Before Mom could respond, the Escalade came up beside us and sideswiped our car. All my ears could register was the crunch of wood and the complete silence that followed as our car fell through the air. Everything happened in slow motion and too fast to react all at once. My brain didn't have time to tell me to scream before our car hit the river in a loud splash, the force hard enough to shoot me forward into the window. After that, all I registered was silence. "Artemis!" Mom's voice was fuzzy, like I was sleeping and she was trying to wake me and my brain just wouldn't react. "Artemis!" This time it cut through whatever haze was around my mind. My head was still against the passenger side window where I had hit it upon impact, and pain exploded through the right side the moment I lifted it. I raised my hand to touch it and it came away wet with blood. "Honey, are you okay?" I looked over at Mom who was looking over at me with worry all over her face as she cradled her left hand gently, trying to hide it from my eyes, but I could tell it was fractured, probably broken. Her focus was on me, and she didn't want her injury to take away from that. "I hit my head," I mumbled. Looking around, my sense of panic rose as I could see our car sinking into the water. It wasn't like in the movies where the car took its sweet time sinking, we were going down fast. We had five minutes at best before we hit the bottom of the river. I couldn't keep the fear out of my voice in that moment as I looked down at my feet that were already submerged in the water that had flooded in from the engine. "Mom?" I looked over at her and knew she saw the sheer terror on my face. Mom reached over and put her good arm on my shoulder. "Honey, everything is going to be okay." I nodded, but I was shaking like a leaf, trying my hardest to take the calm that she had into myself. "What do we do?" "Roll down your window and swim out, swim to the surface as fast as you can. I'm going to be right behind you." I nodded, grateful more in that moment than any other that Mom had opted to get manual windows and locks when she bought her car. She reached over and kissed my forehead for a long moment. "I love you, Artemis." I looked at her for a moment, confused by the gesture; I knew the circumstances were rather grim, but it was when she said she loved me that I knew something wrong. There was something she wasn't telling me. I cast the feeling aside, knowing this wasn't the time or place to hash this out. "I love you too, Mom," I said instead. I turned my attention to the window and rolled it down all the way, a small bit of panic coming over me as more water flooded the car. Once the window was all the way down, instinct kicked in and I swam out of the car, doing exactly what Mom had told me to do. I swam as fast as I could and didn't stop until I broke the surface of the water. Gasping for air, I looked around for Mom, remembering she promised she would be right behind me, but she never appeared. "Mom," I called as terror swept through me. "Mom!"