Just a Couple of Seconds

Pamela L

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You’re driving home from a late night rehearsal when suddenly your phone’s screen lights up the car, illuminating like the stars filling the sky above you. You reach for your device, for just a second. It is only a second right? A second can’t do any harm. These thoughts rush through your head as you read your friend’s message asking you if you understood the calc homework, But the seconds tick by, and they mattered. They mattered so much. As those few seconds pass by, you miss seeing a stop light and go right through. You go right through a young family. And you tear it apart. A mother and child, are now ripped apart as the life is stolen out of a 7-year-olds lifeless body. The mother is screaming in horror, and so are you. After what seemed like an eternity, both cars roll to a halt. And that’s when you see the damage that’s been done. A mother’s young child is stolen from her because you couldn’t wait to check your phone. The mother walks away with only a few scratches but wishes she couldn’t. She stands there wondering why she couldn’t have been on the side that got hit. And then she sees you. A young adult with many things in their future. A young adult hoping to be successful and help people as much as they can. But all she can see is the empty shell of the person who took her child away from her. You are gone, and so is her child. The few seconds that you took to check your phone changed so many lives. A mother lost her seven-year-old child. Your parents lost you. Your friend blames himself for everything that has happened. There is an empty spot on the football field where you were supposed to perform with the marching band. Your friends miss your presence every second. Your sister is now an only child and cries herself to sleep every night because of how much she misses you. The mother whose life you changed forever during those few seconds now never leaves the house. She lives on disability because of post-traumatic stress disorder, which you caused. Your dog, who was your best friend, will never understand why you didn’t come home this time; and everyone wonders, why you couldn’t wait for a few seconds to look at your phone. Why couldn’t you just wait? It’s only a few more seconds until you reach your destination. Only a couple of minuscule seconds.