Lightning flashes and the thunder crashes down. I race through the rain, sucking in air in quick spurts to try to propel myself faster. My phone is clutched in my fist as I pump my arms forward. The burning rubber of tires greets me as skid to a stop. The hood of the car is molded around a tree and smoke billows from the engine. My heart races as I approach in what feels like slow motion.
I can see her slouched forward against her seat belt. Her blonde hair surrounds her face hiding it from my gaze. I try to pull open the door but it's locked.
"Come on baby. Unlock the doors." I plead.
There's no response. I bang on the window trying to get her to wake up. I feel panic rise up in my chest but I shove it down.
"Baby, Liza. Come on. I need you to wake. You have to unlock the door. Baby, please."
I can hear my voice getting higher and more frantic as she continues to lay there unresponsive.
My gaze travels to the back of the car. Our little girl is still strapped in to her seat, looking at me with wide eyes but not making a sound. Her eyes follow me as I move to her window. She doesn't look hurt. Those car seat classes we took seemed to have paid off at least. I can see her mouth move as she coos at me and moves her hands in the motion for "pick me up". I place my hand on the glass and wipe away the tears forming at the corner of my eyes.
I remember my phone in my hand. I had already dialed 911 when I heard the crash coming through my speaker. I dialed again. I barely listened to the voice at the other end as I stared at the car.
"My wife and my daughter, they've been in a car accident. We're on Wicker Road. My wife isn't responding. The doors are locked. Please. Somebody needs to help them."
I hear my voice going through without actually feeling myself speak them.
"Officers and an ambulance are on the way. Hold tight. They should be there shortly."
"Please, please help them." I sob.
"They're on their way, sir. Less than two minutes away."
I hear the sirens and wait.
The police cars pull in and the ambulance follows close behind. I see the lights flashing and feel a police officer move me out of the way. He pulls me to the side and starts asking me questions. His words are coming through like we're under water. All I can do it watch as they carefully break a window and load my wife into the ambulance. Another ambulance pulls in and my daughter is loaded up as well. The officer leads me to the ambulance with my daughter. I watch as the ambulance doors close and the sirens start up again. My baby girl is crying now. I hold her tiny hand with my own.
The doctors wheel my daughter into the Emergency Room. The nurses and doctors gently shove me out of the way as they begin their work up. One nurse moves me to a chair where I can still see my daughter. She needs a medical history. I give one the best that I can and ask about my wife. They have no answers yet.
They say my daughter is fine but they want to keep her overnight for observation due to her age. I nod my approval and follow them as they wheel her to her room. I ask about my wife again. This time they have an answer. She's in surgery. They'll have a doctor in to see me about her condition "soon".
The police man I spoke to earlier is back to ask me a few follow up questions. I tell him what I know. My wife called me using the bluetooth headset she'd gotten a few months back. She was on her way back from a check up with the pediatrician when she screamed. I had started running when I heard the squealing tires. He wrote it down in a notepad and left.
The doctor still hasn't come in to discuss Liza's condition. My heart begins its frantic pace again. My daughter sleeps soundly in her hospital bed, snuggled into the blankets they provided. She lets out soft sighs as she breathes, letting me know that she's dreaming.
The doctor finally came. My wife is in the ICU and i'll be able to see her tomorrow. She sustained a head injury in the accident that caused swelling and the seat belt had also fractured a rib on impact. The rib had managed to puncture one of her lungs but they were able to deal with both successfully. My heart finally slowed and I was able to fall asleep in the chair next to my daughter.