You Don’t Notice

Cristal C

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Spinning ferociously like a top. That’s the last thing you remember. It was supposed to be a fun family road trip. It wasn’t supposed to end like this But it did. Are we there yet?, you thought. No. Far from it. Trees pass in a blur. You’re driving fast. Silence is what you hear. Everyone is sleeping. All of a sudden your eyes open. You try to get up but you can’t. You look down. Something is on you. A small body. You look at the face. Your ten year old daughter. Is she alive? Please let her be alive. You shake her a couple of times. She moves her hands. Opens her eyes. You ask her if she’s okay, if she’s hurt. Her head hurts. But she’s okay. You’re both okay. “Mom what happened?” Not knowing exactly what happened yourself, you stay silent. You remember where you are. You look around you. You’re on the side of a road with your daughter. You panic. Again. My baby. Where’s my baby. In the distance you notice your car is upside down. Your vision still blurry, you take a look around, once more. Your eyes focus on the flickering reds, blues and whites. You and your daughter get up, crying. Fearful. You sprint as fast as you can, but your feet feel heavy as if cemented to the ground. You’re still running. Your breath is slowing down. Your eyes catch the sunset. A beautiful soft white, orange blend. You think to yourself, How can something be so beautiful in the midst of tragedy? But you don’t notice. The blood on the ground as if someone marked their territory. Your sister, with a big gash on her forehead and busted lip, is holding your baby. But you don’t notice. My baby. Where’s my baby!, you think frantically. Your baby. You’re happy you see your baby. How can a four year old still be sleeping when all of this is happening. You bend down, tears streaming down your face onto your baby’s forehead. She opens her eyes. Stares straight at you. Mommy. Words you think she whispers to you. You cradle her little body close to yours. Happy that she’s alive. You don’t notice her breathing stopped. You don’t notice her grip on your hand isn’t as tight as before. With a smile on your face you move your daughter’s face away from your chest. But you finally notice. You notice that your decision cost your daughter’s life. You finally notice the price for sleeping behind the wheel.