That day started off like any normal day would have.
I woke up to the crisp smell of bacon that came from the kitchen. My dad always cooked bacon, eggs, and biscuits on Saturday. It was kind of our little family 'tradition' we started around five years ago when I was ten. Rian, my brother, had decided that we needed at least one thing we could declare a tradition in our family. At the time it sounded weird because most family's had more religious traditions. But after a while it clicked naturally into the weekly routine.
Stretching as much as my twin sized bed allowed me, I snook a peek at my clock. 10:43 am. Breakfast was a little late today. Then again, I was just waking up myself. The pat of my bare feet was loud when I stepped out of bed. Startled, I shook dark hair out of my face and looked in the mirror.
As usual, my brunette colored hair was a mess. It stood out all over my head at different angles as if it had a mind of its own. My dad had said I got my hair from him and my green eyes from my mother, who died when I was three. Instinctively I looked at them. They stared back with a sharp green color that could only be described as wild moss. Okay, not a good comparison but it was suitable.
Already thinking about food, I hauled myself off the bed and started toward the kitchen. Rian stood in front of the counter dividing scrambled eggs onto three separate plates. We took turns making the traditional Saturday breakfast and this was his weekend. Dad's was last week and next week was mine.
"So it IS still breathing," my brother said when he noticed me standing there like a Duffus.
"Yes, unfortunately for you...what?" I said as he rolled his dark brown eyes that were so unlike my own, "Did you actually think I'd give you the satisfaction of letting you eat my portion? Ha! Think again. Wait; did you just call me 'it'?"
He opened his mouth to reply but changed his mind when my dad lumbered in. "Hmm, smells good Rian. Nothing like that pile of ashes I almost served us last weekend." Of course he was referring to how he just about burnt the biscuits that Saturday. Then in his haste to save the them, he slightly burnt the eggs along with the biscuits. I smiled at him and stuck my tough out at my brother when my dad wasn't looking.
This Saturday was particularly special. Somehow dad had scored tickets for us to go to a concert in the city. We had never gone to a concert before. To us it didn't even matter what bands were playing. The concert started at 10:00 pm and we awaited it eagerly.
"Come ooooonnn," I groaned as I waited by our ugly little car. A cold wind blew in the night sky giving me goose bumps. I looked at my watch; it was only 9:15. As if that wasn't bad enough, freezing rain pelted down on us and the car. I shivered. Leaving early was what we had all decided to do but it was still taking forever to get dad into the car.
"Thank you~," I coaxed and smiled as he sent me a 'don't make me make you stay home' look.
We never should have left the house.
"Do you think it's a guy band or a girl band playing tonight," I asked Rian happily.
He looked at me over his shoulder and shrugged. My brother had never really been the talkative type. And in truth neither was I. Both of us have been home schooled by our dad since either of us could remember.
Dad changed the channel on the radio to his weird country station as we crossed onto a bridge. The bridge stretched across the normally calm river that separated us from the city. Rain poured down heavily in sheets causing the river to be highly dangerous as it raged under the bridge and us. We had crossed this bridge many times that we knew the bridge would not collapse.
I shook my head and hid my smiling face in my hands as my brother and dad started to sing along to the radio. They were both horribly off-key and they missed half of the lyrics as they sang.
That's when it happened.
A truck, twice the size of our car, came barreling toward us on the wrong side of the road. My dad jerked the car to the left to avoid colliding with the huge vehicle. Tires squealed loudly and the high pitched sound filled my ears. But before we could even find a sliver of relief from avoiding the truck, we crashed through the railing on the bridge. I could feel the drop as if we were on a steep roller coaster at a theme park. The thing was, we weren't at any kind of park. We were all falling toward the deadly river with terrifying speed. A piercing sound filled my ears and I barely had the time to realize that it was me screaming.
SPLASH! The car hit the water with agonizing force and began to sink instantly. Aware I had let go of my brother shoulder in the fall I reached for it again but found nothing. Terror was running through my veins as I tried to get my bearings. All I could see was water water water as it filled the car. Not thinking straight I started cranking the window down before we were completely under the rough current.
Then not even three seconds later I was yanked from the car window and into the cold river. It had been at least 60 seconds since my last breath and my lungs ached for oxygen. I could feel my body rushing with the river and I couldn't tell which way was up. Pain burst across my shoulder as I hit something. Suddenly I remembered how to swim and opened my eyes. All around me in the water were white tendrils that seemed to move anyway they liked. Some clung to me tried as I squirmed. They were strangely warm, way to warm to be floating in this half-frozen river. I dismissed tat thought and told myself that it was probably just gasoline from the car.
My legs kicked and reached as my arms pulled in a direction I prayed was up. Suddenly I broke through to the surface and could breathe for the first time in too long. Gulping as much air as I could I struggled to keep myself above water. Then out of nowhere I saw it. The small beach that ran along the side of the river wavered in my sight. Instantly I began to swim agonizingly slow toward it. But I kept getting pulled under the current and each time I thought I'm going to die.
Something grazed my foot and I thought it was another tendril but it was different. It was too slimy and thick so I was confused for a moment. Then it hit me. Mud. I had made it to shore.
I was going to live.
I laid there catching my breath and coughing up water that had made it into my lungs. It took me several breaths to realize that I could hear sirens coming from my far left. And suddenly I remembered being the only one sliding out of the car. No no no no it's not possible, I'm sure they got out. Maybe I just didn't see them and they were right behind me the whole time.
But I knew better.