Don’t Just Survive, Live

Hidaya J

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Beep. Beep. Beep. The steady rhythm from the monitor is what brings me to the surface of consciousness. I stare at my heartbeat as wave after wave passes. How did I end up here? I probe my thoughts trying to remember what happened but everything is a fuzzy blur. Then, as clear as if it were happening outside the hospital walls, I hear the blaring of a horn and my memories come rushing back. I was driving. The windows were down, radio up, and the wind was playing with my hair as I stroll through memory lane while driving down an open country lane to the place of endless possibilities for new memories. The sudden light emanating from my phone wakes me from my reverie, alerting me I have a text so I reach for my phone. As I put in the password, I notice the message is from my mom. She is just checking in. I run my fingers across the keyboard turning back to the road at frequent intervals. I don’t notice the glare of headlights coming from the opposite direction so only when the horn blares do I snap my head up. The car is a mere six inches away when I swerve to avoid the collision. I lose control of the wheel and the car starts flipping down the hill, hood over trunk. Darkness washes over me as my head smashes into the dashboard and my body becomes slack. Back in the present, I turn to the EKG with awe and wonder how in the world I’m still alive. It’s a miracle I’m lying on a plushy bed and not in a hard coffin six feet under. There’s a soft knock on the door and the doctor walks in, clipboard in hand. “Good afternoon, Adam. I’m Dr. Goodman; I’ll be your attending.” He leafs through the pages on his clipboard until he locates my chart. “It appears you suffered a nasty crash. We will have to cast your arm and leg, but we’ve already tended to the skull, lung, and ribs. You will have to stay the remainder of the month for observational purposes.” “Where are my things?” “They’re in the drawer by the bed. I need to excuse myself to check on the other patients, but I’ll be back. Your nurse should be in shortly to tend to you.” *** Hobbling across the stage using my cane, I come to stand at the microphone. I take a deep breath and tell the story that changed my life to a crowd sitting before me. “Two months ago, I was in a crash that should have killed me. I was on my way to campus when I got a text from my mom. The first mistake I made was picking up my phone to respond, not thinking of the danger I placed myself in. The other mistake was I took my eyes off the road. As I was about to hit send, the sound of a horn brought me back to my surroundings. I narrowly avoided a head on collision that would have seriously hurt both parties. Instead, I was the only victim. I shouldn’t have made it, but outside forces made sure it wasn’t my time to go. I believe I lived to serve a purpose. I am on the verge of a breakthrough creating an app that will not only read your texts out loud but allow you to reply using a hands free, voice control option. With this, more people could go home to their families. With this, you don’t just survive, you live.