Dylan’s first wife was, more or less, Dylan in a dress. Alexandra was smart, she had a biting sense of humor and Dylan always wished that he loved her more. They got along, almost too well, but there was always something missing. He didn’t realize it until he met Molly.
They’d got together in high school. Dylan was neither popular or unpopular in high school. Basically, he was background filler. He didn’t feel particularly lonely, but he was definitely different. Not many sixteen year olds at his school had actually read The Communist Manifesto. Alexandra had. They fell into each other’s orbit out of necessity. It felt like gravity.
They’d gone to college together. They hadn’t really discussed it. It wasn’t a big romantic gesture, like they had to be together. It had simply turned out that way. In a way, Dylan would later realize, it was a lot like their relationship in general. They did it because it was the easiest way. He realized that their whole life together was like sliding down a greased chute. Always down the path of least resistance.
They got married after college, in a small ceremony that was probably most notable for the cookie table. They were happy enough, he supposed. They were comfortable. The marriage worked. Dylan had honestly never considered that it might have been otherwise. Naturally, it was bound to end in tragedy.
Tragedy, in this case, came in the form of an eighteen wheeler driven by a man from Florida who shouldn’t have been driving. His name was Carson Greer, he was twenty six years old, and at the time of the so called accident he’d been up for more tham twenty four hours.
This had nothing to do with him being a truck driver and everything to do with him being an asshole. He was at the end of the amount of hours he could legally drive at a stretch, and that would have been fine had he not spent the day beforehand up playing a Call of Duty. In a very real way, Alexandra died because of an X Box.
Life hangs on tiny seconds. Alexandra stopped at the local convenience store every morning before she went to campus to teach her first class. The coffee was terrible, but she’d gotten a taste for it when they were young and poor, one that had persisted now that they were slightly less young and slightly less poor.
If she had spilled her coffee, if she had had to look for change, if she had eaten cereal for breakfast instead of a bagel, she would have lived. Anything that made her five seconds faster or slower would have saved her life. If Dylan had given her a goodbye kiss that morning. But he didn’t. She didn’t.Carson Greer never even saw the red light. He didn’t even see Alexandra before he slammed into her car at sixty miles an hour as she pulled out at the intersection. Dylan didn’t know why she hadn’t seen him coming, why she assumed that because the light was green that the intersection was safe. But she didn’t.