"Thomas! Are you listening to me?"
"Huh?" I asked, turning to the girl in the neighbouring seat. Aimy shook her long auburn hair. Her freckle blemished cheeks puffed at my response, the simmer of annoyance in her hazel eyes was cute.
"Did you hear a word I said?" She asked.
"Nope," I had to chuckle at the way she pouted her full red lips together.
Aimy and I had been friends for as long as I could remember. From growing up in the same village, sticking together throughout the education system, making it all the way to university. It came as quite the shock to both of us, receiving an unconditional offer on the same course. I wasn't the studious type, scraping by on any subject I attended.
"I was talking about the trip. How-"
"How could you not listen to such a beautiful voice?" Sly, silky, and sliding in uninvited. Slick, gelled blonde hair, sparkling blue eyes, and a sharp, chiselled jaw I wanted to break. Saxon Amore hovered in the aisle, and at that moment, I wished I was sat underneath him, at least to increase the distance between Aimy and him. He sent the girl a veneered smile, hoping she'd swoon into his arms.
Saxon was notorious for picking up the girls, managing to get around most of the ones on our course. Aimy was the only one I knew of who outright rejected him. There was one time when he got rather pushy about the subject and I stepped in. I had heard the story about his recent bed warmer and wasn't about to let him get too full of himself. Though I had to be careful not to lose my patience, or I'd cause more trouble. He still persisted, albeit cautiously.
Neither of us answered him, opting to stare, letting the awkwardness stretch out.
"What were you saying, Aimy?" I asked, holding back my amusement when Saxon's lips twitched.
"I was talking about- Oh, hi Saxon," Aimy smiled, and I smirked at her willing participation.
"Something funny, Carmile?" Saxon sneered, and I shook my head whilst maintaining his gaze.
"Why don't you come with me? Have a real conversation," Saxon smirked, and I felt my nose burn with the excessive amounts of aftershave he had around his neck. I felt sorry for my friend who was millimetres from the source.
"Playing 'Guess who I gave an STI to?' Rather easy." I relished how his face brightened and his scowl deepened. Aimy had to hold her mouth shut.
"Listen Carmile-" Saxon then lurched forward. At the same time, my body was thrown backwards smashing my head against the window and specs of light burst into my vision. I didn't get the chance to pull myself up. Two extra weights crushed onto me; Aimy on my lower half, Saxon on my upper half.
Screeching tires drowned out my cries as the bus swivelled with a violent jerk. Aimy and Saxon were dragged from me by an invisible force with the rear end of the vehicle thrown to one side. Then it swerved again, in a vain attempt to right itself but with the weight of the bus and the shifting of the everyones weight, the sudden jolt was too much for the vehicle to stabilise. The wheels fought for traction and the grating of rubber on concrete fused with terrified screams. Even the crunch of metal as it came down with a harsh crash drowned the pleas from the bus's interior.
The seconds passed by in a blur. In one, the bus was upright. The next, every soul was crushed to the tarmac. Splinters of metal and glass tore into flesh like a wolf pack on a lone deer. Ruthless, unrelenting pain seared at my nerves, scorching them will blunt and piercing torture. I lost all meaning of time as the next seconds were an agonising eternity. My head cracked against a seat, wracking my brain and blinding my vision. It was clear that the connection split my skin with blood running into my eyes. The world around me was stained a deep crimson. I felt every bruise form and every cut open as the bus skidded against the uneven road. My body slumped to the ground, dragged along by the metal carapace with shards of glass and specks of concrete fighting for a way to dig into my body. I begged for it to end, knowing that my tears were being washed away with the blood.
But it wasn't until the bus grinded to a halt that the adrenaline drained away like water down a sink that every nerve in my body lit up like fireworks at new years eve. They singed, they burned and worst of all, it wasn't just me. If I thought the screams of my classmates were terrifying, I was not prepared for what came next. An orchestra of pain riddled moans erupted into a damned symphony, wailing a desperate song. Amongst the cacophony of fear, AImy had to be in there somewhere.
I laid there for moments, forcing whatever sound I could to tear out of my throat, but threads of overwhelming dread sank deep into my lungs and held onto the words in tight vice. I couldn't call for my friend, to check if she was still alive.
I had to leave. To get out and find help. Yet my body wouldn't comply. Moving my head caused a surge of blinding pain to wreak havoc on my spine. Any chance at shuffling my legs was null and void as they refused to respond. Reality sunk in deep in those moments. There was nothing I could do. Nothing but accept the encroaching darkness around my eyes. I could not fight it. Nor did I wish to any longer.
Darkness encroached around me. An emptiness that promised an escape from the pain, a way to be free. Free from the excruciating torment my body was going through. I needed that more than anything.
Soon the darkness engulfed me, and I succumbed to it. My will to fight sapped away, and my breath gone with it.