I remember the sound of the car horn, then tires screeching, then a crash. Not a small crash like a single glass plate dropped on a hard tile floor, but a massive crash. A whole box full of plates being thrown from a 10-story building. My ears were ringing for a split second, and then there was pain, and when the shock of the pain subsided, my shirt was soaking wet. My eyes were closed, but there were people shouting, and later, sirens. Lots of them, swirling and spinning and looping like twirling ribbons.

The door opens again and the doctor walks in, without Mom. He touches my arm. His hand is soft. Not plastic. His fingers melt over my skin like hot fudge over ice cream—smooth and warm.

“You’re going to be fine, Melanie,” he says.

(from Beautiful Girl)