I have never been able to describe the way my father’s voice sounded with his nose full of blood as cars passed us on the interstate. I was just tall enough to see my reflection in his belt buckle. I remember being in the dirt on the side of I-65 and watching him crouch to get a closer look at the new dents in our overturned Studebaker, the rear wheel spinning slowly to a stop above us. He ran his fingers over the crumpled quarter-panel and said he was leaving us soon. He wiped blood from his nose with the back of his hand and told me an accident is something that can't happen. To my mother and to him. To me. Someone who has never been in your life—somebody who is the main character in their story too—can come along and hurt you. Just like someone had hurt our Studebaker. And maybe they didn’t even see you until the last minute. And maybe you had been waiting for them all along.
Jacob S. Knabb is the Editor-in-Chief of Another Chicago Magazine, the host of the literary variety show "So You Think You Have Nerves of Steel?", and a part-time photographer. He is a graduate of the Purdue Creative Writing Program and teaches composition at University of Illinois Chicago. His current obsession is composing a novel one line a day over at Twitter (which you can follow at https://twitter.com/#!/lineadaydiary).