Carion looked at me, his brown eyes now paling at the fear that once held them. The twisted metal around us groaned with the weight of the other car, the space closing slowly with the sharp shrieks of crushed steel.
He took his free hand and reached up and clasped it around mine, arms stretched across the driver’s seat to the passengers where I hung suspended. His hand was bloody and I wasn't sure whose it was; mine dripping down, his from the weight of the other car crushing his body, or - worse to think about - the blood from the other car running down the shattered remains of the window and pooling around Carion's feet.
Here he sat, knowing. My best friend was dying in front of me and I was stuck in the seat belt that held me sideways. His brown hair melted into his forehead with sweat and smears of somebody's blood. He started to smirk and rubbed my hand gently with his thumb.
All the feelings I had bubbled and rushed to the surface like an eruption, everything I suppressed for so long and for "the right reasons" suddenly seemed so stupid. We wanted to stay friends. He wanted desperately to keep the friendship and we decided that cutting off the emotional feelings that were starting to come to light was the best way.
I watched him marry his girlfriend. He was in my hospital room for the birth of my first child. He brought roses and stayed at my house the entire night when my step-mom died.
This was my person. The one I watched live his life without me for 10 years, re-enacting scenarios I had come up with for us in my head for so long before.
All I could do was cry. Hot tears streamed down my face as my chest convulsed in silent tears. He just looked at me with those fearless eyes.
"I've never loved anyone the same."
"We will be fine," my voice shook with false bravado at the lie I spouted.
"It was always you."
I heard shouting and sirens as my body flushed with relief. I started to scream out, letting the paramedics know that we were alive.
I turned back to watch him just as his hand slipped off mine and his eyes fill with tears of our life together. In slow motion I grappled for his arm before it fell away out of my reach and his eyes closed.
Hands reached behind me and I felt pressure against my chest. The seat belt was cut and I was pulled back through the broken window. I fought to escape, to touch him and take him with me. I screamed and fought as I watched the wreckage of the car and my life get smaller and smaller as I was strapped in and wheeled away.
Someone leaned over my gurney and whispered into my ear, "Shhh, miss, he's gone. Let him go."
I tried once. But I can't.