I didn’t know how to put all of this, but I figured that friends and family might like to know. So I wrote it as clearly as possible. Everything happened in this way as clearly as I can remember it.
“Predators is out.” I said. “Whaddaya think?”
“Let’s go.” Said Silver.
“Yeah, why not?”
“We’ll have to find showtimes.”
“Let’s go now.”
We got up from the bench and set the hookah aside. Smoke wreathed the doorways we walked through as we stepped over legs around tables. Illustrated and pierced smokers watched us from the corners of the room.
“You’ve never seen the first Predator?”
Silver shook her head. “Parts of it.” Her giant eyes looked at me, asking forgiveness. “Sorry.”
“No, that’s fine. Don’t say you’re sorry. So you haven’t seen it. I’m just amazed.” We stopped at the street and looked both ways. “Wait.”
The light turned red. We trotted across holding hands and I looked up in the sky. “I love clouds like these, giant cumulous that look like epic castles. As the sun sets they’ll turn bright gold and pink. I want those colors to be in my painting. Yano?”
Silver said I know, because I talked about the clouds all the time. We got in my car and I talked about clouds. We traveled to my apartment as I talked about clouds. Silver sat patiently and listened. She smiled at my exuberance for nothingness sweetly.
I texted my roommate Andrew and asked if he wanted to go to Predators.
“Hell yeah.” Said his text.
When we got to the apartment I looked up show times for the movie with Andrew. Silver sat at the Xbox 360 and started to play Fallout 3. It was our latest addiction. The showtimes we could go to were 10:00 p.m. and 10:45 p.m.
“Well, if we go to the ten o’clock we need to leave like, now.” Said Andrew. The time was 9:20.
“You want to go now? Or later?”
“Doesn’t matter to me.”
We walked into the living room and confronted Silver. “Kay, the times we can go are ten and ten forty-five. When do you want to go?”
She looked up from the T.V. “I don’t care. When do you work?”
“One.” I said. “I don’t have to get up early. If we go now we can make the ten o’clock.”
She looked at the video game longingly. “Fine, let’s go.”
We shut off the lights and the television and the Xbox and walked out of the front door.
“You driving?” Asked Andrew.
I sighed and reluctantly nodded. “Just don’t have much gas. That’s fine.”
“I don’t have my keys, so.”
“Yeah let’s go.”
We got in my car. It was a junk heap, but it had running AC and it got me places. That was enough. The little radio in the dash was so old and crappy that earlier that month, my car had gotten broken into and it was left alone.
It was dark by then, and I turned on my lights as we pulled out onto the street. “So Silver hasn’t seen Predator.”
“You what? C’mon, it’s got Arnie.” Andrew made his best ‘Arnold screaming’ impersonation.
“What’s it even about?”
“It’s like, a bunch of marines in a jungle—“ I slowed to hit the speed bump. The car in front of me looked odd, like it was in my lane. And then it really was in my lane.
The headlights of the car were very close, drifting to the right, like a dream or an apparition. I hit the brakes and, at the last second, the headlights turned, fast and hard, directly into us. I heard a screech, and Silver said Oh my God. The headlights went up, left, and then disappeared below the hood of my car. That was when the air bag hit me.
Everything was quiet. The pitter-patter of airbag dust sounded like rain. Choked breathing came from my right. I looked around, but my glasses were off. “Is everyone OK?”
Andrew was in the dark of the backseat, bent over and holding his face. He moaned softly. Silver was huddled against the door, holding her chest. “Something’s wrong. Something’s wrong I can’t breath.”
I reached over, still trying to absorb it all. “Did you have your seatbelt on?” I reached for her, looking for the clasp.
She nodded. Silver clutched at her chest. “Something’s wrong.”
I opened my door and jumped out and ran around the car. Car accident. Get Silver out. I saw a man standing next to the other car. “Who was driving?”
“I was.” He was still dressed in his Target uniform. He was staring at our car. Standing still.
As I rounded the car to Silver’s door, Andrew opened his. With all the anger I could muster I spat, “What the fuck were you thinking?”
“I just fell asleep, man.”
I tried to open the door on her side, but the clasp was broken. She was on the other side of the window, doubled over. “FUCK” I hit the door and ran back around.
“Silver, stay calm.” I pulled the clasp from inside of her door and it opened. I pushed it further and ran around the car again. Andrew was covered in blood. I pulled Silver out of the car and set her in the grass as straight as I could, trying to avoid back injuries.
“I can’t breath. Something’s wrong. Something’s broken.” Her eyes were bigger than usual, wide with fear. I wanted to scream at the world and cry. I did not want to say goodbye to my girlfriend on the grass on the side of the road.
Andrew immediately knelt in the grass beside us and prayed for Silver. Already there was a crowd around us. Andrew stood and said, “Someone call an ambulance.”
He pulled out his cell phone and called 911 himself.
Silver was on the ground, squirming with pain. Her breaths were shallow and her eyes were rolling back into her head. “Something’s wrong. Am I going to die?”
“No, you’re fine, it’s fine. You’re O.K. Just breath slow, in out in out. Breath Silver. Silver stay with me. You’re fine.”
The police arrived and asked every question five times. One man asked if the car was parked when I hit it. Waiting for the ambulance was the longest ten minutes of my life.
Today the 14th Silver got home from the hospital with bruises and crutches, but she got home alive, and in more or less good condition. Andrew got his face checked out, since he head-butted the back of Silver’s seat at 35 miles per hour. He is fine, with no major concussion. I was the safest person in the car and came out with a burn on my arm from the air bag and a sore nose. That’s about that.