I was first to arrive at the wreckage. It was a head on collision caused by a dust storm. My brother had been slowing down when the Ford truck appeared out of nowhere sitting in the middle of the road. The first thing I noticed was that my brother’s girlfriend was hobbling around with one foot twisted a sick way. She was walking on her ankle and not her foot at all, 1 had come to realize as I dragged her away from my brother and into my truck. I had to do that because my brother was starting to panic and I couldn’t let him go into shock.
I noticed blood on the airbags when I first glanced at the wreckage but thought nothing of it. As soon as she was safe I ran to my brother and he said calmly, “Mac I’m stuck, it’s bad, it’s real bad. ” I remember a lot from that day, which is far more than I want to. The screaming, the blood, the ambulances, how calm my brother was as he was cut out of the car, how his dog refused to leave his side, and traveling those forty miles to St. Catherine’s Hospital illegally. The front of the suburban was smashed clear to the windshield, as if it didn’t even have a motor.
I felt this odd sense of dread and fear, like all the air in my lungs was replaced by ice and acid; I couldn’t make a sound. At first I wasn’t sure who was screaming. I thought it was my brother, but he was only sitting there with agony written across his face. He’d call out my name every so often in this pain filled voice I’d only heard one other time. No, my brother wasn’t screaming. It was his girlfriend that continued to scream as the firemen pulled out all of their equipment. She sat there shaking, with eyes wide and tear filled, the red of the blood contrasting with the bright blue of her eyes.
She screamed about my brother needing to be helped. I hushed her and finally came out of my shock enough to notice that Kendra was bleeding from her head and leg. The blood had soaked through her blue jeans which she had bought the day before and in to the red seats of my truck. It matched so well it was like it wasn’t even there. I pulled a washrag from behind my seat and soaked it with a water bottle with surprisingly steady hands. I made her hold it to herself but I didn’t tell her why, mainly because she didn’t even ask she was so worried about Karras.
As her bleeding continued my brother got worse. Later on I found out that part of his bone in his thigh was sticking through the skin, and the rest of the ones down his leg were broken like an accordion. I watched as they began the hour-long process of extracting my brother from the hunk of metal we’d all once called a Suburban. Soon the ambulances arrived and with them came the unbearable pain of watching them slowly get to my brother. Then out came his dog, which had been trapped between the windshield and dash.
Talula ran to his side and pounded her paws on his window. I ran over and picked her up with her clawing at the ground whining for her master to follow her, but he couldn’t. I put her in my truck along with Kendra and we began to wait. The stretchers were wheeled over and I got out once more and witnessed him being pulled from the wreckage. He whined and screamed as blood gushed from his wounded leg. Everything from there is a blur. My memory picks up as I locked the house and raced to town in my mother’s charcoal colored Tahoe.
Tremember I was passing car after car with ease and not even realizing all the laws I had been breaking; red and blue lights appeared behind me. I looked at the speedometer and felt my heart leap as I went 110 miles per hour down the highway. I began to slow down, but as I did the sheriff passed me. After realizing that he wanted me to follow, I sped up once more and kept up with him. He kept his lights and sirens on as I followed him into Garden City, keeping up our same speed and only slowing enough to turn at a stoplight.
We finally made it to the hospital.. It smells like linoleum, sickness, and blood. As I walked those halls to the emergency room it dawned on me like a punch to the throat that I could lose the last brother I had left. I might’ve lost the man who read me stories and taught me how to tie my shoes. Who comforted me after nightmares and always had my back. I’d lose him and it wouldn’t have even been his time yet. It wouldn’t be fair for him to lose his life at the age of 25 when he’d just bought a house.
It took an hour before they let me back to see my brother and it was only for a short period of time before they put him on a helicopter and life watched him to Wichita. I drove all night to get there. For several days he didn’t know who any of his family was, but he’d call for us and when we’d arrive to his room he’d scream he didn’t know us. There was a time where we thought he wouldn’t make it. He had been in the critical care unit for 10 days and now he is at home improving each day, they ended up putting rods down into the bones of his leg and reconstructing his ankle.
He is in good spirits most of the time and often threatens to throw his walker at us if we don’t get off his lawn. Talmost didn’t want to write about this. Honestly, it was the worst thing I have ever witnessed. The thoughts I had when I thought I was losing my brother were some of the worst thoughts that have ever crossed my mind. I can pretend that my family’s nightmares aren’t real. I can pretend that my brother can continue living his life normally. That’s just a lie though.