I Wish, I Was

Simone M

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I was seventeen. I was a good person, I think. I didn’t drink, I didn’t smoke, I didn’t sneak out. I spent more time on my computer than at parties. My parents always said, “You should get out more.” I wanted to. I did. I was leaving my friend’s house. She offered me a ride home, but the air was good for me. I heard the brake before the impact. I wish I could tell them I’m sorry. I wish I had listened to them. I wish I had taken the ride. Maybe then I wouldn’t be in the hospital. My best friend, crying that it was her fault. My parents, arguing with the doctor that I would be alright. The nurse, saying I was too young. I can hear the heart monitor, beep, beep, beep. My parents come to talk to me. They don’t think I can hear them. The driver was older than me. Thirty-something. He had been texting, doing what he shouldn’t have been. I didn’t want to hate him, but I did. He decided a text was more important than my life. ‘Almost there.’ Two words kept me in the hospital. I wish I could talk to them. My best friend. My Mom. My Dad. I wish I could say I’m sorry. I wish I could tell them it wasn’t their fault. I wish… I wish I had more time. I wish something could have been done to prevent this. To prevent my death, and the others, millions of teens like me. That lay in hospital beds, and on examination tables. Our lives cut short by people who know better. By people who decide our lives aren’t as important as the two or three-word text they must send. “b there soon” “want anything?” “c u soon” “omw” These have been the death of too many of us, our parents, siblings, cousins, friends, strangers. I wasn’t the first, I won’t be the last. The fault doesn’t lie with those who warned us not to be distracted. It lies with those who decided to ignore them.