Wake up call
Speeding down the interstate, Everette felt the wind blow through his short black hair, felt it pull his T-shirt tight against his skin. He stepped on the gas pedal, speeding like this let him momentarily leave behind the pressure that had been beating down on him every moment since his family had gotten his sister Lucy’s diagnosis, the powerlessness he felt when imagining her dying of cancer. Everette’s mind kept coming back to the impossible task that his parents had given him, stay positive they said, and do not let her see your fear. He couldn’t do that, at least not in that house where he could see the pain behind his parents’ eyes, and each time he saw his sister’s little head he imagined her having shave off those sweet black curls. He couldn’t take it, he had walked out of the house and slammed the door, he got into his father’s car and sped over to the highway. Everette wished that he could burst out of the stifling feeling that consumed him. He remembered the day his parents brought his sister home from the hospital as a tiny baby, he remembered her huge brown eyes, her black ringlet curls, she was just as beautiful then as she was today, but then she was healthy. Why couldn’t Lucy be healthy now, his beautiful baby sister, only eight years old, the age he was when she was born. He drove through the night feeling so removed from his own body, so far from everything. He felt like he was not on this planet, not even orbiting it. His vision blurred, he could no longer see the highway in front of him, only his sister’s huge brown eyes. A jolt ran through his body as noise ripped through his chest, cars honked, breaks screeched, a man yelled. He stopped short, less than an inch from a car’s bumper, less than an inch from a collision, an inch from his parents losing their son so soon after learning that they could potentially lose their daughter. He had known better than to drive in this emotional state.
It is when we are distracted that accidents happen, being an adult means making responsible decisions, dealing with hardship in responsible ways, and not being reckless even when we are in pain. When we forget that, sometimes we get a wake-up call.