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The inevitable fallout

Yeasayer-Madder Red

What started as a drizzle has quickly evolved into a full blown monsoon. Heavy drops pound the windshield severely limiting my visuals and reducing the radio to nothing more than enigmatic whispers. I grip the wheel with both hands and desperately struggle to maintain control. After ignoring all the signs which let me know where this particular road would lead, I soldier on.

In the distance I can barely make out a series of flashing lights. For a split second I close my weary eyes and when I return them to open road I'm left with just enough time to make out the words "Dead End", but nowhere near enough to react. That's when everything slows to a crawl.

The headlights shatter, plunging me into darkness with the demons I've been trying so hard to escape. The music is replaced with the sounds of metal folding in on itself. My face pushes its way through the windshield, reminding me that seatbelts can't funtion properly if you fail to buckle them. Then I'm airborne.

You could argue that this fall was inevitable, but that doesn't make it any less unexpected. The descent goes on for what feels like months and only prolongs the pain I know is going to come any second now.

I meet the pavement face first and go into a skid. I can feel every inch of skin rip from my body until I finally run out of forward momentum. I spit glass and broken teeth and try to catch my breath.

"You need to pick yourself up."

The voice is too far away to distinguish its owner.

"I know it hurts but you've got to move past this."

It's my mother.

"You can't allow yourself to dwell. You have to move on. I'll give you some space."

Then she's gone.

Gone. Just like everything else.

"I don't think I can." I say aloud, not to her, but to the one I left behind. "This time I've lost too much. I don't know how to move on." Every time I speak blood oozes from my gums and slides down my face. "It wasn't supposed to end like this. I never..." With every word my breath becomes shorter, so I decide to make it quick. "I'm just so sorry...for everything."

I use what little strength I have left to flip over on my stomach. With a quick glance upward I can see a sign which reads, "Dallas: 148 miles". I lift myself up onto my elbows and begin to crawl, promising myself not to look back until I get there.

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