Twenty Minutes

Kiara N

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Rose sighed as she opened her car door and plopped heavily down into the driver’s seat. She took a moment to rub her tired eyes, and tried to focus on the fact that her day was almost over. Only a 20 minute drive before she would releave her babysitter, Stacy. Only 20 minutes until she got to kiss her sleeping baby girl, Cameron, goodnight. Her chubby little cheeks glistening under the moonlight spilling through the window. Only 20 minutes until she would call her mother and reassure her that she arrived home safely, like she did every night. Only 20 minutes. She could do this. She closed her car door and buckled her seat belt before driving off into the night. Seeing her daughter after a long day at work had been one of Rose’s favorite things. Cameron was the reason she did all this. The long shifts, the lack of sleep, the large consumption of coffee – all of it. Rose wanted to give her everything. Ever since the first time she held the tiny baby in her shaky arms, she knew that Cameron would never want for anything. She would make sure Cameron had the luxuries she never did as a child. She would never have to struggle. She could talk to Rose about anything. She would be a happy and stress free child. The thought of this made the long nights not seem so long, and helped her to fight the endorphins in her body that told her she needed sleep. Then, Rose drove through an intersection where she knew she had the right of way (she was sure of it), but that didn’t stop the 2017 Nissan Rogue from crashing into her from the driver’s side. In the few seconds she had before a powerful darkness, unlike anything she had ever experienced before, consumed her, she thought of Cameron. She thought of preschool tantrums, and middle school awkwardness. She thought of high school jitters, and graduation accomplishment. She thought of wedding tears. She thought of all the things she would miss in Cameron’s life. Things she was really looking forward to being apart of, but she knew better than anyone that in life, things don’t always go your way. The driver responsible for the collision was mearley a 17 year old girl named Eliza on her way home from a night out with her friends. They had went go-karting. After a year and a half of driving, Eliza considered herself to be a pretty good driver. She hadn’t gotten so much as a warning since she first got a license, she was always aware of what was around her, and she never texted and drove. However, that night, the road had been clear – or it was a second before. All she had to do was send a quick, ‘yes’ to her mother’s question, ‘are you on your way home?’ – which she did. It was just one little text, it took her less than five seconds tops to send it. What harm could it do?