Ernie Mason saw the woman too late. Instinctively he swerved just as he felt the impact of her body hitting the front fender. He fought for control, but lost it completely. He saw a window before him. He saw faces. He heard screams. Then he felt pain. Then he felt nothing. The voices were receding away down a long dark tunnel.
Jack stood motionless as though an ice pick was pinning him to the ground piercing his brain and freezing his blood. His vocal chords were paralyzed. He saw the crowd forming around the incident. He heard the sirens mixed with the screams of the crowd. With a huge effort he got his feet moving, slowly at first then, then carrying him screaming across the street, bulldozing his way through the crowd.
His scream seemed to come from somewhere so deep inside, it was outside, like from some other dimension. He seemed to be screaming in one continuous breath as though it would never ever end.
Kerry was still alive. Jack was fighting his way through the crowd. Scuffles broke out as curious onlookers battled to get the best view. He reached her and fell on his knees by her side.
He touched her face where a trickle of blood was running along her cheek. She moaned slightly. There was blood on the road and her body was twisted into a grotesque shape. Jack didn't hear but voices were yelling,
"He's dead, that crazy bastard’s dead,” from the direction of the smashed car.
Ernie Mason was killed instantly. No one would mourn him. He would become another New York statistic. Across the street among the crowd, Jack was screaming incoherently.
"Jesus, it's his wife," said one man.
"Poor bastard," said a woman.
"She's still alive, has someone called an ambulance?"
A couple of cops were shouldering their way through.
"Ambulance is on its way. Okay, folks, it's not a circus. Let's move it, okay?" One cop looked at Jack. "Okay, pal, you know the lady?"
"She's my wife," sobbed Jack, almost biting his tongue with grief.
Behind, another siren was approaching.
"The other one's corpsed. The car smells like a distillery," said the first cop, who then looked down at Jack, "Jesus Christ!"
Jack was calling Kerry's name over and over. One of the cops put his arm around Jack's shoulders. "Take it easy, pal, the ambulance is here. We've gotta get her to the hospital. Come on, let's go."
"Don't die," Jack screamed. "My God don't die, hang on, darling. Jesus, you can't die. It's not fair. It's not fair."
The events that followed were blurred in Jack's mind. The street had been cordoned off while the twisted wreckage of the sedan was cut out of the ruins of the shop front. And then the smashed body of Ernie Mason was cut out of the car and placed into a body bag.
Jack could barely watch as the paramedic team worked on Kerry, wrapping her into a carrier sheet then with urgency as top priority rushing her into the ambulance. Jack stumbled into the back. He was now pale with shock. His initial tears had congealed on his face. He felt numb now, like he was floating above the scene. He heard the urgent instructions of the paramedic crew as through a fog. Someone was talking to him, asking him questions, his name, Kerry's name.
"She's having our baby," was all Jack could say, over and over.
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