In the Face of Defeat

Breath.

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1. 1.

There’s something ominous about the way the red light from the traffic lights are reflected in the rain drops that are falling on my windshield as I wait for the color to change green. The rain isn’t heavy. I have no music playing. It’s 1 in the morning and I’m leaving work and there is barley anyone else on the road.

The light changes from red to green and I watch the raindrops on my windshield as I pull forward and the color slowly falls away from me. The night is eerie and the moon is full.

I pull out my phone from my bag next to me and begin a text to my brother, Mason.

Something isn’t right

I hit send and almost immediately he responds with, Be careful, let me know when you make it home.

Mason has always been freaked out by my gut feelings. Most days, when I feel a certain way, I am almost always right.

I had an argument with Harry that night. My grandfather passed less than a month ago and things have been tense every since. Little things become big things and I’m becoming more distant with every day and he is becoming more frustrated every day. I moved up north a last year while he stayed down south and the physical distance is also a strain on our relationship. He is out of school and I’m still pursuing my degree and that’s yet another strain on us.

The conversation ended with his 3 worded text, I’m going out.

    

The rest of my drive home is quite but safe. The soft rain eventually lifts and I arrive home to more than a couple of unknown cars parked in our driveway. Curious, I climb out of my car and make my way to the front door with intentions of going straight to the kitchen to see whos at my house at nearly 2 in the morning by now.

I didn’t realize in the dark, but one of the vehicles belonged to Harry. The other two belonged to one of my mothers close friends and my brothers girlfriend, who barley comes to the house.

“Hey what’s up, what’s going on?” I ask as I walk into the kitchen and place my bag down on an empty chair.

The next few moments rush past me. I feel myself detach from my own being. I am taken elsewhere to soften the blow.

“Grandma is gone. She had a heart attack last night and this morning your aunt went…” Fuzz fills my ears and tears well behind my eyes. This was something to be expected. I figured in a couple years she would go, since my grandfather has too...but not this soon.

I barely made it through my grandfathers passing. My mother and my aunt went to court over his belongings and the money he left. My two younger sisters were caught in the middle of watching their grandfathers life be minimized to material things. My mother didn’t seem to think anyone was effected but her. It was rough, and still is. I was annoyed by the soft eyes and the hand on my shoulder. I was annoyed by the kindness and tenderness.

I felt anger fill my body so full I stood up in a moment, the chair pushing out from under me. With no shoes on, I walked out of the house, feeling like a bookshelf was falling on my heart inside of my chest. I was feeling like someone was taking all the air available to breath and I was running out. The burst through the door left the screen door swinging and I knew someone was bound to follow. The someone who followed ended up being Harry, of course.

“Lindsey”. He said calmly. I ignored his voice and turned off the driveway into the road. “Lindsey” he repeated. “Lindsey come on. Just come back inside it’s cold and it’s starting to rain”. I kept walking and ignoring his words. I felt the rain fall hard on my skin. The pressure and the coolness of the water felt nice in a moment like this. My hair immediately soaked as it gets heavier and heavier. “Lindsey!” He stops in his tracks and throws his arms out at his side.

“What? What are we going to do? Everyone is dying, Harry! Everything is falling apart! I need some air can I get some air?!” I yell as I whip around. My air flies around me and to the other shoulder. His eyes get sad and he steps away from me. There’s a moment of silence between us as he watches my eyes fill with tears.

“Lindsey come here” he begins to say but I cut him off.

“No, Harry! Don’t touch me. I need some air. I need to think. My family is falling apart, all I do is work, we are falling apart! My life right now is an absolute mess and it just keeps getting worse! Just let me have this space!” I couldn’t keep myself from rambling on angry and as my sentence comes to a close I can see his eyes become hurt. I wanted to run to him and hold him and apologize for taking my anger out on him but my stubborn personality wouldn’t let me. I just stare at him and tears began to fall and pain wells in my chest and the rain begins to fall harder.

I turn around and begin walking further down my road. My destination was the corner store. I frequent this store in times of stress and stare at the candy bars, thinking I might choose something new but always end up reaching for the almond chocolate bar. Harry knows this, and lets me go. Yet I feel his eyes on me as I walk under a street light. I cannot blame him for worrying.

The rain is falling heavy enough now that the best of drivers will have a hard time seeing a foot in front of them. I’m assuming this was the case when the 1997 Chevy Malibu collides with my unprotected body. I hear Harry yell my name as I feel air and water around all of me. There is no surface for what feels like hours. I feel my body flying. I am weightless and soaring.

LINDSEY!

I hear the voice of many loved ones, frantic but see nothing. Suddenly my body is heavy again and skin meets concrete. Blood meets concrete. Muscle meets concrete. Bone meets concrete. Pain rushes through every nerve in my body. I feel everything in one moment, and nothing in the next.

I am somewhere, but nowhere. I feel you, Dad, Grandpa, Grandma. I feel afraid but oddly calmed.

I know everything, and suddenly nothing.

Everything I knew is now black.

 
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