He was coming home from work. A nice day, no clouds. He was pretty happy the day was over and he was on his way back to his family – his wife and his one year old son.
He pulled up and ordered a coffee at the drive-thru. He fancied one after a hard day’s work. The smell of coffee revived him. He sipped it carefully and put it safely in the drink holder before driving away.
He put on some music. He had to switch between different stations to finally find something suitable. No talks, no sports, or anything like that. The melody was quite upbeat, and he found himself nodding along, humming it.
At the traffic lights, he lit up a ciggie and drank more of his coffee. He was almost there, so he relaxed a little bit more. He was eager to see them, share their day, talk about little things, simply watch his kid grow – he was growing up so fast, and he felt he was missing most of it, and it pained him.
When the lights changed, he quickly stamped on the pedal to try and get home as quickly as possible. He noticed too late the car coming on his right. The guy was driving too fast and tried to swerve, but failed. Panicking, he tried to avoid him as well but lost the control of his vehicle, bumped his head on the wheel, and lost consciousness.
Next thing he knew when he woke up, he was in a hospital. A doctor was in front of him. He smiled and looked at the charter.
‘You, sir, have been very lucky. Just a slight whiplash. You’ll be released tomorrow morning. Just have some rest for a while, ok?’
And he left.
Tomorrow, he thought. Tomorrow, he’ll be able to go back to his family. He mustn’t have been in hospital for too long, he reckoned. It was . No visits allowed at this hour. So he wouldn’t see his wife and child until the next day, when they’d pick him up first thing in the morning.
He would be with his family again.
Except, he suddenly realised, he didn’t care.
He thought about the night before, when he was driving home, eager to see the ones he loved.
Now, he couldn’t care less. It was strange, yet, acceptable. Indifference was the key word. He remembered he loved them, but he couldn’t hold the feeling in his heart. He could comprehend it. But he wasn’t interested. It was like something foreign, or something that had taken place in another life. He realised what had happened to him in that accident. Nothing serious, physically. But his feelings were to be forever impaired. He knew it, he could sense it. But there was nothing he could do, and, besides, he was too hungry to care. So he didn’t love his family anymore. So what? Was the capacity to love that big a deal?
He rang the nurse for some chicken.