You are flung into the air. Time slows down as you look, horrified at the hood of the Chevrolet Silverado that ran a red light and struck you as you crossed the street.

You are panicking, but you cannot hear your own screams, and that just makes you want to scream more. Shards of glass dance in the glow of the street lamps as you impact the windshield and continue your ascent over the car. The only thing you can hear are the brakes of the 20-year old truck, straining to come to a stop as if to apologize, to finish the job they had not been able to complete prior to the car hitting you.

As you sail over the roof of the car, the pain starts to go away. You think about how funny it is– everyone says time slows down when these kinds of things happen. You didn’t believe them. If you make it out of this alive, you tell yourself, you’ll be more open to things like that. Things you don’t understand.

You twist, clearing the car, and stare into the asphalt. It seems to stare back at you, unfeeling. You think about your parents, about your friends, about your lovers. The fact that this is the end is starting to dawn on you, and in this moment of agony and self-awareness, it seems funny to you.

The asphalt is getting closer and closer. By now you know you’re not going to make it. Your nerves are screaming at your brain that your body is broken, but your nervous system doesn’t seem to care. You feel nothing but a slight warmth from the blood flowing from your various lacerations as it trickles down your body. You didn’t want to go this way, but you know what? At the end of the day, you were happy. You truly were. You lived a good life. You did most of the important things you wanted to do already. You’re not worried about yourself. Your last coherent thought is sympathy for your friends. Nobody should have to live through the death of someone they care about. That’s what hurts more than anything else– the fact that when you hit that asphalt, you’re going to be hurting your loved ones.

You close your eyes.

And as you hit the road, you don’t see a light, or an angel, or even an abyss devoid of color, of nothingness. This is the last thing you see before you die.