To the Me Who Did Not Avoid the Collision Tonight

I am so sorry.

We were driving home from work, as we so often do. We had put on a playlist from happier times with an ex. Dinner was on our minds. 

Thursday. Thursday we would try to contact Whitman-Walker and attempt to do what we’ve been afraid to do for over a year now. It’s been slow going. You know. A lot to think about. A lot of ducks that need lining up. Work. Finances. Friends. We’re always so busy and so tired and there’s never enough money. Whenever we’ve started to get a grip on it, something comes along and slams right into us.

I saw them. I know you did too. They were coming up on our right and aiming to merge into our lane. We expected several things, but not for them to continue on at speed right to the merge point while we were on the main road.

I slammed on the brakes–there was no one in the oncoming lane and I turned hard into it. You did too. I know it, because we’re always so damn careful about everything. Despite everything on our mind, we had our eyes on the road. The car went skidding, tires screeching loud as hell, and I could see glass and bending steel tumbling end over end…

But the other driver just kept on. And there I was, on the road. In my car. Whole. And I knew. There are splits in time. Branches upon branches. I felt it. I felt you. In a single, pivotal instant, a ravenous universe opened its fangs. It was you or me.

Tonight it was you.

I didn’t have time to think. I pulled back into my lane to avoid oncoming traffic and drove home, too afraid to stop. If I pulled over to collect myself I would never make it. I breathed deeply, the playlist hummed on.

I’ll make that call Thursday, because you didn’t get that chance.

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