A cold night couldn't keep me from her. It really couldn't. Snow drifting, winds pounding against the car doors, and yet nature still hadn't knocked me off the road. How, I don't know. Maybe because something out there knew that I wasn't going to let something as pesky and commonplace as mother nature get in my way like in all those fairy tales we heard as kids. Nature couldn't stop this hero from reaching his destination. So mankind did.
I swear I was only a few miles from her house and yet, that bloody powerline pole stood at the side of the road, minding its own business just at the wrong time. The black ice sitting under the powdery flakes of snow gave my tires no traction and, as fate would have it, I slid off the road and crashed a few quick seconds later into the pole. The crash felt pretty rough, and shook me up about as much, but after wrenching the door open in all my fury, the car itself didn't sustain much damage. Given the steep drop from the road down into the ditch, I knew I wouldn't be getting out of the ditch if I got back in the car and tried to back out myself. My only option was to call for a wrecker.
"What a brilliant idea. Except that I don't know the number of any wreckers." A fine time to remember something like that.
I pulled my phone from my coat pocket and opened it, the bright light washing over my face so bright I had to squint and blink for a while to get used to it. The battery indicator was nearly full, as was the signal strength from where I sat in the driver seat, so I wouldn't be having trouble with having no one to talk to. My sweetheart would be expecting me in two hours, giving me relief from time pressures.
"I guess I don't need to call her right now. I'll probably have this all sorted out and be at her place in plenty of time." Talking to myself seemed to keep me warm on the inside, so I spoke whatever thoughts came to mind. "Let's see here.... I don't know who'd be willing to come out in this weather to pull me out this late at night, so.... Just keep scrolling down the list.... So many numbers.... Hm, haven't heard from him in a while, wonder why I still have his number...."
A sudden click made me jerk my head up from my phone screen with a startled jump. All the lights on the dashboard and the fans inside the car shut off all at once. Shifting my eyes around without moving my head, I saw no one was around, leaving me to conclude it was the crash that had caused the car to cease in function.
"Hope the battery isn't dead...." I kept talking to myself, teeth chattering, and opened the glovebox in the dark to pull out a couple pairs of gloves. "If those lights are out on the outside, then someone passing by might not stop to see if I'm still here, which I am...."
At the time, it seemed that my warmth was a trivial matter compared to the need to be noticed by a possible passing vehicle, so I swung open the door and stepped out into the snow once more. Standing by the road, hugging myself and keeping my body moving in the ungodly freezing winds, I stared down both ends of the long road to see if someone was coming. Down one end, forest. Down the other, forest. "There's no way I'm walking either way to get help. A great time to remember also that I don't have a gun.... Or a knife...."
As fast as I could, I pulled out my phone and called the house of my sweetie, leaving a message about what happened, and giving a very vague description of where I'd ended up. The area surrounding where we lived was heavily wooded no matter what road you were on, so telling her that I was stuck somewhere between two forests on this particular road was terrible for her to find me, although it was the most I could tell of what I saw around me.
The next half hour or so remains in my mind only because of what I talked with myself about. I ranted to nature herself the entire time about how it wasn't my fault I didn't keep either a gun or knife in the car, that it wasn't necessary and that this was out of my hands completely.
At this point, something had really gone out of my hands completely: the warmth. Having two pair of gloves on, the rate by which my fingers were generating heat had dropped far below the rate by which they were losing that heat, leaving the feeling in them almost nonexistent. They were shaking by themselves, which seemed like a good thing considering I couldn't have moved them with my wrists and arms frozen as well.
I staggered rigidly back to the car and got in. By now it was like getting in a freezer: the only reason to do it was to keep from getting snowed in place from the drift. It was with great difficulty I inched the gloves over my palms, then my knuckles, and slightly painfully off my fingers. Cupping my hands over each other, I tried to warm them with my breath, but that pain I'd just felt was the last thing they'd felt that night.
I tried to ball myself up in the seat, staring out the window to the road, now darker than ever and completely hidden by the snow. No black ice, no tire track, and worst of all, no other drivers.
The loss of feeling crept up my body from hands like a fast disease. In ten minutes I'd lost all feeling in my arms, my body was shaking with tremendous speed and ferocity, and the only part of my body I seemed to have some control over was my head, mostly my eyes.
The shaking of my body had become so aggressive I'd turned myself onto my back, my head resting on the armrest of the door, eyes now straining to look out to the road. My body grew weaker and weaker as I lay there, thinking and trying to talk to myself. I couldn't move my arm for the life of me to reach the phone, and my options were disappearing fast.
My head set back farther after a small muscle spasm, and my eyes immediately fixed upon a bright star just above the car door. A memory of her voice started to play out in my head like a music box. It was of her singing, "Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky." After that, her voice quietly, happily whispered into my ear, "Starlight, star bright, first start I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might...."
And I finished the phrase out loud with the last strength I had in me.
"I wish someone to save my life."
A bright light started to emit from the star, growing faster and brighter than anything I'd ever seen before. My arms felt like they were gently melting, warming up and regaining feeling. My neck loosened up, my body uncurled itself slowly, and my fingers felt the phone in my hands, lying there open on my stomach.
My body comfortably sat up and I saw across the room from me the warmly coloured wall of a house, with paintings and a small window, chairs sitting up against the wall with the family of my sweetheart sitting there. To my left and right, my family and closest friends were standing over me and cheering loudly and excitedly at my movement.
Just then my love came rushing up onto the bed and, sitting on my legs, hugged me so tight I thought I'd lose the feeling in my body all over again.
"Whoa, whoa, hey honey, what--?" I could only think of where I'd just been, in the car on the side of the road, and how I could have possibly made it to her house moments before freezing solid.
"You've been unconscious for five hours.... We went and got you after you called, and brought you here. This is the first you've moved since we put you in bed," she answered my thoughts.
"Thank you for coming to get me.... Why didn't you call me back if you heard the message then?" Her looked started to change from an ecstatic to a puzzled expression.
"We.... Didn't have to, you called us a while after you left that message. When we woke up and found the message, we were getting ready to leave and the phone rang, so I answered it and heard you." I strained my memory to remember back to what it was that happened, but I didn't remember making any call after leaving the message on her answering machine. "When we brought you in we tried to wrestle your phone from your hand, but it was like your muscles were made of stone or something--"
"Wait, I didn't call...."
She looked me deeply in the eyes and smiled, softly pushing me down to rest on the pillows.
"Yes, you did.... You said, 'I wish I may, I wish I might, I wish someone to save my life'."
I stared into her eyes, then reached up to grab her into my arms, never to let her go.