Esta woke up with a startle to an alarm clock cawing louder than any rooster ever did. The sandman’s curse still had its grip around her as she closed her eyes for a moment and then opened them again. Esta moved her head to the right to see the time—5:00 am. Even though she tried to move her body, her aching muscles laid in rebellion pretending not to hear her brain commanding them to move. With a loud groan, she got up and began to change. She went to the kitchen and grabbed her coffee, chugging the steaming liquid. To no avail, the sandman would not release his grip on her. She moved her entire body in one motion forcing herself to move no matter how much her muscles disagreed. As Esta opened the door, freezing cold bit her skin. Her body, still asleep didn’t react. Continuing her long and drowsy journey to the car, she hopped in and started the car. Staring in the car mirror, she saw her pale face staring back. She rested her hand on her cheek feeling her dry, rough skin. Then, she quickly turned away and began to drive. Nothing but darkness and the cold surrounded the car as she turned onto the highway. The only light was her own headlights, but Esta didn’t dare open the window to allow the cold to bite her with its teeth again. She turned the heat to high. The warmth embraced the girl; she felt the heat wrap itself around her like a anaconda strangling its prey. Feeling relaxed, she closed her eyes and rested. The Sandman prevailed—instead of an alarm clock waking Esta up, the horn of a truck blared at her. It was too late. Brakes screeched and metal buckled from the impact. A huge explosion lit up the woods beside the road. Sadly, Esta never made it to school; the man never made it home. The sandman did his job that day. ‘’More than 6,000 people die in drowsy driving related crashes in the U.S. each year.’’ Imagine that 6000 lives are gone: People who had dreams, families, siblings, significant others, and children. 6000 people gone. The feeling of ‘’this will never happen to me’’ is the same mindset those 6000 people who lost their lives had. Do you want to be like them? Please, do not become a statistic. To stop this, the average teen needs 9 ½ hours of sleep. Apps like Runtastic can monitor your sleep, so you know how much sleep you need to feel better and well-rested. Try using a sleep app to find out if you are getting enough sleep. Make sure the sandman will never cast his spell on you.
this story follows young Esta and the cost of her constant drowsy driving