Clifford sits on the edge of the bed, a dirty blanket drawn around his legs, the legs that no longer serve him. The legs pulled from the wreckage, shattered, along with the windshield, his plans, his dreams, his determination.
It had been an ordinary Saturday. Mowing the backyard, cleaning up the barbecue for Sunday when his brother-in-law and sister would come with their daughters, Teta and Juana. He'd pulled steaks from the freezer and picked green beans from the vines that crawled through his neighbor's fence. He'd made homemade ice cream in honor of their Mama, long gone from cancer.
All that was left was to get cookies from the bakery in town. What if he'd said never mind to the cookies or called his sister to pick them up on their way over. Or just pulled out his mother's old recipe book and tried to make them himself. What if he'd taken the bike instead of the pickup or just turned off the radio instead of leaning over to change the station.
What if when his family came, so full of love and pity, what if instead of finding him in the wheelchair they saw him on the floor, asleep, forever. No more pain. No more what-ifs.