a texter, a sleepy driver, and a vaper

Kaitlynn I

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When I was around 16 I had a really nice group of friends. Everyone was, of course, excited to start driving and finally be able to go anywhere they wanted. Be an adult. Be a grown up. It was new, and exhilerating, and there was a rush just at the thought of it. Once everyone got their licenses and Senior year snuck up on us, we were finally able to drive to school. It wasn’t as exciting as it sounded, not in the slightest. The traffic was as slow as a line of turtles, nobody wanted to abide by the rules of the road, and highschool teenagers didn’t even appear to be what they were; Just zombies, on their way to school. It was a mess, to sum it up. One morning, my friend Lauren never came to first block. I found it odd since she hadn’t told me she was sick or anything, so I shot her a text. An hour later she texts back saying someone who was asleep at the wheel smashed into her car, but she was fine. Only mad. As anyone would be. At first, I didn’t know how to feel aside from anger and frustration, but I was confused because I didn’t know who to blame. One might think it was evidently the kid who was asleep at the wheel, while my stubborn teenage self thought it was the school’s fault for making school start so early. In the end, I still set blame on the kid, because he really shouldn’t have been driving at all had he felt that horribly tired. A few months later, another friend of mine got into an accident; Christi. I’d never been in a car with her, but hearing what she did made me never want to get in one with her. Not only was she easily distracted, but she crashed her car by completely taking her eyes off the road and looking for her vape. To me, it was idiotic. I didn’t understand the logic; It’s easy to just look at the road and not do anything. Focus. That’s not just smart, that’s safe. And that’s also not just keeping yourself safe, that’s keeping others safe, and if you don’t care enough about yourself, shouldn’t you at least care more about others? I don’t know. Christi had a broken arm and severe concussion after that. I visited her in the hospital and brought her flowers. The colors and light hurt her head so much that she never got to see them. The final car accident I remember took place in the summer after my Senior year. I graduated, felt free, and on top of the world. I was on my way to a friend’s house in July. I had my music going, it was a fun time, but I was still focused on the road. When I entered the circle, everything was fine. Until everything wasn’t. I still don’t really remember what happened, or how it all happened. Someone ran into the side of my car and hit me at a flying 70 miles per hour. I suffered a broken hand, brain damage, a broken nose, whiplash, and heavy bruises. The other person only suffered a major concussion. And a broken phone. I’d never felt more outraged in my entire life. I would have to postpone my entire life and have long term difficulties, because someone had to text “ya, im omw”? It wasn’t fair, it wasn’t rational, it wasn’t- it wasn’t supposed to happen. But, here I am. In a hospital bed. Others here too, because of a driver who needed more sleep, a person who so desperately needed a smoke, and someone who had no self control to not text for at least 10 minutes.