I Didn’t Stop Him!

Donald M


I really hate talking to shrinks about my feelings. They always ask me, “how do you feel?”, or “does this effect your emotional state in some way?” like I’m gonna kill myself after what happened to Jimmy. Sure it’s rough, but what do you expect when your best friend dies because he wasn’t watching the road, but looking at a text on his phone. I was in the car with him you know… I could’ve stopped him. I knew not to text and drive, or even look down to grab my phone while I’m on the road. Jimmy wasn’t that kind of guy. Captain of the football team, future valedictorian, the man thought he was invincible. Everyone thought so. One girl gave him her number before even speaking a word to him. That’s probably who had texted him when he was driving. We talked about how hot she was for about a week. One day, we decided to go to this club about five miles from campus. It was almost midnight, and I told him it was too late to drive to the club. He didn’t care. Mr. Untouchable. One second of a peek at the phone left him swerving in the lane of a semi-truck. I was too busy trying to show interest in whatever Jimmy was looking at. I thought what he thought was cool, was cool. I didn’t pay attention. I could’ve warned him. I could’ve stopped him, but I didn’t! I didn’t stop him! I’m sorry Jimmy! I’m so sorry!… You wanna know how I feel Mr. Psychiatrist? I feel like it’s my fault. I knew better, but I wanted to fit in. Jimmy was my ticket, and now he’s gone. It’s all my fault. Next time, I’m throwing the driver’s phone out the window.


This short piece is coming from a college kid who’s mom decides he should see a psychiatrist after he nearly dies from a car accident just a few months ago. His friend Jimmy who was driving was looking at his phone, texting while driving, and swerved in the lane of another vehicle and the two collided killing Jimmy. The psychiatrist asks him about his reaction to the whole situation. This piece that I came up with was his response to the psychiatrist. I decided to write it in the perspective of someone other then the driver because I wanted to show that people react differently when someone dies, and in this case the person reacted in guilt. He felt responsible for Jimmy’s death, and I wanted the character relate to people who have felt guilty because of someone else’s misfortune. I also wanted to express the idea that people have the ability to encourage others to do the right thing, but at times choose not to, like how the guy could’ve told him to keep his eyes on the road, but because he wanted to be cool like Jimmy, he didn’t and it may have costed Jimmy his life.