You know how people say that your life can change at any given moment?

This was one of those moments.


Candice, come on! We were supposed to be on our way already!

I know, I know, I’m here. Let’s go.

I unlocked the car and started stuffing our bags into the trunk. I was excited. We were a bit late, but a family reunion is always fun. It was going to be the first time that I was introducing my girlfriend of three years to my family. I didn’t want my family to have a bad first impression of her, so I was wound a bit tight, haha.

Derek, breathe. I know we’re late, but there shouldn’t be any traffic for the next hour and a half. We’ll get there, okay?

Okay, babe. Sorry, I’m just excited to see everybody again, haha.

Want me to drive?

Yes, please.

I tossed her the keys and I walked over to the passenger side door.


Can we not listen to metal? Seems like a bad omen, seriously. Every metal band gets into an accident on these old roads off the Interstate…

Like who!?

Well, there was Metallica…that’s how Cliff Burton died! Then there was the bassist from the Deftones…

Okay, I get it. I’ll put my iPod on shuffle now, happy?


She flashed me her cheesy victory smile. I picked up my iPod and clicked the shuffle option. Chopin’s Nocturne in E-flat Major, Op. 9, No. 2 came on.

Seriously? What the hell have you been listening to, babe? Now I feel like we’re driving around in one of those weird Buick commercials…

…Can we just listen to this? I’ve always loved this song.

Okay…but from now on, we alternate songs! You shuffle until we find something that I like, got it? By the way, I can’t see all that well from my rear view. One of the bags is blocking my view. Could you move it?

Babe, there’s nobody on this road. I don’t think you need your rear view right now.

Please, I’m paranoid. You know that.

You’re just lucky that I like you enough to change the songs, turn bags onto their sides, and introduce you to my family.

I know. Loooooooooove you!

I unbuckled my seat belt and turned around to move the bag. While I was doing that, I was playfully hip checking her.

Stop it! I can’t see with your huge butt in my face!

She laughed. I did too. I finally stopped and turned one of the bags onto its side.


The last thing I remember was seeing that red sports car coming towards us. Have you ever heard the sound of metal being twisted and crushed against metal? I did. That’s the last thing I can remember.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that you might be a bit lost. I am too. I don’t know where I am. They all say that purgatory is supposed to be a dead space, but everything is black here. I can’t tell if I’m dead or alive.


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