It Wouldn’t Hurt to Respond Now, Right?

Kenji M

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You’re driving down a road. Small, yet smooth. There’s no other cars on the road, and the speed limit is 25. You’re only going 27. You’re doing great. *Ding* Oh! Who’s that? You see your screen light up and a notification appear. That boy? You’ve been interested in? For the past couple of weeks? You’ve seen him at school, and you’ve stalked his Instagram more times than you can count. And now he’s messaging you. This can’t be happening, can it? You look up slightly. Still no cars. 26 mph now. You look down. You grab your phone with your right hand. You tap on that notification and swiftly guide your thumb over the correct numbers as you put in your password. You look up again. It looks like there’s a stop sign coming up. There’s still no other cars on the road, though. You realize that you’re getting a little slower, as you watch the gauge go below the 25 mark on your speedometer. Your phone is still in hand. You look down again. Instagram is now open. Your direct messaging list is open. You see his name at the top. There’s his profile picture that you’ve tried to look really close at multiple times to see if that’s really his jawline. You see three bold words; “Hey, what’s up?” Oh my god he’s cute. Really cute. Your stomach is fluttering. Maybe you should wait. You’re driving after all. You should stay safe. But you’re still about 15 minutes away from home. How will he feel if you don’t respond for 15 minutes? What kind of impression will you make? The boy you’ve been wanting to talk to for a while is now messaging you. It’s like the universe wants this to happen. It wouldn’t hurt to respond now, right? You tap on the conversation with his profile on it. The keyboard appears. You look up. Where did that stop sign go? Where did that car come from? It’s too late to think about that. You can’t even blink before you collide. You hit the passenger side of the car. They appeared in the intersection, thinking they’d be safe because your side had a stop sign. But they were wrong, weren’t they? You wake up in the hospital. You’re okay. A few scrapes, but the airbag and seatbelt helped save you from major damage. There’s somebody that’s not okay, though. The one in the passenger seat of that car. His mom driving him to soccer practice, so he won’t have to use gas in his own car. Messaging you. On Instagram. No matter what you send back to him, he won’t be replying. Your safety is important. However, even more important should be the safety of others. Keep your phone away while you’re driving. Don’t risk looking down to respond to anybody. It can wait. Because before you know it, you’ll get hurt. Or worse; someone else will. And it will be your fault. So stay safe, and keep your eyes on the road.