On Tuesday, while walking back to her apartment after a double shift at Applebee’s, Marianne’s neighbor hit her with his car.
It wasn’t something she could have planned and it definitely wasn’t something she saw coming. One moment she was walking down the sidewalk, ear buds blasting Carly Rae Jepsen, and the next she was pinned between the front end of a blue Honda Civic and the magnolia tree in front of her building. There had been no slow approach of the car or that brief moment of realization that something bad was about to happen. It was nothing like that. One moment she’d been walking, thinking about how little she’d made and how rent was due in a couple of days, and the next was her, the car, and the tree joined together.
She’d always been partial to that magnolia tree.
She didn’t register the pain at first. Instead she just looked down, her Applebee's apron pushed up over the hood, and thought Well, fuck.
“Hey, are you okay?” a voice asked. Her neighbor, Kevin or Kenneth or some other white guy with a K-name that she’d met briefly once in the laundry room and immediately forgot, was standing nearby. His expression was somewhere between put out and upset.
“You hit me with your car,” Marianne said, because there wasn’t much else to say and she was pretty sure shock was setting in.
“So, you aren’t okay?” Keith or Kristoff demanded.
“No, not okay.”
He sighed, pulled out his cell phone, and dialed 911.
Pain began to come to Marianne in bits and jagged pieces, and Carly Rae was singing to some boy to call her maybe in her left ear. The right ear bud had fallen out and was buried somewhere between the latch release of the hood and Marianne's right ovary.
She couldn’t help but think hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but lose my number, you killed me maybe.
Marianne was not nearly as happy about it as Carly Rae Jepsen was.
“You know, maybe you could tell me how hurt you are? I could probably help. I took a first aid course once,” Kelvin said.
“I don’t think that’s going to help,” Marianne said. She couldn’t feel anything below her waist and she was beginning to taste blood in her mouth. Breathing wasn’t going so hot, either.
And to be honest, Kaden didn't really look up to the task, with his khakis and off brand polo shirt.
“Oh, well, fine, if you don’t want my help you just had to say so.”
“I’m pretty badly injured. I need an ambulance,” she said.
Everything was definitely fucked.
“Sorry if I offended you,” Kris said before moving away.
Marianne prayed for unconsciousness. Maybe I’ll pass out and when I wake up this will all be over, she thought. She’d wake up in the hospital with a bionic lower half and would be recruited by an international spy organization to take down dictators. Or maybe she’d just meet a really cute doctor and they could go out on a date.
She hadn’t had a real date in months.
“Hey, how are we doing here?” someone asked. Marianne managed to look to her left. The EMT stood there, smiling down at her. He seemed nice, but a tad...unconcerned.
“I think I’m dying,” she said.
The EMT laughed. “Now, now, now. No need to get hysterical.”
“Hey, do you think you could take a look at this,” Kevin asked, pointing to his head. “I hit my head on the airbag pretty hard.”
“Sure thing buddy, just let me take care of this,” the EMT said.
“Okay, but my head really hurts,” Keifer said.
“You hit me with a car and I’m dying and now you want the EMT to see to you first could you just shut the fuck up?” Marianne said. She’d thought she was saying it quietly, but halfway through she realized she was screaming, tears flowing down her cheeks.
Klaude crossed his arms. “Wow, you’re being totally unreasonable. Yes, I hit you with my car, but I apologized. And I offered to do first aid and even called an ambulance for you. You should be more grateful. After all, not everyone has an ambulance to see to them when they get hurt. What about those people?”
“You should really try to see it from his side,” the EMT agreed.
And then Marianne, having achieved the final slight a woman can endure, turned into a beautiful font of pure, fiery rage and burned Klayton, the EMT, the Honda Civic, and the magnolia tree to ash.
She felt really bad about the tree.