In an unexpected, sudden turn of events, Sara Turnpike life is violently broken into pieces.
If your life was broken, how would you put it back together again?
They had decided to go to the beach on a whim. She had been talking about the times she had been as a child, how wonderful it had been, and Peter had suggested going. Peter was like that, he had a spontaneous air about him, he could make lightning speed decision
Of course she had told him no, at first, that it was a dreadfully wrong drive, it would be too difficult with Josh, and all he had done was told her to shut up, it was already decided, and they were going Sunday. Sara had no idea how to argue with a certainty like that, and so it was decided, on a whim, that they were going to beach.
The day had started off gorgeously, the sky a perfect endless blue that can not be copied, the sun a shining, unobscured star. The windows stayed open on their car until about an hour into the drive, when quite abruptly dark storm clouds had raced from nowhere across the sky. The sun was seemingly snuffed out, as it was almost instantly covered by a thick blanket of dark, foreboding clouds.
There was a thunderclap that echoed in the space of the car, and a flash of lightning that illuminated the now-dark interior. The rain started hard and stayed hard.
Sara loved the rain. Ever since she was small, she had recognized the beauty of it, the absolute tranquility that is at the same time chaos. If she was outside and it started to rain, she would just stand in it, marveling at the fantastic miracle that was occurring. For her, there were few better things in life then looking up into the rain.
Peter, on the other hand despised it. He had told her this on a rainy day a week before their wedding, five years earlier, and at the time Sara had seriously contemplated breaking their engagement off. However, looking back on it, she was glad she hadn't. She really loved him, and couldn't imagine where she would be without him.
When the fat drops began to slap and splatter against the windshield, opposing emotions had simultaneously crossed both Peter and Sara's faces; on her's there was the beginnings of a smile, on his a scowl. Josh was asleep in the back, and didn't know what rain was yet, but secretly Sara had hoped he would grow to love it.
Peter was not an exceptional driver, and this was one of the two reasons why he loathed stormy weather. The other had to do with the day of his mother's death, but that's a story for another time.
Suddenly, the tires of the car hit a long puddle, and Peter lost control. The rubber hydroplaned on the surface of the water, floating on barely an inch of liquid. The car drifted for a moment, sliding and then the right side of the car's tires caught
All Sara could think about was Josh and protecting him. As the car skidded, Sara unbuckled her seatbelt, then scrambled to backseat, wrapping her child in a tight embrace. Then the car hit the guard rail and flipped over.
Later, when she thought back on it, Sara could not remember the car rolling down the hill, could not remember the mad gyrations. But she did remember the final jolt, as the car came to a stop, slamming down upright. That was when Sara lost unconsciousness.