If Only

Brianna A

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Finals week. The most hectic week a college student is forced to live through and expected to survive. My only question was: how? I was up all night studying for my organic chemistry final, my last one of the semester and said to be the hardest in my undergraduate career. My head didn’t hit the pillow until 6 AM and I had to be at my testing site by noon. That meant I had just enough time for a 3 hour slumber and a quick meal… perfect. BEEP BEEP BEEP, BEEP BEEP BEEP, BEEP BEEP BEEP. That was fast. I lazily dragged myself out of my warm, teal covers and made my way to the shower. I brushed my teeth and washed my face, but it made no difference on my dark undereyes. It wasn’t until I came out of the bathroom that I saw the time. 11:36 Oh no, my alarm must’ve been wrong! I forgot about a meal, speedily changed into a T-shirt and jeans, and ran out of my apartment. My car, my car, my car, where did I last park it?! There it is! I hopped into it and made my way to campus. 11:43, I was still fifteen minutes away and the stoplight was red. 11:47, my mom texted me good morning and good luck on my final. She had always been my #1 fan, the one who pushed me to put in the effort and succeed in my academics, claiming it was my intellect that would take me places and she was right. I guess Mother really does know best. I can’t wait to graduate from medical school, get my dream job, and give my mom the life she deserves. Paradise will soon be hers, mark my words. On December 17th, 2018 at 11:51 AM, I typed out a text that said “Thanks mom, I’ll give it my all, love you!” A lot can happen in one minute. Sixty little seconds. At 11:52, I was upside down, suspended by my seatbelt in a ditch, dialing 911. If only, I was more attentive. If only, I hadn’t zoned out. If only, I wasn’t glued to my phone’s screen. If only, I had waited to reply until I arrived. If only, the heart emojis were quicker to find. If only, my car had been easier to locate. If only, I had showered faster. If only, I had double-checked my alarm was at the correct time. If only, I had gotten some sleep. If only, I hadn’t crammed an entire semester into one night. If only, I was more careful… I woke up in a well-lit eerie room in a white and blue nightgown. The television was playing at a low volume and there was a green jello cup on the nightstand as well as a light brown purse on the chair, kind of like my mom’s. To say the least, this felt like the typical hospital experience you see in movies. A nurse, about 45-years old, give or take, noticed I was awake and hurried in. The only words my pain-filled body allowed me to mutter out were, “Do I get a retest?”