Life or Death

Hilary - Pownal, Maine
Entered on September 30, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

“Remember to always buckle your seat belt, check your mirrors….”

The monotone voice droned on for what seemed like hours about what to do and what not to do when driving. My mind wandered off, daydreaming about the warm summer’s day ahead of me, I knew all the rules, no need to listen to the same old boring stuff over and over again. I was a safe driver and knew nothing would ever come in the way of me and the road.

2 years had come and gone. A perfect driving record. Graduation right around the corner, not a worry in the air. It seemed as if nothing could ever stop me from moving forward, I was floating though life without a single fear.

But I had no idea of what was about to take toll in my life.

My dad was lying sick in bed and my mom was busy working for the night. It was my turn to pick my brother up. His first day of driver’s ed. It had just snowed, rained and the temperature had dropped. The roads were covered in snow and ice. To me driving in the snow was as simple as walking down the road. I left in the middle of a TV show and was anxious to get home. Before I knew it I was pulling up to my brother, unsure of how I even managed to get there. I couldn’t remember driving along the roads. Drew jumped in and we headed home.

Pulling onto my road, my phone went off and my best friends voice flowed through the speaker and instantly I was distracted. Unaware of what was coming just a few feet in front of me.

For a moment I brought my attention to the road and realized that I heading straight for a hill covered in ice. I looked down and noticed the line on my speedometer read 20 mph faster than I should have been going. Before I even gave it a thought, I reached the top of the hill and slammed on my brakes. That’s when all came crashing down on me, unsure if there was anything I could do to fix what I had just messed up.

Before I even had another moment to think I saw my life pass before my eyes, everything was blurry, objects spinning and then I saw it, the huge brown trunk of a tree directly in my path. I closed my eyes and began to scream. I felt my brother’s arm come flying across my chest and all I could hear was the echoing sound of my own scream. Suddenly my body flung forward and then back again, the car was stopped and there was dust everywhere. It smelt as if something was burning and suddenly I was back in my body and pain shot throughout every inch of my body. I was in shock and didn’t know what to do. My brother began to scream and shake, he was stuck and couldn’t open his door, he began to panic and lost control of his body. I quickly turned to my door and forced it open, I fell out onto the ground and felt all strength leave my body, I couldn’t move. My brother finally escaped the cars chamber and began to pace back and forth.

I felt useless and scared, unsure of what to do. All I could focus on was the pain shooting through my body.

A man appeared in front of me, unsure of what he was saying I followed him and my brother into a house. I sat down and felt as if I could finally breath and take in all that had just happened. I was back in reality and had to face what I brought upon myself and figure out how I would begin to explain to my parents what had just happened.

My thoughts trailed back to that monotone voice, knowing that if only I had paid closer attention and followed my instructors directions, I wouldn’t have just experienced that near death experience. From that day on, the thought of driving a car frightens me, even to be in the passenger seat. But I couldn’t let that stop me from moving forward in life. I had to take that moment into my hands and only learn and grow from the experience.