I stood up from the crumpled mess in which I had been entrapped and experienced my new reality. Movements were effortless and thoughts were smooth, flowing together in an endless river of pleasure and comfort. My death had brought me to an unfamiliar, yet wonderful new place.
He didn’t even cry; he just wanted to get out of the car. The shock and horror of what he saw froze his emotions. His blood ran cold and he was a changed man. He remembered that Pintos can explode when hit from behind and he wanted to get out of the car. He felt the warmth oozing from his body and for a brief second, the adrenaline was so strong, that he felt none of the injuries causing the blood to trickle from his multiple wounds. But as he tried to get out of the car, unbearable pain exploded in him when he tried to move.
The smell of smoke and strong liquor dominated the senses of anyone that walked through the door of this neighborhood bar. The bartender adjusted the cigarette hanging loosely out of his mouth, watched the smoke curl up past his eyes and hung up the phone, chuckling.
That night, she looked in the mirror at a new person; she took a deep breath and felt the excitement building up inside of her. In her mind, she knew she was done with it all, she knew it was over, no matter what happened. For the first time in her life, she would be completely on her own and she was ready for the challenge. Scared, but ready. Although she still had a lot to figure out, she knew in her heart that going to Blue Springs to visit and regroup was the first step. She knew it was the right thing to do, as if being led by the universe, by God, by something or someone bigger than her. I watched her fall asleep peacefully for the first time in a long time. She gave no thought or concern to what she left behind; it was not worth her time or energy.
This mirror was the same mirror Yvonne had in her room in our home. She had looked at herself when she had on a new leotard or dancing to music without a care in the world. She looked in it when she was packing to move to California and then again to Tulsa. After everything that had happened when she looked all she saw were hollow eyes looking back at her because of the emptiness inside. This very mirror that held Yvonne’s life inside it, that knew her so well was now being used to pull her down even further.
The next morning, she dialed her brother’s phone number over and over. She sat by the phone in the kitchen waiting for him to answer. It seemed to take forever but he finally answered around noon, she started shaking and crying as she told him everything that had happened. She could barely push the words out, the emotions of everything rose to the surface. She just needed someone that was real and cared for her. Yvonne didn’t have to ask Carl to come; he just told her he would. She needed him now more than ever, just to hold her and help her feel like a real person, the person she used to be.
Everyone else was in bed and she was sitting in the living room, the lights down low and it was quiet and peaceful. She had been going over and over her conversation with her pastor all afternoon. Sometimes, she had thought about the funeral throughout the years. Every time it always ended the same: Her staying with one of us in our coffin, snuggled up next to one of us. In her day dream, she would sometimes be with me and sometimes with her dad, but never alone, never without one of us by her side.