(This is part 2 of a short story that I’ve been meaning to write.)
Speaking the words, saying it out loud makes it real and true. This is what I fear.
Celia writes these words in her notebook deciding that is enough for today. Even thinking is an awkward navigation of the mind and often she must disembark to stay on solid ground. The situation forces silence and she is muted, feeling blunted emotionally. Yet, she does this with intention and purpose so she can still get up, have a shower, travel to work, do what she does, and return home again. In one piece.
She takes her knitting with her in a handhewn bag made from recycled plastic bags, locks the front door glancing upwards to her bedroom before turning and driving away. The windshield fogs repeatedly and she turns the fan on and then off again when the way ahead is in view. “It must be damp today”, she thinks as the greyness hovers and the sky hovers low as one wanting to touch the earth.
Opening her computer, she flinches at another email request for specific details of the accident; a journalist has found her place of work and the initial violation compelled her immediately to ‘delete’. She knows this reaction would not close this connection, this seeking for the answers to the story, so she decides to open the email which contained attachments – photographs. Scrolling through words that seem to float off screen she senses a presence over her shoulder. The cubicle of space, the area that she can control and monitor with deft precision is breached and goosebumps travel across her neck, tingling and rising up to her hairline.
“Oh my God, what the hell happened there?” The words are drawn out, long and lowly whispered.
The attached photos sit squarely on the screen brutal and vivid, colourful and uncensored displaying graphically the results of Celia’s poor driving. March 2020 slammed her in the chest and she gasped for air just as she had when the airbag exploded, just as she had when the blood from her sister’s head ran across the dashboard and began spilling in her lap.