“There was a snowstorm; as we got higher up it just came in and covered everything. It was dark, the snow was fuzzing all around the car headlights, we thought it was awesome but mom must have been terrified.”
“According to the statement your mom gave to the cops, her car was hit twice and spun off the road. That’s what saved you guys, the timber that was dislodged missed you. Now,” he continued, “six people were killed that night. One of them was named Shari Ann Cyrus. Here’s a photograph that was taken at the scene. What does it remind you of?”
Karen stared at the image on the table. A flash of black and white in her brain, some kind of sound, what was it, was it the crying? Who was crying? Think Karen, think. The blood, there was so much blood, the guy from the fire department was throwing up at the side of the road, there was a cop who slid and fell on the bloody ice. Her sister’s face, frozen in fear. There was a baby, a baby hanging outside that woman’s body, its arm and hand, hanging out of her, white and red, everything was white and red and dark. And the radio was still playing, everything else was broken and ripped apart, but the radio survived. What was the song? Think Karen, think.
Karen cleared her throat, but the words came out in a voice she barely recognized as her own, “All Alone On Christmas.”
Karen looked at Reza. “That was what was on the radio. All Alone On Christmas.”
“I’ll never forget his face,” she said, “and that horrible sight. He was trapped in his car with all that in the front seat, I remember we were wandering around, probably in shock, and we saw everything. We saw him, saw his mother, and then someone, I think it was our mother, came and took us away. He watched us go, he was smacking the glass with his palms, he couldn’t get out, he was crying and screaming. It was terrible.”
“Yeah,” her voice trailed away as the image of what she had seen flickered in her brain, an endless loop punctuated by the young boy’s face, contorted in terror, trapped in a car staring out at her and her sister. He had remembered; she had smothered and suppressed, but he had remembered it all.
“It’s him,” she whispered, “oh my God, I know who he is.”