I was eighteen when I died.
I’d been mere moments from throwing down a full house and winning the game with my elder sister, Nathalie, in the back seat of our family’s town car. Ah, to see the delicious frustration as I finally bested her. I’d waited the whole ride for it.
Disaster happened awfully fast. Crunch of metal. Hissing engine. Wheels spinning. The fleeting scents of fetid swamp water and sultry summer air.
Then, at that precise moment, I was aware of my own coming death. Nothing flashed before my eyes. No treasured memories. My mind, I learned, was not wired to look back. Only forward. My fight-or-flight was set firmly to fight.
So, yes, I was eighteen when I died.
But then, at eighteen, I was reborn.