The three occupants shivered at the cold as the car pulled out of the driveway. Skies were a powerful grey, and it was evident a storm was coming. Even now, slight droplets were falling, a minuscule preview of what was to come. However, this calm before the chaos on the horizon was a touch colder than it would be. Once the rain started, there would be insulation against the wind, that ripping wind that opened your skin and froze your bones.
The interior of the car was freezing. It would be a few minutes before the engine warmed up to heat the heater. Sara worried about Josh. Josh was barely a year old, and had a brutal cough that didn't seem to be waning. It wasn't acting up now however, and as she looked at the child he smiled up at her and giggled, small bubbles of spittle forming on his lips. She smiled back at him.
Up until the very moment he was born she did not believe she would feel the same way about him she had heard she would. Because she was who she was, she felt it would be simple, feed him, love him, and when he was eighteen he would move out. Easy. She thought this throughout the nine months she carried him, throughout the midnight trip to the hospital, throughout the labor, and throughout the birth. But the very second she saw his face, all that disintegrated into nothing and a feeling picked her up and smashed her into oblivion.
The feeling she felt was not love, not quite. It was close however. It was bitter, and hurt her. It was the recognition that there was a powerful force inside her she had not realized previously. What this was, and it was nearly indescribable, was her knowing, with not an ounce of doubt she owed everything she was and is to this child. She would do anything, be anyone, and go to any length for him. She existed solely for him, and she loved him. It was the most beautiful thing she had ever experienced.
They had decided to go to the beach on a whim. Peter had suggested it and she had denied it, saying it was an awfully long way to go, and weren't there more productive things they could be doing on a Sunday afternoon. To much hilarity he had told her politely to shut the fuck up, get the kid, and get in the car because they were going to the beach and nothing she said would change that. That was one of the reasons she loved him so much. He had a certain spontaneity that revolved around her, no matter the situation he would do whatever he wanted to and whatever could make her happy.
So now they were an hour into the ride to the beach, and it had started to rain more heavily. Sara loved the rain, and she could just imagine the beach coupled with the storm. Grey, weather worn skies that produced cold, hostile elements that mixed with the sea while the warm of the sand kept you safe. It would have been perfect.
Except at that moment, it all went wrong. They were on a stretch of old country highway, miles and miles from civilization when it happened. The wheels on the car hit a puddle, and the car began to hydroplane, the tires floating on the little amount of water on the road. The car spun away from the road and toward an embankment. Peter yelled and Sara screamed. Josh giggled happily in the back seat, unaware of what it all meant. The car leapt the embankment, and plunged headfirst into the following brook. In the airborne seconds, Sara turned her body towards the back of the car, slipping out of her seat and toward her child. She slid back towards him, arms outstretched. She had to reach him, had to shield him before they landed.
It is moments like this where time begins to slow. Sara diving towards Josh, the car nearing the ground, Peter cringing, it is all frozen in a moment of despair and fright. It all comes into play and they just hang there like stars in the sky, moving in their separate directions at a snail's pace. It stays like this for a few moments in your mind's eye, then all of a sudden, it all speeds up.
Sara crashes into the backseat, wrapping Josh into a tight embrace. Then the car hits the embankment, and Sara tumbles forward. Her head hits something hard and she sees stars and then nothing. And the moment is over.