The ear-splitting screech of tires, the repulsing smell of burnt rubber, and the inhale of smoke rammed it’s way back into my memory. I jolted upright like Frankenstein being brought to life; my limbs shook as if electricity was pulsating through them. I glanced at my arm that had banadages and an IV hooked on. My ringing ears cloaked the outer sounds of reality. Nurses surrounded me and rushed for equipement. An intense light shined on my face which made me twist my eyes shut. A voice pierced through the ringing in my ear, “Sarah. Sarah Gudnam. Can you hear me?” I felt as if hot mud was shoved down my throat. My eyes opened and I nodded as a reply. Sweat dribbled down my forehead and intertwined with the dried tears on my cheeks. The same nurse calmly explained, “This is St. Catherine Hospital. You passed out. I need you to answer a few questions if you can.” I shook my head “no.” I couldn’t process what was happening. The hospital felt empty, yet the room was full of eyes pointed towards me. My stomach churned into an ache of burning fear. Quickly, my eyes examined my body for injuries. “What h-happened?”, my voice croaked like a frog as I spoke. “You were in a car accident. You suffered a mild concussion and some cuts that required stitching. When you’re ready we still need you to answer our questions.” the nurse repeated herself. “What do you mean? How did this happen? Was I driving?” I persisted to get information, yet the nurse remained adamant to not provide me all of the answers. The nurse sighed almost annoyed and replied “Your friend was driving and you were in an accident together. But you’re safe now. We found your student ID but we couldn’t find a license or current house address. We need your information to contact-” “Jess! Where is she?” I wailed as memories began flooding back into my mind. I remembered we were in the car on our way home from school. “How can we contact your parents, Sarah?” My heart thrusted against my rib cage as if it were to burst out of my chest. “Where’s my friend? Jess?” I remembered leaning over the dash to show her a text from a crush we shared. “Sarah, please calm down, we need to-” My brain raced around trying to find the answers. “Is she okay? Why aren’t you answering me.” I remembered Jess glancing at the phone. I thought her eyes were off the road for just a second. When we looked back up, the car was halfway into the opposite side of the road. I remembered us screaming as we collided into another car. “Where-” the words failed to leave my mouth. I remembered opening my eyes to the driver’s seat. Jess was slumped forward over the wheel steering wheel; she forgot to buckle her seat belt. The nurse sighed and said, “You were in a head on collision with a truck… and Jess was killed on impact.” The fear of her death had dwelled in the back of my mind, and once being told, I could not deny the truth. The superficial injuries of the accident healed over time, but the painful memories are permanent.
Sarah discovers how reckless driving can impact her life. After waking up in the hospital, she becomes determined to find the truth.