Blinding and Death Defying
Author's note: I had to write a memoir for English II and it ended up changing relationships between my friends... Show full author's note »
The RestOne week later, December 11- “Lauren! Wake up! Wake up! It’s snowing!” I jump out of bed and look out the window of my bedroom. I shift the white curtains to the side. A cool air lingers from the window. It is dark outside still, around five-o’clock; I’m just waking up for school, “Thank God it’s Friday,” is all I think. The snow is not heavy but I can see it falling under the yellow-orange illumination of the street light. I run to my parent’s room where my dad is tucking in his shirt and getting ready to leave for work. He grabs a hat off the bed post, sets it atop his head then reaches for his wallet and keys off the dresser and places it strategically in his pockets like he has done for the past 10 years.
“Momma…” I say, but am interrupted.
“You’re going to school, don’t bother asking. I told your sister ‘no’ also.”
“Don’t argue with me! Get dressed.”
I stomp out of their bedroom with dramatic effect to let her know I am mad at her. My dad opens the back door to let my dogs outside then walks back in and pours himself a cup of coffee and tells the family “bye” and leaves.
A few moments later Meghan walks outside and leaves the door open. I walk into the kitchen then hear her screaming blue-bloody-murder. I run outside to see what the matter is.
“Look!” She exclaims pointing across the street. I don’t know what she is referring to. All I see is the snow beginning to accumulate. The sky behind my neighbor’s house has a fair hint of blue but is mainly cloudy and distracted by the uncommon Louisiana snowfall.
I turn around, “what?” I ask again throwing my arms into a stance showing confusion.
Then a big chunk of wet and cold ice hits my face, and it hurts extremely. Nothing of what snowball fights look like in movies. My face burns and the ice slides down it slowly; building suspense and making Meghan wonder what my next move will be. I turn to my mom’s car and rake the snow off the trunk into a ball form and lunge it at Meghan. She runs and makes me miss. I start laughing and walk back inside and put my jacket in the dryer to make it warmer for when I leave for school.
“Meghan, Lauren! Come here.” My mom calls from across the house.
“You two can stay home from school but only because your dad doesn’t want you driving in the snow.” She directs towards Meghan.
A smile approaches our faces. Meghan picks up her cell phone and calls her boyfriend, Greg, and then sits down at the desk in the kitchen, turns on the computer, and clicks on the internet icon.
“Hey, whatcha doin?” She asks. “Oh, well you and Paul should come over today.”
I overhear this and become annoyed because I can not stand her boyfriend and his friends.
“Meghan,” I look at her and wait for her to acknowledge me. She glances from the computer screen. “Please don’t invite them over.” She rolls her eyes and ignores me.
I walk off to try and keep myself from snapping at her and starting yet another fight that was just waiting to occur today.
“Lauren, come see,” I walk back into the kitchen to see my mom standing next to my sister with one hand on the desk and her weight shifted onto her left leg. “Here are the rules,” she began. Y’all are not allowed outside until the buses come because I don’t want a visit from the truancy officer. If you do decide to go outside, stay in the backyard please. Don’t go anywhere either. Y’all understand?”
“Yes ma’am,” Meghan and I smile ecstatically. I walk back outside and scrape more snow off of my mom’s car, plotting to get Meghan back for hitting me in the face. I pound it into a spherical form and creep back inside and slam it into the top of Meghan’s head. She starts swearing.
“Meghan, watch your mouth!” Mom yells. “Alright, I’m leaving for work; call me if y’all need anything.” She walks into the kitchen, her heels clamor and click-clack until she gets to the door and pauses. She sets her purse on the counter and begins pulling everything out of it to find her car keys that she always seems to misplace.
Meghan continues trying to convince Greg to come over but obviously he keeps refusing because he hangs up on her. When I see that she is mad and upset I try to get her mind off of it.
“Hey Meghan, you want to go outside?”
“Sure,” she stands up and my dad calls her cell phone so she answers.
I walk into my room and put my tennis shoes on and grab my jacket out of the dryer then place my cell phone in my pocket. I step into Meghan’s room where she is watching a video my dad sent her of the snow at his work. She’s sitting on her bed lacing up her new shoes she has only worn twice.
“Ready?” I ask.
“Yeah, let me call Dad back real quick though. He had to hang up so I could watch this video.”
“Okay.” I walk outside and plop myself into the snow and begin making a snow angel.
Meghan walks outside and closes the door. “Don’t worry Dad, I’m not going anywhere… yeah the snows beautiful… alright bye.”
Meghan gasps and stares at me making the angel, “that looks like fun!” She lies down next to me and makes one of her own. We rise up and laugh at the pitiful attempt to try to make something look somewhat similar to an angel. We are standing in the driveway. “So how do you make a snowman?” She asks.
“I don’t know! I think you just pack it together.”
“No,” she always has to disagree with me, “you roll it I think.”
“Well then let’s start rolling it.”
We walk into the snow-filled grass when my neighbor walks outside and her dog, Rocket, gets loose. Rocket runs into our yard and we try to catch him. However, let’s just say his name suits him well. He’s way too fast for us to grab hold of.
“Help me catch my dog! Please, help me catch him!” My neighbor, Mrs. Kristen, cries.
