On My Way!
It was sunny that day. I wasn’t scheduled to work so I decided to treat myself and have a spa day at my friend’s house. The road was empty. At 3 pm, everyone was still at work for the day. My phone flashed in the passenger seat. I reached for it and typed a quick reply: OMW! On My Way! If only I had known I wouldn’t make it.
I’ll never forget that sound. Even now, years later, when I lie in bed, waiting for the sweet release of sleep to finally take hold, I hear his scream. Then splat.
The rest of the day was a blur. Flashing lights. Multiple sirens blending into a horrendous screech. And his blood on the pavement. I was told a neighbor called the ambulance. I regret not thinking of that sooner. I blindly rushed out of my car. Apply pressure, that’s what I am supposed to do?
They loaded him into an ambulance of drove him away. Meanwhile, I was escorted to the police station. Time stood still as I waited for my parents. From my spot in the sheriff’s office, I could see the officer breaking the news to my parents. The horror. I can’t remember who told me, but he bled out. I went to his funeral, standing in the back, too afraid to admit what I had done.
Once a month, I place lilies on his grave. Taking out a rag, I brush away the dirt. Darryl Jacobson. 25 years old. Beloved son, husband, and father. Ripped from this earth by a fool.
Nothing I do will be enough. At only 20 years old, I must spend the rest of my life repenting. Nothing is worth more than human life. This endless debt will follow me to my grave. I only hope that when my time comes, I have done enough to earn forgiveness. But even if I fail, I will respect His choice. After all, it was my choice to check my phone. A simple text is not worth this everlasting pain.
I took everything from Darryl. Because of me, he won’t be able to watch his kid grow up. Because of me, he’ll never have the chance to have another. He won’t meet his grandchildren. He’ll never get a promotion at work. He’ll never eat, he’ll never sleep, he’ll never breathe again.
And his wife. The funeral was weeks later but she was still a mess, unable to deliver his eulogy herself. I took more than I can ever repay.
And his kid. Barely able to wobble on two feet, he did not understand what was happening. He did not understand where his dada went nor why he won’t come back.
On My Way! to make the worst decision of my life.
Nothing is worth what I have done.
My cousin is learning to drive. She told me about all the amazing plans she has for after she passes her test, ”It’s going to be sooo much fun!”
“Be careful,” I warn. “You never know what damage you can do until it is irreversible.”