One Life Changing Photo

Jennifer F

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“Hello? Suzanne? It’s me, Dr. Wong. A few gentlemen would like to talk to you.” A tall man with freckles said with a smile. I nodded. Two gentlemen in matching uniforms with badges appeared from behind the whitewashed curtain. “Hi Suzanne, I’m Detective Reed and this is my partner Detective White, we’re here to ask you a few questions about the casualties that took place tonight, leading to the deaths of your friends.” Hearing this news made my eyes fill with tears and my throat burn. ‘It’s all my fault.’ I whispered to myself. I sighed and looked at the detectives. I began to tell them the story that changed my life forever. *FLASHBACK* BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! My alarm clock sounded, waking me up from my afternoon nap. I sat up grinning from ear to ear. Today was the day of all days. Graduation. In a few hours, I would finally take a step into adulthood. “Freedom!” I yelled hopping off the bed and grabbing my phone, opening unread messages from my three best friends. Every text message was identical. Personal reminders from each of them to not forget to pick them up. I started to get ready knowing that if I didn’t now I would be late. Hours passed and I was finally done. I examined myself in the mirror and being satisfied with my appearance, I grabbed my things needed for the drive and left. After picking my best friends up and waving farewell to their parents, we headed to graduation. Little did I know this would be the last time their parents or myself would see them again. “OMMMGEEEE WE’RE GRADUATING GUYS!” Spencer screamed. We all burst into laughter. “I know Spence, we’re grown now.” Lacy said with a grin while turning the music up so loud it was almost ear piercing. “We should totally go to Chances’ graduation party afterwards.” Maxxine yelled. Lacy turned around in her seat to fist bump Maxxine. I looked at the time and the GPS. “Almost there!” I said with a smile. “Besties, let’s take some photos.” Lacy suggested and leaned over to grab my phone. While focusing back and forth on the road, I joined them in taking Snapchat photos. “Ew Suzy Q, you look drunk.” Spencer laughed, “I’m posting it.” “No!” I fired back while using one hand to hold the steering wheel and the other to reach behind me and grab my phone from Spencer. After retrieving the phone I looked down at the photo and laughed. “I do look dru- SUZANNE LOOK OUT!” Lacy yelled while cutting me off. My head snapped up and I swerved off the road to avoid hitting the 18-wheeler in front of me. *END OF FLASHBACK* “T-That’s all I remember.” I stuttered while looking up at the detectives. They both nodded. “We found your car smashed into a tree and your friends’ bodies thrown outside of the vehicle.” Detective White said with a sad expression plastered on his face. “No one made it except you.” Detective Reed stated. I couldn’t stop the warm tears from rolling down my cheeks. ‘If I wouldn’t have looked down at that stupid picture they would still be here.’ I thought to myself. This is something I would have to live with forever; knowing I killed my best friends. If only things would’ve been different. *Stop distracted driving: It only takes one glance, one text, one call, one second.*