What I Cannot Say

Alma C

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Most days, I no longer recognize me. I can never go back to my old life — the life I lived is gone. It can all be traced back to one person: you. I never asked for this. Ever since that day at the DMV, I was given the freedom I always desired. But now, now that freedom is gone. You took that from me, all of it is gone because you decided to stay out late. It was you, you, you. You’re the only one to blame. You’re the one who had to reach for that phone. You’re the one who decided a message was more important. It was you. I don’t think you know this, you never bothered talking to me at the trial. But I’m writing this now to let you know, because I think this is something you should hear. I was in the process of applying to college. I remember the day vividly, I had a meeting with my counselor and we were talking about the fact that a university had reached out to offer me a sports scholarship. The scout mentioned a full ride. Of course, the one rule was that I had to play for them. It was soccer. I was captain of the soccer team. Was. Now I’m not. Now I watch the game from beside the field, I can’t even climb up on the bleachers because of what you did to me. Most of the people around me try not to pity me. But I can see that it’s hard. This is not what I asked for. Getting my license was a milestone, something I worked so hard to achieve. I was a great driver. I followed the rules, I yielded to pedestrians, I was careful. You weren’t. And you know what makes this matter even worse? I frequently thought about this. I knew that I could be the best driver to ever sit behind the wheel, but all it would take is one reckless driver to ruin everything for me. And you were it. I always knew something like this could happen, I just never thought it would happen to me. God, if I only knew. I would give everything to go back to that night. I should’ve stayed home a few more minutes, even a few more seconds could have saved me from you. But I was careless. No. No, I will not blame myself for what happened. This was you, and only you. You did this to me, and what did you get? A year? Maybe two? I know I should consider letting this go, but I just can’t. It just seems so unfair. It’s hard seeing the days go by. Sometimes I think about the before, I reflect on the smallest things that I took for granted. Dropping off my little sister at school, running across the football field to meet my friends, skipping around the pavement to hear the crunch of the autumn leaves beneath my feet. All of this is gone. Do you ever think about what you could have done differently? I do. If you would have just put your phone out of reach, left it on the backseat. Or leave it in your bag. Or just leave it off. Any of these things could have prevented this. We can’t go back in time, but I do hope you learn from this. People always say it’s the simple things in life, and they’re right. The girl that I was is gone. I hope that text was worth it.