The delicious smell of food and the sound of pots and pans clattering in the kitchen downstairs wakes me from a deep sleep. I just had a dream that I showed up late to school and missed my final exam. The feeling of panic subsides, and I wipe sweat from my brow. It was only a dream! With a sigh of relief, I compose myself and make my way downstairs to see what all the commotion is about. I can hear my family chatting loudly as I approach the kitchen. To my surprise, Mom has cooked a large and hearty breakfast of sausage, bacon, waffles, and scrambled eggs-my favorite! The sight of the feast instantly lightens my mood, and I no longer feel uneasy. My parents and siblings have already started eating. I eagerly take my seat at the table to catch up to them. The breakfast is delicious! I finish my 2nd plate, and I go upstairs to get ready for school. I can feel my nerves getting to me as I realize that my test is in 1st hour. I do well on my test and go through the rest of my day as per usual. As I am driving home after school, my phone dings. I have a notification, which is probably the results from my exam. My phone is buried in the front pocket of my backpack which sits on the floor of the passenger seat. If I can just reach it, I’ll finally be relieved of the suspense that has been inhabiting my soul for the past week. Almost there.. My phone dings again-probably my friends blowing up the group chat with joyous sentiments of receiving satisfactory scores. I have found my phone finally and shakily open my teacher’s online report. Hoorayyy! I made an A. I smile like an idiot to myself as my stress melts away, and I can finally relax. Tires squeal as a truck swerves to avoid hitting a stray dog in the road. The truck drifts into my lane, and with one hand I swerve to avoid making contact with it, my phone in my other hand. I overcorrect, and the next thing I know I am fumbling wildly with the wheel, my attempts at regaining control failing miserably. The car flips once, twice, and the third time lands on its side in a deep ditch. The car catches fire, causing the engine to explode. It all seemed so important before- the exam, my results. I studied for days, and it paid off. I placed my self-worth in the hands of my ability to achieve test scores of high standard, and for what? It all seemed so important… Today began as such a normal day. I guess I hadn’t realized that I would never get to sit down to breakfast with my boisterous family again when I picked up that phone. I never considered that the noisy sounds of pots and pans downstairs would be so sentimental until it was gone. If only I had waited to check for my results…It seemed so important. I felt that the results of the exam were more important than keeping my focus on the road, and now my family and everyone I love will suffer the ultimate consequence of my mistake. The next time you think to yourself that you will only look “just for a second” at your phone while driving, be ready to pay the consequence. Don’t be like me. Drive safely and keep your eyes on the road and not on your phone because everything that seemed so important before could be reduced to nothing in the blink of an eye.
Reckless driving is the #1 cause of teen death in America and phones play a large role in this. This is a short story about a normal day for a teen that quickly changed everything because of a mistake-the mistake of checking a phone while driving. I hope my story will be considered and that it will influence someone in the way that they drive in the future.