There was that time when I accidentally killed my cousin; backing up with the car. Upon impact (a loud, dry thud), I could immediately hear the cries of panic from my family until they discovered that I had actually only hit a log. However, those 10 seconds between the loud thud and the discovery of the tree log, were probably the 10 most intense seconds of my entire life. Ten seconds under which I clung to time and I knew that my only possible future would be hell.
I lived in a big city in Australia and had traveled to the countryside to meet my family. Everyone was there. Grandparents, cousins, uncles and aunts, their respective kids etc. When I get in the car, I obviously keep my gaze upon the rear view mirror to make sure that there are no kids around the car. But when I felt the dry thump against the back of the car, the world stopped forever.
At that moment, I realized almost immediately that my life, as I knew it, was over. My life was no longer. My cousin, who I believed was behind the car was, at the time, 2 years old; it was likely that because of her height, I could not see her in the rear view mirror before backing up. I had just killed my little cousin.
Ten seconds is all it takes for them to run from the garden table to the car. I see them rise from their chairs, with gestures of pain; I see a glass of wine falling to the ground and shattering. I do nothing. I just sit there, very still. Inside me, time freezes and my 10 second journey that will lead to my exile begins; my soul, frozen to the chore like the tree branches of my new hellish life in Norway.