Gone in an Instant

Meghan W

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After an exhausting girl’s weekend with her mom and her sisters, Breanne Stackson sighed in her seat and put her feet up on the dashboard. The previous week, Breanne and her high school soccer team had won state and she had been contacted by Stanford college. She was working towards a soccer scholarship, finishing up her senior year and dating the cutest boy in school. Eventually, Bree felt herself doze off. She woke up a couple hours later and looked around with a questioning look. Her mom answered her, “we hit some traffic after you fell asleep so we are about an hour behind schedule.” Bree didn’t mind too much, but she had never liked driving in the dark and she knew her mom didn’t like it either. All of the sudden her world turned to slow motion. Bree turned her head to the right just in time to be blinded by the headlights that were getting closer very fast. She felt her body lunge to the left as the car smashed into the side of her mom’s. She felt the sickening crunch of one of her feet until all there was left to do was close her eyes. Bree was instantly aware of the dryness of her throat, it was nearly impossible to swallow. When she shifted, she felt something move slightly on her arm, but she didn’t realize anything was really wrong until she tried to wiggle her toes. This was something she had always done every time she woke up from a nap, or in the morning. Her parents had stories of when she was a baby, she would always wiggle her tiny toes. She felt her left foot straining to do the movement, but she didn’t feel anything coming from the right one. She took a deep breath and opened her eyes a crack. Lying at the bottom of her bed, was her right leg wrapped from the knee down and raised into a sling. She felt absolutely nothing when she tried to move her foot at all. When she saw her mother enter the room and saw the heartbroken look in her eyes, the tears fell freely. “Mom-” her voice was raspy, “what happened to me?” “Oh, what do you remember?” It was then that Bree realized that her mom had stitches on her temple and her hand was in a brace; then it all came back. The blinding headlights and the sickening thud. Her mom spoke slowly, “We were hit. When we were passing through the intersection a man T-boned us. He was texting, obviously distracted, and smashed his car into ours.” “When we got hit, you had your feet up on the dashboard…and, when the man’s car hit ours, your body was lunged forwards, and backwards, all because of the impact. And when the car started smashing, your right foot got crushed, completely shattering the biggest bone in your foot. The doctors had to amputate it.” Bree’s world suddenly turned on its axis. The corners of her vision went black and she suddenly couldn’t breathe. That’s why she couldn’t feel anything, because everything was-gone? “But without my…foot, how can I play soccer?! What about my scholarship, my future! All because some guy made a stupid choice?! It’s all gone.” Distracted and reckless driving is a lot bigger problem than most people realize. The smallest glance down at a device, the radio or anything can change you and someone else’s life. Taking the risk isn’t worth it. If you have a driver’s license, realize the weight of that privilege.