Snow falls like soft whispers over the treetops. The weather is blustery cold and the skies are painted different shades of grey, like the backdrops of holiday greeting cards. The winding road is desolate and untraveled. The pavement is covered with ice and snow.
Catalina Pardo sits perched on the passenger seat while behind the wheel is her fiancé, Blake Mackenzie. He is the love of her life and within Catalina’s womb reposes the fruit of their undying love.
Blake takes a glimpse at the beautiful woman sitting across from him. His eyes appraise Catalina and glisten with fervent love. With one hand on the steering wheel, Blake removes one hand from the steering wheel and lays it on top of Catalina’s that is tenderly rubbing endless circles around her wee belly.
“I love you Cat,” Blake declares, as he lifts her hand to his mouth and showers Cat’s knuckles with feathery kisses.
“I love you too, forever-”. Catalina tries to release her hand from Blake’s with a giggle. “I know you love me but you better keep your damn eyes on the road.”
Blake snorts and answers, “Your humor becomes you honey,” as he looks to her and threatens to tickle her. She throws her head back in peals of laughter.
But Catalina’s merriment ends abruptly− the car hits a patch of black ice and swerves out of control. Blake tears his hand away from hers as he desperately tries to regain control of the car. Her eyes widen as she looks out the window. The trees move past them, unusually slow, time continuum irrevocably broken. As a snow bank comes into view, her hands cover her mouth in horror.
Panicked, Blake slams on the brakes and yells− “Hold on Cat!”
In a split second, the car slides a few feet and flips in the air three times until it lands upside down. Catalina’s head hits the window shattering it into countless pieces. She’s in cutting pain. Blood rushes to her ears with the force of a freight train. All sounds diminish− she hears only a roaring hum. Her eyes blink rapidly− her body in shock going between patches of darkness and life.
Catalina tries to reach out for Blake but can’t. He looks at her, pain etched on his features, his head dangling in front of the steering wheel. A large gash on his scalp forces a steady flow of blood to drip onto the ceiling of the upside-down car.
Blake coughs as he gasps for breath. “I’m sorry Cat. I−,”
His chest exhales one last time and all the life disappear from his baby blue eyes. Catalina’s voice breaks, “Blake? Blake?”
Catalina sobs inconsolably as she screams his name in vain. She tries to move but can’t− crumbled metal restricts her, keeping her prisoner.
“God, please! No! Blake! Wake up honey. Please don’t leave me!”
A knife-edged pain grows inside her womb. Still suspended, Catalina tries to crane her head upwards. She looks to her lap. An ocean of red stains her maternity jeans. Losing all of her strength, she lets her head dangle back down.
“No God. No! Please! Someone help us! Please!”
With hurried breaths, her eyes close. The snow falls like whispers in the wind.
©Imy Santiago-ALLRIGHTS RESERVED
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