By Robert G. Newman

The light shined brightly in my eyes. My eyes were shut, but I could feel the light race across my face. It hesitated on my left eye, and I could feel it almost burning through my eyelid. I say feel, but I realize now that I'm not really feeling anything. Not my toes; not my arms; not my head. Springtime. The smell of fresh flowers after a morning rain. Rain. A lot of rain. Torrential downpour. I hear sounds. Voices, I think, but I can't make them out. There's that light again. What's that all about? Where was I? Where am I? Everything seems fuzzy, but my eyes are still closed. Rain. I hear rain. It's loud, like, like, like, I don't know. I remember going up to see Marla at her dorm room. Marla, lovely Marla. We'd been going out since she was in the seventh grade, and I was in ninth. Now she goes to the University of Tennessee. Tennessee. T-e-n-n-e-s-s-e-e. Tennessee. See, I could spell. I was the 1991 Connecticut State Spelling Champion. Rain. I hear that rain again. It's really coming down. It's raining like cats and dogs. I never understood that expression. Marla probably would. She's very intelligent. She's got a full scholarship to the University of Tennessee. I was going there to ask her to marry me this weekend. Weekend. Yes! I remember now. I drove down to see Marla and ask her to marry me. And she said she said she said NO!! That's right. She broke up with me instead. She needed her space. I drove all the way down there, stayed for half an hour, and then I had to drive all the way back. Whoa!! There's that light again. And the voices. Male voices. Deep voices. My right eyelid's opening but I'm not opening it. Somebody's finger is in my eye, but I still can't see because that light's right there. I can't see a thing. Good, he closed my eye, and the light went away. Tulips. Two Lips. Marla loved tulips, and I loved her two lips. I picked some fresh on the way down to Tennessee. It was sunny then. The perfect spring day. Then the clouds came out of nowhere. Thunderstorm. Big thunderstorm. It was night time now. I was getting wet. Tears. Tears. Buckets full of tears. Only one wiper on my 89 Escort worked. Luckily it was on the driver's side. "I can't help how I feel, she said. "I didn't mean for it to happen., she said "You should have called first," she said. "Darren has the same major, so we're in a lot of the same classes together." She said. Marla explained it all as soon as I got there. Like a band aid, get over with quickly. Sparks. Light. I can't feel the sparks. But I can see them through my closed eyes. I hear distant voices argue. I can make some of it out. "It's no use. He's dead." Hey!! You guys better not be talking about me. I'm alright. A little light headed maybe, but I'll be okay. If I could just open my eyes a little bit. The sparks have stopped. I remember two lights. They were coming right at me. Headlights! Headlights! I was driving back from Marla and and... I couldn't see very well. I was tired. I swerved into the other lane!! I must have fallen asleep. No. No. I was awake. I swerved into the other lane because I, I, I wanted to die!! No! I don't want to die. I wonder how the people in the other car are? Maybe that's who those voices are talking about? I hope I didn't kill anybody. I was upset. It's understandable. Right? There's that light again. It's a little different this time. It's not as focused. It's not directly at my eyes anymore either. It's like a whole big light shining at my whole body. My whole body. My whole body. That's a nice light. A warm light. I can feel warmth. That's a good sign.What's that down there? It looks like a pretty bad accident. That Escort looks pretty smashed up. It looks like it swerved off the road and split that tree clear in half. I hope nobody was hurt.