In an Instant
The date was June 1st, 1991. The heat from the sun began to hide behind the trees. Nighttime crept up slowly. Larry sat in his vehicle, filled to the brim with excitement because he was about to go see his two-year-old in her first dance recital. Little did he know, she was already peeking through the curtains looking for him. Her mother smiled from ear to ear and waved. A gush of warmth and love ran through both of their bodies.
A quick stop was made at a grocery store for a gift to give to his daughter after her dance recital. He glanced down at his watch and thought, “Twenty minutes, what would my princess like?” The most beautiful bouquet of roses sat in the front row as if it was meant to be given to his daughter. The droplets of water on the leaves bounced. The petals were fresh and smelled exactly like his mother’s rose garden. “Perfect,” he thought to himself. A tiara sat on the shelf, still shining as bright as the stars in the dim grocery store light. He picked it up, along with a card and her favorite candy. He simply could not wait to see her.
“Hey, are you on your way?” said his wife.
“Yes, I bought her some gifts and I am on my way now. How excited is she? I can’t wait to see her!” said Larry.
“She is practically bouncing up and down like a basketball and I don’t think she has stopped smiling. She cannot wait to show us her dance,” she chuckled.
“I can’t wait, I’ll be there in about 10 minutes. Tell her I said good luck. I love you,“ Larry stated while stuffing the gifts in the trunk of his car.
“Okay. I love you too. Drive safe,” said his wife.
Little did the family know, those would be Larry’s last words.
The engine came to life and roared like a lion in the circus. Larry pulled out of the store and began the journey to see his daughter.
Five minutes away.
Roberta Flack sang through the radio, “Strumming my fate with his fingers..” Larry loved this song, in fact, Killing Me Softly with His Song was one of his favorites. A memory hit him like a snowball. It was 1973, love songs rang in his ears. It was his senior prom. It seemed like love was sprouting everywhere and he was the pesticide. A beautiful, stunning girl walked through the double doors. Her hair bouncing up and down, her smile was the prettiest he had ever seen, and he was staring. Later that night, they slow danced until the lights flashed on. It was true love.
One minute away.
He was pulling through a four-way stop and noticed the first car that night. It seemed like they were swerving but he couldn’t tell. They were driving recklessly and seeing how fast they could go. They weren’t stopping. His life flashed before his eyes.
Paramedics and his family arrived. Larry was flipped upside down. Eyes open. Blood everywhere. The rose petals fell out of the vehicle one by one. The tiara was broke. He was gone.
My solution to reckless driving would be to install an app on your phone that only starts your vehicle if you do an alcohol test. The app would allow you to blow into it with immediate results. Reports would be sent to the police if you are speeding or driving recklessly and they can find you based on your GPS location.
This piece is inspired by my uncle (names changed for privacy). My uncle died at the age of 21 because of an accident caused by two reckless drivers. His daughter (my cousin) was only two at the time. Phones/electronics are always right next to someone or in their hands. Laws are being created and enforced, and still, are not even stopping some people. If their phone had an app installed that did not allow their car to start, it would be safe if they were drinking or they would be able to get into their vehicle if there was an emergency.