Karen steps off the curb. And into the front end of a Taurus that's driving entirely too fast on a city street. Brakes squeal as Karen's body bounces off the hood and bumps up over the windshield. She drops to the street with a thud and lies there in a crumpled heap. Bystanders rush forward, murmuring their dismay, as the frantic driver climbs out of her car, fretting, "I didn't see her!" Yeah, that'll happen when you shoot around corners at thirty miles an hour. The camera pans from Karen's splayed boots up her legs to a gloved, twitching hand, to -- oh my god -- her bloody face and vacantly staring eyes. Her mouth's open, as if in shock. In slow-mo, we watch boots running toward her, see the bystanders couch and crowd around, hear their muffled concern. This scene kills me. Darkness, like a shadow, passes over Karen's face.
The camera follows the blackness down, sinking, until it lands softly on Soliloquy Karen, lying on her side without a stitch of clothing. She's luminous there in black-and-white, and her bod practically smokes. "It's been so long since I've slept," she murmurs, looking peaceful. I think this may be the first truly non-gratuitous use of nudity I've seen.
Cut back to Karen on the street, still immobilized, still staring at everything in slow-mo. Her eyes roam and survey the contents of her purse, emptied in the fall. The camera pans over her brush, her pills, her wallet. Her eyes flutter.
Cut back to Soliloquy Karen, murmuring, "It's been so long since I've sat and felt the sun on my face."
Karen's eyes are still again, fixed on the closest thing in their range: her hand. She moves her fingers a little, as if to prove to herself that she's still there. The movement takes everything she's got.
"Oh, Judy! You didn't say that!" Lily exclaims into the phone while setting the table. "What did he say? Wait -- hold on. Let me get rid of this," she says, clicking to the other line. "Rick! Hey honey, listen, can I --" Lily straightens, her face draining. "Oh, dear god," she breathes, lifting a hand to her chest. "Oh my god! Tell me she's okay," she says, moving trancelike toward the stairs. "No, no, no, she's here." She holds the phone to her chest and calls upstairs for Jessie. Jessie, innocent, comes bounding down the stairs. She stops when she hears Lily ask, "What hospital?" Lily looks up at her. Jessie slowly finishes descending the stairs, never taking her eyes off Lily. "Okay," Lily says into the phone, before holding it out to Jessie. Jessie looks at it like it's lit dynamite. The last thing she wants to do is hold that phone. Reluctantly, she takes it, already bleary-eyed, already knowing that what she hears will devastate. "Hello?" she says weakly. She listens, looking off. Sharp intake of breath. "Mommy?" Her legs buckle and her face crumples. Lily rushes forward. Jessie drops the phone, staring blankly. She sobs. Looking up at Lily, she pleads, "I want my mommy!" Lily tries to hold her, assuring her they're going to the hospital right now. "No!" Jessie cries, pushing her hands away. "Eli! ELI!" she wails. Every hair on my body raises. Eli is slackered out in his room. Jessie's shrieks rouse him, and he sits up with a sinking feeling.