Waiting for the impact of the crash was like wading through water. Everything was moving as if in slow motion and the air around me seemed thick and heavy. The other car was coming towards me like a huge wave, the impact was inevitable and turning and trying to wade through the tide was impossible. I was going to be dragged under and all I could do was sit and wait for it to hit.
It seemed to take forever but in fact, from the moment I saw the car hurtling out of control as it veered round the bend, to the moment when it clipped the corner of my bumper and sent me spinning wildly, actually only took a few seconds.
Its amazing what your brain registers in times of sheer panic. I remember the driver’s features quite clearly, but then again our vehicles were so close that had we wound down our windows we could have reached out and grasped hands as we passed. He was not so resigned to our fate as I was, and for that I’m told I should be grateful for had he not fought desperately to gain control of his car, then the collision would have been head-on which would have killed at least one of us, possibly both. I think the police officer who told me this felt that it would offer some small sense of comfort, but he has no idea how many times I wish I had been killed. Even death would be more bearable than the daily pain I now endure.
And so, as the other driver managed to regain control of his car and veer back onto the left hand lane, my car unfortunately rotated and I found myself facing the wrong way and staring into the horrified eyes of another oncoming driver. She attempted to swerve but still smashed into the front of my car and again I was spinning, spinning, spinning. There was no crash barrier to prevent my flight, no tree or hedgerow too slow my pace. The car was pirouhetting like a crazed ballerina and eventually dizziness took over and I felt the car turn and topple over.
Even lying on its roof, the car did not seem to lose speed. It continued to slide, except now I was looking at the scene from a whole new perspective. Sometime before the car had toppled my hands had stopped gripping the steering wheel, where skin had pulled taut over white knuckles, and automatically stretched over my most vulnerable area. My head and body rattled with the impact of each turn and jolt, albeit somewhat restrained by the seat belt, but no matter the force of each roll I could not bring myself to brace against the impact. My hands were frozen to the surface, fingers splayed out as if trying to cover as much of the area as possible, trying to protect the thirty-four week old life nestled inside. The final impact arrived with bone shattering consequence. Darkness came.