Prologue

It started as a normal day. The weather was fine and traffic was light. They were all laughing when it happened. Laughing with joy at something silly Gus had said. Even JR was gurgling happily in her car seat with a toothless grin on her face.

When the tire blew out Lindsay felt a moment of panic, but calmed some when it seemed Melanie had regained control of the car. Then things went crazy and they were rolling; broken glass, baby toys, bottles, and other debris that had been lost and forgotten in the cracks and crevices of the car floated in slow motion before Lindsay's eyes, gently hitting with tiny stings as they bounced off her face. She could hear screaming and crying but when she tried to turn to her children she couldn't move, the forces of their motion along with the seatbelt across her hips and chest pinned her painfully to her seat.

Then just as suddenly as they had started rolling, they stopped and for what felt like several long moments there was nothing but a rushing silence in her head. Something was wrong, though as the pounding in her head increased. Regaining her bearings Lindsay slowly realized they were upside down. Sudden, intense pressure and pain from the taut seatbelt across her hips helped bring things into sharp focus. Slowly more sounds began piercing the veil of silence and she could hear Gus and JR crying.

Gus! JR!

Lindsay tried to twist in her seat but she couldn't move and everywhere hurt. She tried to call out to the kids but she couldn't get enough air to move through her lungs to make any noise. Slowly she turned to look at Melanie; she had a cut on her temple and Lindsay wanted to reach out and clean away the trickle of blood. They were staring at each other when the other car hit them on the front driver's side, sending more glass crashing in on them and sending the already crippled vehicle into another tailspin.

Everything was in motion again and the last thing Lindsay saw before she lost consciousness was Melanie mouthing 'I love you'.

Then everything went silent and dark.