Christmas Collision

Christmas Collision

A New Adult Christmas Romance

published November 22, 2013

Christmas Collision by Sabrina Devonshire

 

Blurb: 

Chelsea’s driving home from Ohio State University for the Christmas holidays feeling she’s got nothing to look forward to. Her father died from cancer in November, her boyfriend just dumped her, and her mom’s fallen into such a deep depression, her health is failing. After Chelsea falls asleep at the wheel, she awakens to find herself on the ground surrounded by EMTs and is told she has a head injury and just totaled someone’s car. Just when it seems life is getting more hopeless than ever and no one understands her predicament, she meets the accident victim—a boy named Jake.

Excerpt:

Sleet pelted my windshield as I drove on US-23 North. My exams had finally ended, and I’d left the OSU campus for Flint, Michigan an hour ago. Christmas was only four days away, yet the sight of holiday lights and people laughing and celebrating darkened my mood even more—even though that barely seemed possible. All I felt was a near hatred toward anyone who was the least bit happy. It didn’t seem fair that they should smile and laugh when I’d never been more miserable in my life. The only comfort was the dark, dreary, snow and sleet-laden sky, which matched my mood just perfectly.

Sleet pelted my windshield as I drove on US-23 North. My exams had finally ended, and I’d left the OSU campus for Flint, Michigan an hour ago. Christmas was only four days away, yet the sight of holiday lights and people laughing and celebrating darkened my mood even more—even though that barely seemed possible. All I felt was a near hatred toward anyone who was the least bit happy. It didn’t seem fair that they should smile and laugh when I’d never been more miserable in my life. The only comfort was the dark, dreary, snow and sleet-laden sky, which matched my mood just perfectly.

My father had died of cancer the day after Halloween. I’ll never understand how my always perfectly healthy father could have gotten sick. I couldn’t remember him every catching cold, ever taking a day off from work. He hadn’t known he was sick until a routine check up revealed his body was riddled with cancer.

I’d sat at his bedside with my mother during the days leading up to his death. My mother had been incoherent—constantly crying and sobbing and completely falling apart at the seams. I’d tried to comfort her, but she barely seemed to notice I was there. I wanted to dissolve into tears like she did, but for some reason I couldn’t. I just sat in that room, feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, wanting to run out and never come back, the pit of my stomach feeling as if it was turning into stone. Everything I ate turned my stomach. It was as if once my father got sick, my health suddenly became vulnerable, too. Even after my father passed away, I’d continued losing weight, and whenever I’d shake off one cold, another one would take me down.

It wasn’t fair that my mother had to be left alone; I kept thinking to myself over and over again. Long lasting relationships were hard to find. The fact that my mom and dad found each other despite all life’s craziness, and then spent so many years together building a life just to have everything ripped apart made no sense at all. I felt so sorry for my mom. I should have told her how much I loved her, how I’d always be there for her, but I was suffering so much, I just retreated inside myself. I felt so alone, so desperate for someone to help patch me back together again.

During his final days, my father had been so heavily sedated; he barely recognized us and at times, he became paranoid and would ramble on about how we hadn’t paid our hospital bill and the nurses were going to roll him out onto the street. No amount of convincing would settle him down, but eventually, he lost the energy to fight. It had bad enough watching his mental state decline, but when he just laid there for hour after hour, not-talking, not eating and barely breathing, it was so much worse.

My father, who had always been so sturdy and strong, with his firm legs and broad back, who had always made his opinion known to everyone whether they wanted to hear it or not, had lost the fight. And now I was going home for Christmas—to an empty house where my parents had once lived their life together. My mother wouldn’t be there either, because she’d collapsed on the day of my dad’s funeral and ever since then she’d been in the hospital.

The thought of stepping into that hollow house that was once our home haunted me—the silence would greet me and remind me of death. And I’d see my father’s coats hanging in the closet, his favorite coffee in the pantry, and I’d probably still smell his cologne lingering in the air. But what choice did I have? The dorms were closed for the holidays, and I wanted to at least see my mom on Christmas.

She refused to speak or eat. The doctors were convinced if her condition didn’t change soon, she’d die, too. It had become clear that now that my dad was gone, she didn’t want to be here anymore either.

I want to give up too. In a way, sitting alone in my car felt like solace. Away from my roommate and crowded classrooms, I could finally break down and cry like I’d wanted to do for so long. I sobbed until every breath was a shuddering effort, allowing tears to flow freely down my face.

The sleet changed to snow as I veered off on I-75 toward Toledo. It was only three o’clock in the afternoon and the sky was already darkening. The weather report hadn’t looked good, but I hadn’t paid much attention to it. I didn’t much care whether I made it to Flint safely or not. There wasn’t a single thing I had to look forward to.

Maybe if it snowed hard enough, I’d get stranded in the middle of nowhere. I’d heard if you got cold enough, you could just go to sleep and never wake up. That sounded like sheer relief right now. I had lost one parent and now while everyone else was making merry and sipping wine, I’d have to sit at my mother’s bedside and watch her die too. I emptied out more of the wretched grief I’d held in for weeks.

As the weather worsened, I thought how foolish it had been for me to make this trip without even taking my 94 Honda Civic in for a check up. Who knew if it would even make it without breaking down? I couldn’t remember the last time I’d gotten the oil changed. I sighed. I just don’t care.

 

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