One Fatal Mistake
BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. I awoke to the sound of my heartbeat on the monitor beside me, so that could only mean one thing: I’m in a hospital. How did I get here I thought to myself. I tried moving but the sharp pain in my head and my lower back stopped me in my tracks. I became aware of the bandaging wrapped around my head. I looked down and saw my legs lying on the hospital bed but… I couldn’t feel them. I COULDN’T FEEL THEM! Why couldn’t I feel them? Oh, God! My head was spiraling, thinking of what was wrong. Then, a doctor came in. He addressed my parents whom I didn’t even notice were sitting next to me. His mouth was moving but in my frantic state, my brain didn’t register what he was saying. He turned towards me with a warm smile and caught my attention. “Hello Cora,” he started. “My name is Dr. Staller. Do you know why you are here?” “…No, I-I don’t remember,” I replied. “What happened?” “You and 3 of your friends were in a car collision yesterday afternoon. Your injuries were critical. You have a concussion and… you were hit pretty badly on your spinal cord and we believe that you may be paralyzed.” After his brief explanation, the memories of yesterday afternoon came flooding in. We were on our way to the homecoming game at our school and I volunteered to drive us. Everything was going smoothly. Then I remembered the seconds before the impact. I was driving up to an intersection and… the light was green. I promise it was GREEN. That’s why I did what I did. If I had known… “Cora.” I heard the doctor and my parents calling my name, taking me out of my dazed state of remembrance. Then the pressing question came to mind. “What about my friends? Are they okay? When can I see them?” I frantically asked. The doctor looked at me with pain-stricken eyes and I knew… I knew what he was going to say. “I’m sorry, Cora. Two of your friends died on impact and the other one died on the way here.” My heart sank. No. NO! That can’t be. I felt tears stream down my face as I mumbled “no” to the doctor. “No, no, no. We were together. They were fine. They were-.“ …If only I had seen that the light was red, I wouldn’t have… That was six months ago. You’re probably wondering what happened at that intersection. I never did finish my story, did I? As I said before, I was driving up to an intersection and what I had mistaken for a green light was actually a red one. That was the first mistake. One of my friends who was sitting in the passenger seat next to me was showing me something on her phone. I thought we were in the clear I looked at what she was showing me, but for a second too long. The next thing I knew, I ran the red light and a car coming from our right hit us at 45 miles per hour. One. Fatal. Mistake. They tell us all the time at school, “Don’t text and drive.” “Distracted driving is very dangerous.” You always think it’ll never happen to you… until it does. Because of my fatal mistake, three of my best friends lost their lives and I am now paralyzed from the waist down. Don’t risk yourself and others that are traveling with you. When driving, put everything down, and FOCUS ON THE ROAD.