I Knew Better
I knew better. My ears ring as I repeat this to myself – over and over – I knew better. People are staring… my vision is blurry, but I’m sure people are staring. Me and Leah used to walk around just staring at people – not in a rude way! Trust me, we weren’t making fun of them, just observing; seeing people live their lives relentlessly, as if nobody was watching? That was better than any movie we could’ve dreamed of. That was our favorite pastime. All through middle school, and those first couple years of high school, we just walked and watched. Catchy isn’t it? Once upon a time we even talked about making a club for it: “Walk and Watch”. People laughed at us. Me and Leah? We didn’t laugh at each other; we just understood each other. It was junior year when I got my driver’s license. It changed everything, and not for the better. No longer did we walk and watch, now we just drove. Those slow paced, laid back days existed no more – we were moving through our lives at full speed. No longer entertained by the boring everyday lives of those stuck in slow motion, Leah and I spent everyday driving, everyday picking up the pace. Now I sit here on this curb, wishing we would have slowed down, begging to go back. I’d heard it a million times, who hadn’t? “Don’t text and drive!”, “It can wait!”. I knew better. I knew that text could wait, I knew changing the song could wait, I knew that taking that video of Leah goofily singing along could wait. Because it wasn’t as important as her life, right? No – and I knew better. Now I sit here on this curb, spending everyday in slow motion. The tears never stop, the ringing in my ears never goes away, and missing her will never end. Everyday the cars fly past me, unaware. I didn’t think it could happen to me, they don’t think it will happen to them, and you don’t think it will happen to you. Slow down and put your phone away. You know better.
This work is entirely fictional, and not based off of anything that has happened in my life. I wrote from first person, because I felt that may have a better impact on a teenager reading it. I feel that the best solution to reckless and distracted driving is exposure to the truth of it! It can happen to anyone who decided to check a text, and we know better.