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The Other Side of You

  • 17
The Other Side of You |

Every day I live with a pain that is almost unbearable. I say ‘almost’ because I’m still here, still functioning, albeit in a very dampened down sense of being ‘alive’. Existing, only just. There is no pleasure for me, my broken heart keeps beating, as full of love as ever it was, but it cannot sing, or burst with pride as it did in my life before.

Josh, my brown-eyed boy, my own creation of perfection, my everything is gone. The memory is too terrible to recall. I try so hard not to think of it, but how can you shut out the sound of your own visceral scream that emanates from deep inside? You cannot bury a memory so abhorrent; its intrusive infiltration is impossible to block.

Through the frosted glass I saw two blurred figures in dark clothing. Two police officers, one female, one male. I thought, surely not. Josh had only just left for school, swinging his bag over his shoulder, his laces not tied properly, unruly brown hair flopping over his eyes.

Their expressions reflected the seriousness of the news they had to deliver.

“Mrs Jenkins?” they enquired. This is PC Blacklock and I'm DS Perry.“ Can we go inside?” they gently enquired. They asked me to sit down. I braced myself. You have the wrong person!“I have some very bad news to tell you. Your son Joshua has been involved in a road accident”, then pausing before delivering the crucial, life-changing punch, he continued,“ I am sorry to have to tell you he has died.”

Disbelief washed over me and I said, “No, you've got that wrong, officer. Not my son, he will be in school now”, I assured them, shaking my head, emphasising just how wrong they were. That is how I found out that Josh had been hit by a car on the pedestrian crossing. A newly qualified driver displaying the ‘P’ sign failed to stop for the red light. My son smashed onto the bonnet, was flung upwards before crashing down onto the road, striking his head. Too severe an injury for a boy to sustain, he must have been killed almost outright, lying crumpled in the road like a broken toy.

“I saw the car coming towards me, a male teenager behind the wheel, not slowing down, no time to stop. No time to think or run, it happened so fast, and yet so slow. The impact was merciless. I bounced off the car bonnet then hit the road, couldn't open my eyes. The crushing blackness came and I knew no more. I was taken to hospital though there was nothing they could do but file me away in a freezing cold cabinet, my case closed. Please search for ‘P’. Black car. RIP JJ”.

Ten days later, I sat in Josh’s bedroom. His funeral now over, I was emotionally void and totally unprepared for what I found in the notepad, in his own writing, an accurate description of the fatal accident, his macabre, psychic premonition.

© Angela Craddock 2021-07-09


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