In One Minute

Madelyn K

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In one minute Josh Smith unbuckled his seatbelt because he felt like it. He had been in the car for four hours and thirty-eight minutes, and as restlessness set in, he pushed the red button on the seatbelt compartment to release the safety of the strap. His eyes were drooping shut in slow movements. Josh looked at the radio; he turned the knobs switching from classical music to country. Country music was too boring, and he spun the dial again, it landed on a rock station. He again glanced away from the road, and towards the radio; he pushed the volume button more than enough times, raising the volume. The old truck swerved, towards the line of oncoming traffic, and Josh jerked the wheel moving his vehicle into the correct lane. He turned the volume down a notch, hoping it would help. In thirty seconds Josh Smith pulled his smartphone out of his jeans pocket and checked the time. He had a text message from Sarah, his wife of three years, and the love of his life; he dragged his finger across the phone screen, taking his eyes from the road and focusing on the small letters forming Sarah’s text message, it read “We need to talk. Now.” Josh’s eyes which had still not looked at the winding road widened, and he typed back, “Call me” and pressed the blue send arrow. The truck shifted once again, and Josh jerked his eyes back to the road. In fifteen seconds Josh Smith received a call from Sarah. She did not wait for his answer, and immediately began the beginning of their last fight. She complained about everything like she always did. The volume of her voice rose as the call went on, and soon enough Josh was engaged in the screaming. He smacked the volume control repeatedly with the palm of his hand urging the volume of his rock music to decrease. The wheel wobbled, and he steadied it with two fingers. One hand grasped the phone, and the other smacked the dashboard trying to make the music dissipate. With each word that passed between them, Josh became increasingly angrier. His foot pressed inadvertently into the gas pedal with his growing unhappiness, and the vehicle increased in speed. In thirty seconds the wheels of Josh’s rusty, worn, broken pick-up truck failed to turn for the sharp bridge that was ahead. The vehicle plummeted through the guardrail into the water beneath the bridge. His head slammed against the steering wheel, and as blood ran down his temple, Josh realized there was no way to escape. He tried to breathe as he struggled against the cage of metal and glass. Josh quickly gave up fighting the cage that he had created. It only took one minute for Josh Smith to become distracted. It only took one minute for a truck to crash through a guardrail. It only took one minute for a wife to lose a husband. It only took one minute for a man to give his life to the dangers of driving recklessly.