Peace enveloped him, soft and fluffy. Among the white velvety clouds, his ethereal body floated. Beneath, a river of flowing stars twinkling with answers to the mundane and the profound. Onward in its embrace his body sunk, slowly dissipating to become one with the twinkles beneath. Tranquility held him, cocooning him in an embrace that felt so familiar, evoking a memory once thought lost but never truly forgotten. A woman appeared before him. There was a simple beauty to her. In her gaze, he saw an emotion burning into existence, blazing bright, blazing first, blazing true. Love.
"You need to go back Namdi, it is not time."
With a ping, the world shattered, fading to nothing, only to be forgotten.
An eye opened to a red world. The scent of gasoline thick in the air, overwhelming the senses. From his ears, he could only hear a dull ringing. Muscles tensing, Namdi's body attempted to move but was held in place by the airbag and seat belt. To his left, through the window, he could faintly make out the outline of an old man. His eye closed once again as he fell unconscious.
"He's alive! Someone help me get the door open!"
"There's a small fire starting, shouldn't we put that out first?"
"Then get a fire extinguisher! Or do you want to spit on it?"
"What if it explodes?"
The man began to edge away from the site of the crash along with some of the crowd. Frustrated, the old man trying to force open the passenger side door pointed a finger at the spineless man.
"Man up! It is no where near the fuel tank. Will no one help me?!"
Within the sea of people, the crowd parted; a few university students elbowing their way through. A young boy in the lead held two fire extinguishers.
"Sir, what can we do?"
"Two of you should work one fire extinguisher, the rest of you help me break the glass and drag him out through the window."
Using the butt of the second fire extinguisher, the man hammered away at the window. Shards of glass tumbled down.
"We need a blade to cut the seat belt"
"Will this work?"
Surprised, the man took a switchblade from the outstretched hand of a university student. With quick work, he popped the airbag and cut away the seat belt. Blood still ran down a cut on Namdi's forehead, pooling in his left eye. With a handkerchief, the old man wiped the blood away as best he could, checking for and finding a weak but steady pulse. Helping hands lifted Namdi out through the window, an ambulance finally arriving at the scene. Paramedics ran to the old man and students, stretcher in hand. Carefully, they placed him onto the stretcher and into the back of the ambulance. Before the doors closed, the young boy brought a phone and handed it to the paramedic.
"His phone. Maybe try calling someone on it."
He watched as the ambulance sped off into the distance.
Blinking eyes struggled to adjust to the contrast of darkness and light. A breath brought with it a fragrance of drugs, disinfectant and violet. A groan escaped Namdi's lips as he attempted to move. Around him were monitors displaying different forms of lines, numbers and words, their beeps an orchestra with a terrible lack of skill. Eyes no longer struggling, his gaze finally fell on her.
She sat there on a chair that was more function than comfort. Tracks ran down her cheeks, mascara running. Worry lines were etched on her delicate features, thin lips quivering. Words caught in her throat unable to come out. Instead, she moved towards him. Watching her close the distance, Namdi was overcome.
"A lovely angel in front of me, I must be in heaven."
His face stung, the physical pain nothing in comparison to the emotional one he felt when her slim graceful fingers came in contact with his cheek.
"How could you!"
With that outburst, she buried her face in his chest, tears pouring from her eyes in a flood that wouldn't end. Pain coursed through his bandaged ribs but he said nothing, merely wrapping his arms around her, pulling her close.
Continued on next page...
Let's discuss this story in the comments below