Hidden in the Crevices of Time

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Chapter 3

Her mother had tears in her eyes when relating the accident.

“I saw dad trying to move, feeling relieved that he was conscious. It was hard, as not only were we injured badly, we were also stuck under the roof of the car, compressed in our seats, and all around us were shattered pieces of glass splinters.

I called out to the Malay man frantically. My voice, coarse with all the shouting, and from the crouched position I was in, I could hardly breathe.”

Stacy listened, feeling all the emotions that her mother was expressing at that moment.

Indeed, it was a miracle to have that Malay man turn up at that opportune moment!

She got up from the dining table and went over to hug her mother. “I am so happy that we made it alive, Mom,” she said, consoling.

Her mother said she was happy too. She wouldn’t have known what she would have done if anyone died that night.

Stacy saw that her mom had finished cooking and helped set the table.

She gently prodded her to continue.

“Well, that kind man who heard my shouts, spoke in Malay. I could guess that he didn’t know English. He saw how trapped we were and gestured that he was going to go and get help for us.

I watched him as he crossed to the other side of the road, and within a few minutes he was frantically waving down a passing car, shouting at the driver to stop.

The driver had another passenger in the car, which turned out well for us.

The Malay man and the two gentlemen quickly rushed to help us out of the car.

I heard the Malay man tell them to help the mother and child first, “Tolong Ibu dan Anak keluar dulu,” he said.

The three men broke the hinges to the door which was jammed shut tight, against which I was leaning, and dragged me out of the car.

The Malay man first carried you out before they dragged me.

You were just so inconsolable. The loud bang, the shattering of glass, plus the strangers who were trying to pry open the door, was just a little too much for you, so you screamed your little lungs out, Stacy’s Mom teased.”

“My God, what a nightmare,” Stacy commented.

Stacy took a bite of the chicken she was eating and thought about her flashbacks. She went into cold sweats and felt frightened when that happened.

She wondered if she had recovered from the trauma of the accident.

It is something that would have been ingrained in her subconscious mind. Perhaps, that was why it was coming back to her in snippets of flashbacks.

Her mother’s voice disrupted her thinking.

“I remember that I couldn’t feel my legs after a while due to the impact of the crash but had clung on to you with dear life. My hands too were so numb from holding you! I don’t know where I got the strength to hang on to you like that, because the car went spinning, turned turtle twice before it stopped.

I was so thankful that you were safe, alive, without sustaining any serious injury.

I kept checking to see if you were okay, my head heavy and spinning. In a way, your cry was the most joyous thing for me to hear. It meant that you were still alive!

The gentlemen rushed us to the hospital in their vehicle, while the Malay man got on his motorcycle and went on his way.

We never did meet him after that. A good Samaritan he was.

When we reached the hospital, we were taken to the emergency room.

I managed to feed you while on the way to the hospital in all that fuzziness because the Malay man had grabbed the bag with your milk in it and handed it to me. I was so thankful for that.

At the hospital, I refused to let go of you. I clung to you even when the doctors and nurses came to attend to me. I think they had to tear me away from you. I was so scared for you. But then, they put you in a baby cot right next to me, so I was pacified somewhat.

Your dad was lying in the next ward. I was glad that his injuries were not fatal.

The hospital doctors and staff who attended to us said that it was such a miracle that we survived that crash without sustaining serious injury.

Anyway, we were hospitalized for five days and left after being given a clean bill of health.

Stacy looked at her mom hard after she had finished the story, thinking how her Mom had been so courageous in the face of such trauma.

Stacy suddenly got a premonition that her Dad’s car had been a red one, so she asked, “Was the car red, Mom?”

“Yes”, replied her mom surprised that Stacy mentioned the right color.

“How did you guess the color of the car to be red, Stacy?”

“I had a fleeting flashback of the incident while you were telling me the story, Mom,” Stacy informed.

Her mom stared at her confounded, a look of disbelief etched across her face.

Stacy revealed that she had déjà-vu moments associated with certain events from her past. She felt that certain incidents were repeating themselves in her life which were familiar to her. Memories coming back to haunt her.

Her Mom had a puzzled expression on her face at Stacy’s revelation.

Suddenly, Stacy felt herself go cold.

She was hearing those screams once again.

Her Mom was saying something, but Stacy couldn’t make out what it was. She felt like she was going back in time.

“Mom, could you excuse me for a moment, I need to go to the bathroom,” Stacy said and without waiting for a reply, she rushed to her room.

Her head swimming, she sat down on the bed.

Events of the accident kept coming back to her in blurred images.

The baby was screaming. Someone was clutching it close to her bosom. Screams were vibrating in her mind, and the darkness was overwhelming.

A car kept spinning without stopping!

It was a red car. It kept on spinning and turned turtle a couple of times before it came to a sudden stop.

“Stop! Stop!” cried Stacy.

Then, just as suddenly as the events gripped her, it left her muddled thoughts. Stacy was exhausted.

She got up from the bed and went into the washroom. She looked at her reflection in the mirror.

Her tear-stained eyes stared back at her - wide and fearful.

She looked frightful, she thought a little petrified.

She quickly washed her face and went back to the dining room.

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