But her next attempt to move brought the same excruciating deluge of overwhelming pain. Pain like she had never imagined possible. Unable to fight it, she gave in to it. She accepted that she was broken, and all she could do was stay where she was until someone came to fix her. To just keep breathing.
She inhaled shallowly, sucking all her fears and hopes together into a soft little space in her heart, and tried not to hold her breath. She let go. And with the ceasing of the struggle, she found a calm place in which to become aware.
Emma awoke to the urgent wailing of the sapeurs-pompiers arriving at the side of the road, and the light-hearted realisation that she would not be going back to work for a very long time.