The car wraps itself around the tree in a hug. Glass breaks, metal rips itself against the rough wood and comes away in curls, like shredded skin.
The car moves up, almost impossibly, nearly rolling. It comes to rest propped up on the now-supine tree. The right side is in the air. The wheels are still spinning.
All I can hear is a ringing, and blood is pooling in my mouth. I can feel it spilling over my teeth, staining them red. My head hit the glass. I bit my cheek.
I open my mouth slightly, tilting forward, letting a few drops of red out onto the outside of my lips. They are cut up too, and the blood stings.
The glass is vibrating, and tree leaves are smashed against it. Broken twigs. Snaps of wood. There's a ringing in my head, still. Ringing. Ringing. Ringing.
I am fascinated by the way the tree is moving. It's still moving. Am I moving?
I can feel my brain trying to fumble back to awareness, spraying me with a bunch of nonsense words. Tree. Tree ground rock car tree.
I can feel my mom turning to look at me. She is beginning to cry. I cannot turn my neck, so I turn at the waist. Something is yanking at my neck. The seatbelt
Where are the airbags?
People are swarming around what used to be our car now. I can hear them through the ringing. My neck hurts. There is still blood in my mouth.
Car and blood. Okay.
She is upset, still crying, trying to get out from her seatbelt. She is talking. Lots of words.
I'm not saying anything. Should I be speaking?
My door won't open.
I'm up in the air.
I'm sure the tree is dead.
I climb out through her door; mine won't open, and stumble into the broken glass. Red and white. Red and white and yellow, and all glass.
My mom is trying to make a call, the phone is not working. She's angry. She's crying.
I feel like crying.
My knee bleeds down into my sock. I go behind the car, away from prying eyes, and look at the tree.
I reach down and pull pieces of the hood out of the branches.
The metal slices my hands, and I'm bleeding a little around my nails. I drop the pieces. They clatter.
My ears are ringing.
She comes over. "Are you okay?"
I try to nod. My neck hurts. My knee is bleeding. I nod, biting my lip, scoring the skin with my teeth.
"I'm going to try to call your father."
Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay
car crash. Car. Tree. We're okay. We're okay. Okay.
This is still going in my head. My head hurts. I need to sit down.
I crouch on the curb, all loose clothing, headaches and sweat. People are staring at me, at my mom, at our car.
I'm sorry, tree.
I can't look at it, at the car, at the people and their eyes, so I look at myself.
The blood dries against my skin, and I begin to shake.
I'm okay. I'm okay.
I'm going to be okay.