“Laura? It is time to go.” She taps her foot. I breathe slowly. His letter is still in my hand, my knuckles white as the paper crumbles. I kiss his forehead, the same way he’s done for me all for all those years, and head off to listen to everything the judge has to say, everything my father will face the day he wakes up. It doesn’t take long, he miraculously didn’t hurt the couple that had their Sunday trip to their families cut short by a head-on collision, but I still had to hear the many fines he will have to pay…I guess, I will have to pay on his behalf. The doctors never did tell me when he will wake up. “Laura? It is time to go.” She looks solemnly at me; I try to catch my breath, I couldn’t stop the tears. We go home, my mother sits on the couch, knees to her chin and staring into the black TV screen, a position she has been in for a few weeks now. I quietly go to her room, she hasn’t used it much for sleeping so she won’t mind the paper I put gently on my father’s side of the bed. I’ve read it so many times, mainly to make sure it was exactly as my dad wanted it to be worded, but I still feel as if it is wrong. It is the opposite of what should be said, but it is exactly as my dad wanted it to be worded. I stare at it, sitting on the pillow, before picking it up and heading to my room to write a much needed addition that my dad needs to hear. Dear Future Mike, Can you forgive me? I seem to have ruined your happy little family. You see, I was driving, as one does, and I decided to look away from the road. It was only a second, that isn’t enough time to hurt anyone, right? Oh, but Mike, I hurt you. I’m sorry about your daughter. I’m sorry about your wife. I wrote an apology note for you. Isn’t it nice? You can forgive me, can’t you? I just looked away for a second, people do it all the time? Maybe you were also looking away; we’re both at fault then. I hope I sound sincere enough in this message. I hope you will learn to live normally without your family, because this note makes it all okay. Sincerely, Past Mike. I place it into the letter and fold the paper down. I walk to the door, dab my eyes, and close the door. Father, Mother texted you that night about my birthday dinner; do you remember? You were running late and you texted mother this. You probably heard that notification of a text, and since I am your one and only and it was a very special day, you decided to look. You were rushing, you were not paying attention. No one expected you to cross the yellow lines; no one expected a six hour pile up as they had to remove the remnants of the accident. We never did go to dinner father, but it’s ok. I’m happier to know that you are ok. I forgive you father, even if you won’t. Sincerely, Your forgiving daughter.
We cannot forget that though we view teens as more likely to text and drive, there are many older generations that cannot put their phone down sometimes, and I wanted to bring that into light.