Was it really worth it?

Jerusha G

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I made it on the team! I hurry home to tell my mom. I have to be there first so the first thing she hears when she gets home is my news! It’ll make her day! My phone buzzes and I wonder if it’s Coach. I pick up my phone and look at it for just a second to see the group chat going. I have to check. We’re handing out jerseys on Tuesday and practice is on Friday at four. I hope I can chose my number! I ask as I’m keeping my focus on the roads. Well, kind of, but I’m a good enough driver I don’t need to be completely focused. The fields are by Elm Park, it’s a new facility. I’m so excited to get on the field and practice there. I quickly reply “thanks” and put the phone down. Mom will never know I was on my phone and driving. She’d be upset, but it doesn’t matter because I’m a safe driver. My phone buzzes again as I come to a stop sign so I pick it up. My mom asks what I want for dinner. As I’m replying, I suddenly find out the stop sign wasn’t four-way. I pull out into the intersection, glass shatters, and I know something is wrong. I realize that I just got hit, hear sirens in the distance and I try to look around and see what’s happening. Everything is moving so fast, but I can’t focus on or feel anything. I look down and see blood. All over my hands and arms. Did I have my seatbelt on? I can’t remember. Suddenly paramedics are getting me out of the car. I hear them talking but I can’t make sense of their words. Then everything goes black. When I come back to my senses, I’m in a white room and I look up to see my mom, worried. She’s looking at me and I see the tears in her eyes and a scrunched brow. I still can’t feel anything so I look down and see my hands and arms bandaged up in a green gauze-like material. I barely understand what’s happening, and I’m still confused so I ask my mom. She tells me what the witnesses reported and I realize that my driving really wasn’t safe. It was reckless, dangerous and irresponsible. I ask how the other person is, and my mom can’t answer. She looks at me, haunted and all I can think is, “Oh, no. I didn’t really, did I? Please say I didn’t.” I can’t bear the thought. It’s awful and I feel like nothing matters anymore. My selfishness took the life of a mother and wife named Jan. She was on her way home from getting what her kids wanted for dinner. I left a husband and two boys without their wife and mother. I took her from them and I can’t give her back. My thoughts go instinctively to my own mom and how she had been getting stuff for the dinner I chose. My eyes well up with tears as I imagine life without my mom and realize what I’ve done. I start to cry as my mom just holds me. All that seemed important just a few hours ago is now worthless. It’s just a speck of dust in the reality of the world. I vow to myself never to pick up my phone while driving and never drive distracted again. I wish I could take back time but it’s too late. It wasn’t worth it at all.