WARNING: Some of the content below is graphic…and very sad.
I thought it would be a memory by now, a horrific, tragic memory that happened two years ago…two years ago tonight at exactly 7:33 pm.
The accident, when my car collided into theirs…and they all died.
Most days it is a memory. Until I hear a loud crash and my body convulses, or an ambulance goes by and I can’t catch my breath, or at night, when I can’t sleep- trying to piece together how the hell I let everything get this bad- I see their contorted bodies, I see the blood…all of it, every detail.
Those days, it isn’t just a memory. It is what gutted me to the core. It’s what I fear made something snap, something I cannot fix.
I know I should be grateful. I lived. And I am. Of course, I am.
But then this day approaches, and I can’t help going back there, sitting on my knees,
…watching, pulling cold, wet blades of grass out of the ground. I watched the policeman approach the car to access the damage. I watched the fire department arrive and begin to cut them out of the car. I watched them put the boys on the stretchers and push them into the ambulance. I watched the ambulance drive away.
And there I am, here I am, trying to imagine what I could have done to prevent it. And I go there, the place I know I shouldn’t go.
Maybe if I’d just…
Run a little slower, showered a little longer, left the coffee shop a little earlier…faced going home to my empty apartment.
Maybe if I’d never moved to that wretched city, to be with him, someone I loved who did everything he could to destroy me.
Or maybe if I would have had enough strength to leave him the first time he left me, or the second or third…
Maybe if I’d stayed married to my sweet husband in our beautiful house with our precious puppy.
Or I’d stayed in Paris, never gotten married, never hurt my sweet husband or moved to that wretched city…
Where I ran too fast, showered too quickly, left later than I should have…to go back to an empty apartment where I knew he wouldn’t be, the one who almost destroyed me.
Maybe if I’d just…
You would all still be alive.
I know this does no good. I know it wasn’t my fault. They were reckless. They put so many lives at risk. And I know if it wasn’t me, it would have been someone else who might not have walked away. And I know this night won’t always haunt me, just like he can no longer hurt me.
And I know that, maybe, next year will be different, happier, and I’ll have finally put this all behind me.