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  • Writer's pictureEva Nel Brettrager

They Look So Pretty When They Bleed

I almost didn’t go to work that day. We were only required to work one Sunday a month at my local car dealership, and I had already worked my standard Sunday that month. This particular Sunday, however, was the day before Christmas Eve. December 23, 2018. A few of my clients had scheduled meetings that day to finalize purchases for larger ticket gifts, if ya catch my drift. No one ever expects to pull a set of keys out of that tiny gift wrapped package.

When my alarm went off at seven o’ clock that morning, I hit snooze enough times that it had become eight o’ clock in the morning and I now only had one hour to get ready and be into work on time. I threw together a festive-yet-casual outfit and decided to head in. My manager was a good friend of mine, and I didn’t want to leave him stranded.

The morning started nicely. We all had our coffee in hand and munched on some cookies from the day prior’s office party. We chatted about what we planned to do with our families for the rapidly approaching holidays. At promptly eleven o’ clock, when the ‘open’ light switched on near the door, I noticed two customers on the lot. Plastering that sales smile on my face, I headed outside to greet them. 

It was a married couple who had travelled all the way from Michigan to purchase a used Mercedes we had recently taken in for their niece. Bernadette and Robert… looking back now I’ll never forget them. They are one of the handful of people who saved my life that day. They had already spoken with my sales manager friend, so I told the couple I’d go grab him and the keys so they could get better acquainted with their soon to be new vehicle.

I had only taken a few steps away before a strange sensation began to spread through my body. It started in my lower abdomen and spread out in a pulsing radiation from there. You know on those older tube style televisions when the white static would come up if the signal was down? My whole body felt like that. The sound is how my body felt, if you could feel a sound, and the static image clouded my vision. I don’t know how better to describe it. I was also struck with a massive wall of vertigo, and felt myself stumble. The whole world was spiraling and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t right the world or steady myself.

I could hear Bernadette calling to me from somewhere behind, but it sounded very far away - like it was coming through a tunnel. A long, hollow tunnel.

“Are you alright?” she was asking, “Honey, are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’ll be okay.” I said back. Or at least that’s what was supposed to come out of my mouth. That’s not what I heard come out of my mouth. A massive garble of sound is what erupted and it didn’t make a lick of sense. It was just a load of gibberish. I tried a few times to repeat again what I said, but each time I tried the sound just became more garbled and made less sense.

At that point I heard that loudest pop of my life, and I felt it reverberate throughout my body. Pop wasn’t the right word to describe it. It was like if paper made a cracking sound instead of a ripping sound. Does that make sense? Probably not - but either way, that’s what I heard. I rested my hands and my knees and let my head droop, taking some very shallow breaths.

Bernadette was walking past me quickly at that point, and I know she was saying something, but for the life of me I don’t know what it was.

Suddenly, I was laying in the backseat of a car. Even though I was inside the car, I somehow knew that it was a red car, something made in the eighties. Definitely a hooptie car. My sales manager friend was driving. My fellow sales person was sitting in the backseat with me, and my head was resting in his lap. He was stroking my hair, softly. The sun was impossibly bright, painfully bright, coming through the back windshield. It was so bright that it was blinding - I really couldn’t keep my eyes open. Even so, it was warm and extremely comforting. I liked how the harsh white sunlight felt.

“Don’t worry mama, they’ll be here soon.” I heard my friend say from the front seat.

I tried to respond, but I couldn’t make myself talk. I was too tired. Who was coming? Weren’t we going somewhere? We were in a car... I was so exhausted, and the sun was so bright - I had to close my eyes.

My friend spoke from the front seat again. “Come on baby, don’t close your eyes. Stay awake. Stay with me - they will be here soon.”

I had never felt so tired and exhausted in all of my life. I succumbed to tiredness and closed my eyes. Everything around me was gone.

Eons of time had passed. An amount of time beyond the compression that we have here on Earth. I started to get a sense of spatial awareness… sort of. There was no physicality here. No sound. No light. I didn’t even really have a sense of self - all the things I ever fretted about were entirely gone from my mind. In the great expanse of space and time, there were far more superior concerns. I felt a community of agreement, but I wasn’t scared. I was supposed to be here. To guide the misguided souls who lost their way. The ones that didn’t yet have a way. The vast amount of knowledge I suddenly possessed was so overwhelming, I couldn’t really comprehend what was happening.

So much time passed. In transcribing this course of events to you, I can’t truly convey the conversations that I had in these eons of time. It truly was eons of time and endless conversation. Conversation is inferior to what actually occurred, but it’s the best way to try and explain it. The conversations and assemblies I actively participated in were of such high importance. It dictated the course of actions for humanity. The depths of their truest fears and pains. The struggles they endured to move forward, progress, and evolve as a species. 

I completely forgot what individuality was, and I was so happy. Shedding myself of that unique quality was so freeing. It gave way for so much thought space that previously was used elsewhere. There was no judgement here in this space - this collective thought conscious. It was pure ecstasy, and I held no pain. No fear. It was pure peace. Everlasting Nirvana.

Eventually a time came that images began to form again, below me. They were highly shadowed and unfocused. For the first time in a long time, I felt fear. I could see what was once me. I was lying on the ground. I was completely immobile, gaunt, and just a little blueish grey. I could see the heat leaving my body. I recognized that there was no breath, in or out. Blood wasn’t pumping in my former body, but it was surely flowing. It was pooling in my chest cavity, that I knew. The person I now remembered as my friend was kneeling next to me, holding my hand. He was talking, but I didn’t know what he was saying. A man came running through the parking lot from inside the building and had a… phone in his hand. I remembered again what a phone was. Such forgotten things, as unimportant as they are.

The one thing I truly remember the thought collective saying is something that haunts me to this day. “Don’t be scared, child. This place isn’t ready for you yet. You need to grow, and learn. Your world isn’t ready to let you go.”

You know sometimes when you’re sleeping and suddenly you jerk awake? And it feels like you were falling and slammed back into your body? It was kind of like that, but insanely painful. And I remember the fall. I was never a fan of the free falling sensation, and this was the worst one I’d ever experienced. The second I felt the pain of slamming back into my body, my eyes flew open, and a rush of air burst through my lips so fast that I felt like my throat was on fire.

The first thing I saw was my sales manager friend. I remembered him now, crystal clear. That vision of him smiling down at me is burned into my brain, and he will always have an extremely special place in my heart… now that it’s beating again. Fighting the urge to throw up and feeling like I might shit myself, I reached out and grabbed his ankle like I was going to keep falling.

He squeezed my hand. “I told you they’d be here soon.”

I began to cry.

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