October 17th 2017

Hannah W

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“Hey Julian, take a look,” my Mom stated. Ever since I was little, my mother would point accidents out to me and always told me “drive carefully, and you won’t be involved in that.” It was the day before my driver’s test. The collision she pointed out was a 3-car accident that blocked two lanes on Route 66. One car was underneath a truck that rear-ended an SUV. The only people there were cops and firefighters clearing the lanes. My mother has for years made me look at statistics and watch documentaries about car crashes and what they do to people. They’re annoying but I never knew how important they would be to me in the future no mattered how much she insisted. While looking in the rear-view mirror, I saw a luxury car speeding up towards me. I sped myself up so that he would have time to break if need be, but he didn’t seem to go slower. In, fact, he was going faster. Faster. Faster SCREEE That was me, veering into the right lane to avoid collision. For a split second, I saw the driver. It was an old man drinking Heineken Light. He had very old-timey glasses and wore a tux. CRASH The car crashed into the wall. My mother was knocked out, bleeding in the back of her neck where glass had impaled her. I screamed. Before I could call 911, I realized I was bleeding to, and went out. I lived. I lived through it. I made it. However, my mother, did not. She, the one who taught me how to drive, how to live, how to be the best person I could be, was dead. That. Was. It. “This has to stop,” I thought, “it’s up to me to fix this.” I wrote up a speech to read during the school announcements in the hospital. Mr. Davis, the principal, was the only one who knew of the announcement, and one of the few who knew of my mother’s death. After the pledge, Mr. Davis said “today, we have a special announcement that I think you all need to listen to. So please teachers, get your students quiet as I bring up Julian Simmons.” He let me have this time to wobble in my crutches. I started speaking once I reached the mic: “October 17th, 2017. It will be the day I remember most in my entire life. October 17th after school, I- I was in a car crash. My mother, who was in the passenger seat, died at the scene” I gave my schoolmates time to react, “and I somehow only came out with a broken leg and a minor concussion. No cars hit us, but we swerved too far right when an intoxicated driver kept on speeding up on the highway. This for me, was a lesson. A lesson that life matters. I thought my mother was over-dramatic, thinking that I would die by the wheel but it was her. But by someone else’s hands. Please remember, Lives matter during drives! Please.” I couldn’t talk anymore, I was only crying. I was walking down the halls and heard chants “Lives matter during drives!” “Lives matter during drives! My schoolmates were chanting for me. Within the next week, there were posters all over the county with that saying. The governor wanted me to make a speech. I was so proud, so happy. So, oh forget it. It doesn’t matter. It didn’t even happen, because… I died too.