Road to Change
Geno Blankenship woke up on the day of his 16th birthday. A smile covered his face as he stood up and looked out at the sun smiling back at him. It was a beautiful day. He looked at his phone immediately that had many messages wishing him happy birthday. He put on his favorite blue and white jacket and walked down stairs. His mom and grandparents stood there with balloons around the table where a stack of pancakes lied. “Happy 17th birthday!” they said very cheerfully. “Thank you!” he responded with a smile. He hugged everyone one by one with a feeling of gratefulness that consumed him. Geno sat down at the table and looked at his pancakes. He licked his lips as he picked up his knife and fork. A couple bites were gone from the plate when he paused, “Anything from dad from Afghanistan?” he asked with a ray of hope but expected nothing. “I’m sorry,” his mom responded hoping he wouldn’t ask. “There hasn’t been any calls this morning.” “It’s been so long. Well maybe there will be one later,” he said continuing to eat his pancakes. Later that day, Geno was waiting anxiously at the lunch table. His hands were trembling as he looked at his phone every five seconds. “What are you so amped about, dude?” Wyatt, Geno’s best friend asked as he sat down at the table. “I’m waiting for a call. Today was the day we are supposed to receive a call if we won that contest that I entered a month ago,” Geno responded. “Oh yeah!” Wyatt responded. “What did you write about again?” “A solution to decrease distracted driving,” Geno responded. “What was your solution?” “I suggested that they put something in the driver’s seat that interferes with the phone so that it can’t turn on while somebody is in that seat and only for that phone. The interference can be activated by the weight that the person exerts onto the seat. It is that simple. They put all these tools in the phone to prevent these accidents, but they get ignored. Something needs to be done to the cars. Too bad it doesn’t exist yet. But maybe after today, it will. I probably didn’t win though.” “That’s a million dollar idea. It definitely will,” Wyatt said trying to give his best friend hope. “If this contest isn’t the way, there will be another.” “Thanks man,” Geno responded with a smile. “I’ll see you later.” The bell rang and Geno got in his car. He is meeting his mom and grandparents for dinner at a fancy Italian restaurant. Geno turned onto the highway and sped up. That moment, his phone started ringing. He tried so hard to not answer but all he could think of is what if it’s the CEO. He looked down and reached to pick up his phone. A man spoked saying “will you meet with me and my associates later this week?,” Geno smiled so big when suddenly he gets t-boned going through a red light. Geno was pushed through his front seat window and hung halfway outside the window. His mom answered her phone. She received the worst news she ever had to hear. Geno died on the scene of the accident. Her and the grandparents arrived at the scene where Geno’s lifeless body lied on the ground covered with a white sheet. “I didn’t even get to tell my son happy birthday,” his military father said as he sobbed greatly and laid his head on his wife’s shoulder.