Guilty Conscience

Lindsey L

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Six months ago I received the ultimate token of freedom. My drivers license. It was probably the best day of my life. All the nerves leading up to the driving test to be met with a perfect score and my own car. I no longer had to decline invitations to the movies or to friends houses from not having a ride. I was finally free to do whatever I wanted. Well, not completely free. I still had my 11 pm curfew and couldn’t have friends in the car with me, but hey, at least I didn’t need to rely on my mom anymore. As time went on, she trusted me more and more, letting me stay out later and drive my friends around. With every night out I felt more and more adult-like. It’s as if the world was at my fingertips. All it took was the turn of the ignition and a little gas and boom, there I go. I was unstoppable. Now, I sit in a courtroom in an orange jumpsuit with shackles on my wrists. To my right, a couple sits weeping while holding a picture of their daughter. I can’t bear looking at them. Everytime I even try turning my head in their direction, I can’t seem to catch my breath. My lawyer faces the judge trying to convince him to lighten my sentence. “She’s only 17,” he’d say, “this was all just a horrible accident.” Two weeks ago I was driving my best friend home. She lived about 20 minutes away, but that was no problem for me. It was around midnight and the world was pitch black. I drove for a good 5 minutes before she reached over to turn on some music. She never did have the best taste, so I went to change the song on my phone. She tried to grab the phone from my hand, but I wouldn’t let go, and we started fighting. Next thing I knew all I could hear was the sound of screeching tires, a horn blaring, and BAM. When I opened my eyes, I was getting pulled out of the car by paramedics. My body hurt, my ears were ringing, and I couldn’t breathe. There was shattered glass and blood everywhere. That was the night I lost my best friend. I never truly knew what a lack of freedom felt like until I was sitting here with a guilty conscience in handcuffs and a whole courtroom looking at me waiting for a judge to decide my fate. I look back on my those nights where I felt on top of the world and wish I knew how just one wrong move could change everything.