Nightly Drives

Sarah Q

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It was the middle of the night. I couldn’t sleep, as usual, so my eyes were wide open. I stared at the ceiling for a while longer before looking over at my phone on the end table. I slowly picked it up, examining it before turning it on and opening to my friend, Casey. He was always there for me, even though he was on the other side of the country. “Hey, Casey.” I type to him through the messaging app. It took a few minutes, but he got back to me, “Hey, Karen. What’s the matter? Aren’t you supposed to be asleep?” “Yeah, but I can’t. I’m thinking of taking a drive.” “Understandable.” He wrote, “I think you should, but I’m not sure you need to take your phone with you.” “I’ll be fine. I do this all the time.” “But you got a fine last time…” I pause, glaring down at the phone. I remember it clearly. It started out as one of my normal nightly drives. I was messaging Casey, who wasn’t actually able to drive yet, but we were a year apart in age. We were messaging back and forth. From what I remember, it was about foods we were thinking of having for dinner. I was driving to go and get Chinese Take-out. Well, yes it was the middle of the night, but I was hungry and stressed about my Senior finals. I was living in my own place now, and I have been for about a year. I took one of my hands off of the steering wheel to start typing when I felt the wheel start to turn on its own, almost. I dropped my phone and tried to take back control, but it didn’t work. Everything went black and I heard a loud crunch sound. I shudder, remembering the hospital and the bandages in my head for that duration. I shake my head and respond. “You’re right, as much as I really want to take you. I’m still surprised I’m still alive.” I slowly stand, stretch, and reach for my car keys. I know better now, and realize what could happen if I ever tried to do that again. If Karen hadn’t taken control of the wheel. If Karen had done this during the day instead. If she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, big things could have been at stake. Her life, or someone else’s life could have been lost. Casey would have been alone again. She was lucky, but not many people are. You shouldn’t test your luck like she did, so don’t text and drive. You’ll never know when you’ll take your last breath.