Archive | 10:34 am

Crash

6 Dec

This is going to be heavy – sorry in advance. But this post is inspired by a prompt from Write on Edge and this is what came out of it.

Today we’re trying a little something different. Are you ready? Your word is below. Take the next ten minutes to write about the first single memory that word calls up. Focus on the emotions and the experience, spend ten minutes really exploring that memory. Then wrap it up, publish, and come back to link up.

RemembeRED, Write on Edge, Memoir writing prompt

The notes of my cell phone ring out and jolt me awake.

“Hello?” I answer groggily, wondering who the hell is calling me at 3:21 am on a Thursday night – or Friday morning, I suppose.

“Kristina?”

“Yes?”

“This is Officer Rick Batelle from the St. Louis County Police Department. I’m sorry to have to tell you this over the phone, but no one is home at your parent’s house and I’m over at the neighbors. We got your number from you brother Kyle. I’m so sorry, but your brother Nathan was killed in a car accident tonight.”

Crash.

**********

Forty minutes later I exit the highway, headed to my parents’ house. I’m only about 1.5 miles away, but the road is blocked by a police car, with its silent flashing lights spinning color across the darkness. I cry out – an unintelligible sound that I didn’t consciously make.

The road is blocked because my brother is down that road – only a half a mile from home – but he’ll never make it. I have to go around. I have to go around the barricade that is there because my brother is dead.

Crash.

**********

Twenty minutes later I am in the kitchen of my parents’ neighbors’ house. I hear my husband’s truck pull up outside. I run out the front door. He is stepping out of his truck, and his whole body is sagging. Streaks of tears run down his face and I run. I run. He lifts me in a hug, each of us clinging desperately to the other.

Crash.

**********

Two hours later I’m still in my parents’ neighbors’ kitchen, surrounded by my husband, my aunt and my uncle, and Ron and Cindy – the neighbors who have watched me and my brothers grow up. We’re waiting for my parents, who are away on vacation and unreachable by phone, to find out that their son is gone.

My phone rings. It’s my dad.

“Daddy???” I haven’t called him that in a long time.

“Kristina???” His voice is wrenching, choking on his grief and shock. We seem to have a need to just hear each other’s voice, our names, to assure each other that we’re there.

Crash.

**********

Six hours later I want to see where it happened. We drive the half a mile to the crash site, where a cross has already been erected. Where debris still litters the ground. I see the pole that couldn’t withstand the impact of the speeding car. It is lying on the ground. Covered in something scarlet.

My knees buckle and I am caught by my cousin.

Crash.

**********

Ten minutes, one hour, two hours, five hours, twelve hours. As more neighbors, my cousins, friends, more family, and finally, my parents arrive at my parents’ house, it is a new rip in the wound, fresh pain to bear witness to.

Crash.

Crash.

Crash.

Crash.

Crash.

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