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Early one summer evening we set out to meet our friends at Ikea. We were going to have meatballs and maybe do some shopping. It felt like our relationship was drifting a bit. Neither of us were where we wanted to be and somehow it felt like we’d lost focus and perhaps lost a bit of each other along the way. We needed to be shocked awake. Sometimes life can do that. This is the story of one of those times.

We head towards Ikea
To meet friends for a meal
Maybe for some shopping
Depends on how we feel

It takes about an hour
And we talk while we drive
We talk about the traffic
And when we might arrive

We talk about the meatballs
And a film we watched together
And the moments drift right by
Like our lives will last forever

Nothing heavy, nothing deep
Paint by numbers conversation
Like we’re talking in our sleep
Until we reach our destination

You look along the road
Fixed on where you’re going
Not taking in the view
Not noticing that slowing
Down is now the only way
To avoid what’s up ahead
To focus on the journey
Before you wind up dead

There are trees around us now
And the sun beams search the ground
And I start to wonder how
This disconnection we have found
Ever began, how did we let it
Start to creep up from behind
When we know we’ll both regret it
If we don’t take time to find

A little time, a little space
To re-light a little spark
Look each other in the face
Lead each other through the dark

We emerge into the light
In the distance there’s a car
It’s grey or maybe white
I can’t quite tell from this far

And it edges slowly on
indicating to turn right
There’s another coming now
The sun’s still shining bright

It’s coming really fast
The other car is slowing
But it moves across too far
And the other car keeps going

Way too fast now, way too fast
What are you supposed to do
When the lives of other people
Blow apart in front of you

You look along the road
Fixed on where you’re going
Not taking in the view
Not noticing that slowing
Down is now the only way
To avoid what’s up ahead
To focus on the journey
Before you wind up dead

The white car just explodes
It’s engine ripped to shreds
It’s carcass like a spinning top
As fear turns our heads

To see the second car
Like a leaping salmon rise
The horror silhouetted
Against the salmon skies

As it turns onto it’s back
A screaming silence lingers
The branches of the trees
Reach up like hungry fingers

From the ditch beside the road
And the silence rips apart
As the branches spear their victim
Through it’s flesh and through it’s heart

We sit for several seconds
Oh god, we’re here alone
We have to get some help
I reach down for my phone

I pass it to Susanna
And jump out of the car
Someone pulls up behind us
I don’t know who they are

But they jump out as well
And we run towards the shell
Of the white car in the road
And that’s when I catch the smell

Burning rubber, burning oil
Acrid smoke and molten tar
We can see the driver now
See the driver in the car

She’s not moving and she slumps
Onto the steering wheel
I’m trying to stay calm
But none of this feels real

We try to force the door
We shout through shattered glass
We feel the panic rise
As desperate seconds pass

With all our weight and will
We set the door latch free
The woman is still breathing
She’s murmuring to me

There’s smoke around the car
We have to get her out
We cannot let her burn
But all the fear and doubt

Is clouding up my brain
What if her back is broken
Her life is in our hands
And I haven’t even spoken

To the guy who stands beside me
As we pull her from the wreck
As we hold her in between us
Each terrified to check

That her limbs are still attached
That there is no trail of blood
And we get her to the verge
And we sit down in the mud

We wrap her up in coats
Susanna finds us there
She’s just called 999
And she now begins to care

For this poor woman on the road
Who is conscious but in shock
And then I turn my attention
To the ticking of the clock

To the time that it will take
For the firemen to arrive
I turn it to the second car
I’m not sure they’ll survive

I see them hanging up above
There is nothing we can do
But then we hear frightened voices
And hope flickers anew

We try to keep them talking
Tell them help is on the way
What seems like hours pass
Before I hear Susanna say

Look they’re coming, here they are
A fire engine, a police car
I’m so grateful they are here
And it feels like so far

That we’ve travelled through this night
We’ve seen how life can shift
If you lose focus on the journey
Let the things that matter drift

You look along the road
Fixed on where you’re going
Not taking in the view
Not noticing that slowing
Down is now the only way
To avoid what’s up ahead
To focus on the journey
Before you wind up dead

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