I was aware that
there was no air in this world. I grabbed my chest because my heart was ripped
from my chest. I wanted to keep it.
I don’t want to leave this place, I wanted to yell, but not a sound left my mouth, not even a sigh of air. Again a pain shot through my chest and this time it went through my entire body. I fell on the ground and icy air filled my lungs. Making them burst open as oxygen forced its way in. With it, shots op pain entered my body and tormented my every limb.
Echoes of sounds and voices came from behind, but I did not want to hear
them. I wanted the pain to go away and I wanted to stay here!
“Clear!” the voice of a man echoed through my peaceful world and a painful shock shot through my body and pushed me into the ground. I was gasping for air and another wave of cold air filled my lungs again as my heart began pumping blood through my veins. I reached out my hand, to touch this lovely world for the last time. The fading stars seemed to smile down on me. It was alright. The trees and flowers seemed to wave goodbye. I would see them again.
“Clear!” the voice was sharper now and I closed my eyes. I would come back to this world, just not yet, not now. My time had not come yet to stay. With that knowledge, I was pushed into the ground and pulled through.
With a gasp I opened my eyes. I blinked a few times and looked around. I was lying on a stretcher and two paramedics hung above me. Snow fell down on my face and the touch of it gave me goose bumps. At first the world seemed grey, but the colours were slowly returning and the world became bright. My heartbeat seemed so loud it was almost deafening.
“She’s back,” the paramedic on my right said. The dark paramedic laid
his hand on my head and looked at me.
“Do you know who you are?” he asked.
“I’m Skylar Quinn,” my voice sounded strange to me, raspy and fragile. It all seemed strange. The air in my lungs, my beating heart, the feeling of the snow and wind, the pumping pain in my head and limbs, the aching of my ribs.
“Do you know what happened?” the other paramedic, a woman in her thirties, asked. Flashes of the car accident filled my head and fear pierced my heart.
“Logan! Where’s Logan?” I said and wanted to sit up, but was unable to do so, “The car…he tried.. Where’s Logan?”
“He’s fine, he already went to the hospital,” the paramedic replied, “You….”
I looked away, the voice sounded far away and I was not interested in its message anymore. Logan was alright, that’s all that mattered.
I was amazed by this world. This world I had been living in for the past twenty-three years. This world that had always been my home and had seemed so normal. It looked so new now, new and alive. The colours seemed different and there seemed to be a certain beauty all about it. And it felt fresh.
Fresh, like the first day of Spring.
When the snow is still melting.