c a s s a n d r a
My eyes flick open and my hands fly across my face to protect it as the car collapses from the impact of the other in front of us. All sound is cut off from my ears, but nothing touches me, nothing happens.
I open my eyes, the world shifting again until I still myself.
Everything is frozen around me.
My eyes shift over to my dad at the steering wheel. His face moves slowly then freezes, turning towards me as his eyes half- squint, anticipating the glass hitting him and as his arms half- protect me from the impact.
I move my arm to try and reach out to him; if time has stopped and I’ve not frozen, what better way to use this moment but to save my father and myself?
But as I start to move, the world shifts, playing out in slow motion. The glass slips closer, daring to rip my face to shreds. All sanity is lost within the frozen moment as metal splinters through the window and, as I stare at my father, I realize I cannot save him. I pause for but a moment, a sniffle ripping through the still atmosphere like a fly in an empty room. The metal is so close to him. It seems that if I move, so does the world around me. And with every blink, things shift once again, very minimally, but they do. And, right now, minimal is life or death.
Even whispering the words “I love you,” makes the universe inch closer to my adopted father’s demise. Every. Move. I. Willingly. Make.
I close my eyes, hoping that, like the other times of this frozen moment, the world will play as my eyes shut everything out, but the awful sounds of the wreck play out for a millisecond, the sound cutting off as blackness becomes all I can see.
I feel my heart beat heavy in my chest. The world is still. My breath is ragged and frequent. All is quiet.
I open my eyes, the metal beginning to tear at his skull and stops, as of waiting for me to respond to its presence.
A tear slips from my eye. Runs down my cheek. But everything is where it was when I parted my eyelids.
Not able to miss the sounds or the scream or the car around me as it is crushed. Insanity whispers in my ear. Insanity anchors itself in the depths of my brain. But never will I admit it.
But I’m stuck in a moment. This moment. And I always will be.