The bell rings. I rush through the hallway hoping that there is no one sitting in front of my locker so that I can get my coat and leave school as fast as possible. On my way out, I see a friend standing by the door looking as if she is about to cry. Although I am in a major hurry to leave, I stop to ask her what is wrong. “Another day, another drama,” she says. She explains her story to me, and after many tears and multiple hugs, I look at my watch. I say to myself, “Three o’clock! I’m going to be so late, I have to go!” I tell her goodbye and walk out of school. The brisk air outside relieves me of the smell of two day old fish-sticks from the cafeteria and the strong scent of colognes that lingers in the hallway.
I am about to put my headphones in my ears when I hear a loud screech. I jerk my head to the left. “Look out!” a voice yells. A deafening scream follows. My eyes dart but my mind blurs and I can’t figure out what had just happened. Thoughts rush through my mind: “Was she watching when she crossed the street? Did the car see her? Is she badly hurt? Did the car go through a red light? How could this have happened?” I scurry to the corner. The next thing I know, there are about twenty people crowding around a girl lying on the street.
I can’t imagine the shock—the trauma! I know if that had just happened to me, I would be completely and utterly stunned. But wait—my thoughts regain focus and wonder…that could have happened to me!
I try to grasp the thought: if I had left school a minute earlier—maybe even a few seconds—that could have been me. In disbelief, I stand there; I have never witnessed anything like this before, and I have no idea what to do. All I can do is watch; I am in no way trained to help her. My thoughts are interrupted by a policeman who tells me to clear the block so the EMS can get through.
It all happened so fast.
I cross the street and begin to walk down the block. With each step, I get farther and farther away from what could have been my fate.
If I hadn’t stopped to talk to my friend and just smiled and walked past her. If I had left a minute earlier, that could have been me who was hit by the car.
I believe that everything happens for a reason, and that fate and destiny exist. It was my fate that kept me from that tragic event. It was my destiny that held me back a few seconds in school. Everything, whether it’s good or bad, or whether it affects the future or the past, has a reason for occurring. I believe my fate will guide me through the rest of my life, and whatever happens, is meant to be.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.