Didn’t Notice

Gerenice V

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I had promised myself I would never become distracted on the road. I never listened to anyone saying every promise is meant to be broken… I didn’t notice the truth in their words. My life was pretty good until that winter. I had a great social life, my parents helped me through thick and thin despite our differences and arguments, and I was overall happy with what I had. Unfortunately, I wanted more. I wanted a rush, a thrill, just something to get my blood pumping; I wanted a car. When I saved up for my car, I was so excited. I’d worked two long years to save up enough to put down a payment on the beautiful, bulky, pre-owned red pickup truck I saw at the local dealership. It was love at first sight and I knew I had to have it. Eventually, I did. I pulled out of the driveway one morning, the sun just rising over the horizon. I’d tossed my phone in the cup holder, less than arm’s reach from me. I shifted gear and stepped on the gas. I was heading to the main highway leading out of town, driving up to the capital for an awards ceremony. I figured traffic would be light and I would have no problems on the road, and I wasn’t wrong. Very few people were commuting that morning so I let my guard down. I turned on the radio and was happy enough to sing along with the first few song. Then, I heard my phone buzz in the cup holder. And that’s where I made my third mistake. I picked it up, not peeling my eyes off the road while reaching it. But, as soon as I placed my thumbprint on the home button, I glanced down to hit my messages. Seeing that text from my best friend made me smile. I didn’t notice my foot start to turn to lead and press ever harder on the gas pedal. I tapped away, glancing up at the road from time to time. By the time I hit send, I hadn’t noticed the small Volkswagen coming down on the other side from the left. My hand had turned the wheel a bit too far to the left, my foot was pressing the gas to the floor, I couldn’t swerve, I didn’t see her, I- And then I woke up. I didn’t notice I couldn’t move until it was too late and the pain was running up and down my spine. I can’t walk or speak anymore, and the woman in the Volkswagen can’t come back down to see her daughter on her birthdays. I lived, and she didn’t. All because I was distracted and didn’t notice.