Saturday, January 10, 2015

One Breath at a Time


The Crash
   I stomped the snow off of my boots with Bethany bundled in my arms. I lowered her to the kitchen floor and made sure she could stand on her chubby one year old legs, then began the process of freeing her from the snowsuit.
  Brad called from the entry hall that we had five messages since the time we'd left the house to go out to eat.  I heard the muffled voices coming from the answering machine.
"Why would a detective from Summit County call me? I have three messages to call him back," Brad's eyebrows furrowed.  He studied the piece of paper he scribbled the name and number on.
"I have no idea, " I shrugged. Bethany now free ran through the kitchen, her bottom sagged in her little jeans. I sighed. "I need to change Bethany. Are you going to call him back?" Bethany squealed and ran when she figured out my intentions.
"Yeah, I 'll call from upstairs so I can hear." Brad climbed the steps and disappeared.
 I caught my curly headed little girl and swung her in my arms. She let out a stream of giggles.
"Britany! Will you please get your sister a pair of pajamas and bring to me?" I called to my eight year old. The stomping on the stairs told me that she heard my request.
"Tam! Come here," my husband's voice sounded thick and raspy.  My insides fluttered a bit, not sure what I was about to hear.

I reached the top of the steps and lowered Bethany to hall floor. She took off to her bedroom. My bedroom door was slightly ajar, I pushed it opened. My husband sat on the floor with his back against the bed, his legs bent at the knee, and held his head in his hands.

I swallowed, "What happened?" My heart sped up.

He lifted his head to look at me. His hazel eyes were red rimmed and glassy. "That wasn't' a detective who called. It was a coroner."

I drew my eyebrows together.  "What did he want?"

"He said Mickey was in a car wreck today?" Brad dropped his head again. His broad shoulders shook.

" he okay?" My mind wouldn't put it together. Refused to.

"He's dead." Brad choked out the words.

"NO! NO!" My words sounded far away. I wasn't even sure if  they came from me. My heart thudded against the walls of my chest. "What are we going to? Oh my God! What are we going to do?" The words launched out of me without warning.  Brad's arms enclosed around me. He pulled me to his chest and told me to calm down.

"Britany will hear you..," Brad never got to finish. Britany stood in the doorway of our bedroom. Tears streamed from her blue eyes.


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