Fields of Barley, Vol. 13
(If you want to read this from the beginning, click on the Stories, Short & Otherwise Link above)
The fun lasted only an instant as an old yellow Toyota driven by Janie Lowenstein, the woman he would one day marry, slowed as it approached the intersection. Then, without warning, it continued through the light and knocked Mark’s advancing old primer-gray Volkswagen bug into a hedge, the trusty German import would never be driven again. The sound of the crash startled Mark as he watched the accident unfold and brought back the memory of terror that gripped his heart as her car made contact. He remembered many things about the accident, but he tried to forget the terrible sound of smashing metal, plastic, and glass that was heard once again in his ears. Seeing the small cars push each other around reminded Mark of childhood toys with which he had once played, only this time real people exited the vehicles after the dust cleared and the damage was done.
Just like before, Mark’s heart skipped a beat as the driver in the yellow Toyota (the most beautiful woman Mark had ever seen) emerged from the driver’s side of the Tercel. She knew she had broken the law, but at the moment she thought of nothing else but the safety of whoever hit. She didn’t even notice the cut on her forehead, or the blood that was slowly falling over her right eye and down her cheek to where it left her face and fell in steady drops, leaving a trail of blood that followed her across the pavement.
She reached his car just as Mark opened his driver’s side door. Instantly Janie lunged at Mark just as he unlatched his seatbelt. “Are you alright?” she said almost screaming. Everyone who stopped to watch could hear the panic in her voice.
Mark saw his future wife again for the first time as he sat in his car. He had turned to open his door when immediately it was thrown open and Janie hovered above him, looking down and yelling something. It wasn’t the accident, but Janie’s beautiful face that took his breath away. As Mark told his friends after the accident, the blood falling from her wound gave Janie the appearance of a china doll who’s face was cracked—only this crack yielded blood. He stared up at this woman and he completely forgot what had happened, leaving him only to gawk and remind himself to breathe.
To Janie, the lack of communication coming from the car’s driver told her something very serious had happened. She thought the man was dead, even though he was looking at her, sitting upright in his seat and moving to get out of his car. But the adrenaline in her system told her that he was dead, and that she had killed him. Janie reacted as she had been trained to do as a municipal pool lifeguard. Her only thought was to get the man out of the car and try to bring him back to life.
To be continued...
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