Dinner Delay

Bailey D

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I open my worn out calculus book that seems to physically represent my mental exhaustion at this point of the year. My clean notebook page stares at me with a earnest desire to be filled with knowledge – the knowledge I have not yet learned myself. My mom jolts my bedroom door open. My mind seems to awaken at the surprise and the possibility to procrastinate on the assignment in front of me. “How is your homework going?” I shake my head and give a disgruntled sigh. “Do you want to join me for dinner?” I exclaim “Yes!”. We walk down the driveway, the rain tapping on my head with each uniform step I take. I open the car door, step inside, and get my seat belt on. My mom looks behind us as she reverses the car out of the driveway. We talk about the weather, school and my future (which is still undecided). The light beeping of the seat belt warning echoes the car. My mom ignores it, as usual. I tell her for the millionth time to put on her seat belt. Is it really that complicated of a task to do? She turns the radio up. A George Strait song comes on, apparently her favorite because she knows all the words from memory – like me to any One Direction song. Ping! Her phone glows in the dark of the night. I tell her to ignore it, we are almost to the restaurant. My nose seems to already smell the aroma of fresh french fries and my ears hear the distant sizzling of the hamburger patty on the grill. Ping! Her phone echoes the same tone again, alerting her of the all important text message. She lifts up her phone. She glances at it for a second, then places it back in the cup holder. I tell her one day she is going to get severely injured in an accident one day, but she doesn’t listen to me, but rather responds with an automatic “I know”. Ping! There goes her phone again. I roll my eyes. We stop at a red light. We both let out a loud sigh as the cars pass in front of us. Did there always used to be so many cars? My mom lifts up her phone. Her face lights up in the reflection of the screen. Her eyes quickly gaze over the texts. Her thumbs type her important thoughts with a speed faster than a modern day teenager. She is the texting champion. The car behind her honks with frustration. The light changed and she didn’t even realize. Moving the car, she still has her phone in her right hand. As long as she has one hand on the wheel we are safe, right? BAM! I hear my mom scream. My body jolts forwards. My head begins to bleed. I look over at my mom. She is unconscious, phone still in hand. She has a large laceration on the right side of her skull. A steady stream of blood flows from it. Her chest is awkwardly pressed against the wheel, the airbag didn’t even go off. I call out for my mom, but she doesn’t respond. In what seems like hours, an ambulance shows up to the scene. Tears stream down my face as my mom is taken to the hospital. The future her and I talked about just minutes earlier vanished right before my eyes. I come to the realization that my life will never be the same, all because of a text message. Was it worth it, mom?