The dog starts to run towards the front of my subdivision towards the main highway. She continues screaming, becoming paranoid and in fear of her dog being hit by a car and killed.
As we get closer to the highway, Rocket runs around one of the houses multiple times. We begin to become worn out and tread slower than original. I pull the hood on my jacket over my head to try to shield the heavily falling snow from hitting my face some. That does not work at all because the snow seems to be falling from every which way direction. Meghan and I come to a bush where Rocket stands in between us and we think he’s cornered but he proves us ignorant. He runs through Meghan’s legs, now only about 40 feet from the road. I look up and start running after them again. Wind races pulling my hood down and flushes my ears with a rush of icy air that also hits my face harshly. I’m sluggish and my breath has become weary and exhausted. My heart beats rapidly and I feel like falling asleep. I don’t give up on running, even though my lungs hurt and my body feels like it has suffered a severe case of freezer burn.
The dog enters the road and I stop running on impulse. My hair flies in front of my face from the immediate halt. My sister takes a step into the road and it all happens so fast. A tall black object goes crashing into the left of her body. I’m frozen, both mentally and physically. No thoughts race through my mind, not one. Not, “what’s next” or “what do I do?” My brain, my conscience, my body is shut down. No signals, whatsoever, are sent to keep me moving on.
Tumble, tumble. She rolls onto the windshield of the black Ford F-150 and then onto the black, cold, hard, asphalt, then down the side of a steep ditch and into the cold freezing water.
I wake up a little. Will she move? Just a sign, please, that let’s me know everything’s going to be okay. God, I can’t bear going over there and she not waking up. I run, on pure instinct. I’m twenty feet away, and I swear I see a finger move. That is all I need. I rush to her side and throw myself into the snow. She’s face first in a ditch full of icy water about six inches deep, and bubbles begin forming.
Mrs. Kristen screams. My sister coughs. Tires screech, and my heart pounds. I hold my hands out above her body not wanting to hurt or move her. Meghan struggles and I hear water enter her mouth, gurgling, and she begins choking and drowning. Instinctively, I roll her over not knowing what I will see. Will her eyes be closed? Did I act too late? Will there be blood? Her eyes are as wide as a deer in headlights. Water drips from her face and mud is set on her chin. I’m kneeling, symbolically and physically.
“Somebody call 911!” I yell and nothing happens. I feel like this world is so big, and I am only one small person holding on to what’s slipping away from me. Life, precious, meant to be lived carefree and most people never have a scare like this in their lifetime. They’re able to think, they’re able to move, they’re able to know; not necessarily knowing what to do, but knowing that they can do something.
I look at the driver; his hands are set on the wheel and staring at the street. Mrs. Kristen is no where in sight. “Somebody help me!” I scream hopelessly, with my voice cracking.
Meghan moans and then gasps for air. I reach into my pocket remembering I have my cell phone and call 911. I stand up and pace frantically.
“911, what’s your emergency?” A woman asks in a monotone voice.
“I… I… my… my sister just got hit by a truck.”
“A truck?” she asks as if it surprises her.
“Okay, what’s your name sweetie?”
“Okay Lauren, where are you?”
“What street are you at?”
I can’t recall the name of the road I’m at so I tell her the next closest one, “Airline,” the one road that stretches out for miles of course.
“Okay Lauren, what do you see around you?”
“A… a gas station, a glass shop, and… uhhh…” I look around quickly trying to see what else is near me, “Angel’s Playland.”
“Okay help is on the way.”
I kneel back down and grab my sister’s hand. “Help is on the way, Meghan, don’t worry, you’re gonna be fine I promise.”
I dial my mom’s number and stand up, pacing again.
“Meghan just got hit by a car; I need you to meet us at the hospital,” I say calmly, knowing that people feed off of the way information is portrayed. If someone makes something out to be a big deal, the other will also.
“Lauren that’s not funny. Stop joking.”
“Mom, I’m not joking. Meet us at the hospital.” She starts screaming hysterically. “Mom! Mom! Listen to me. She’s going to be fine, don’t worry. She’s fine, she’s fine! Just get to the hospital.” I look at Meghan holding her hands up deliriously, calling my name.
“Okay! Okay! Call 911!”
“I already did. They’re on their way.”
“Okay! Okay! Bye.” She hangs up.
I kneel back down and hold Meghan’s hand again. “It hurts! It hurts!” She starts to cry.
“I know, I know. You’re gonna be okay, I promise.”
“I’m not gonna make it!” She weeps, her eyes squint and her chin quivers.
“You feel this?” I ask her. She moans. “Hold onto my hand. Hold on as tight as you can and do not let go and I will not either. Got it?”
“You’re gonna be fine I promise, everything’s going to be okay. Just keep holding my hand and listen to everything I say.” She begins to shake. I take my jacket off and place it on her. Her lips are turning purple and she is becoming pale. I look around; the driver has his hands in a praying position with his eyes closed and head rested on the steering wheel. Horns are being blown violently and Mrs. Kristen’s husband, Shawn, is starting to appear closer to the scene.
Flashing lights never seem so bright when you’re just a traveler on the road. They’re blinding, death-defying and your only sense of hope. My sister and I have our fights, but she’s my life and she’s drifting away from me. Her grasps loosens on my hand and her eyes begin to close. I look around frenetically watching for some sense of help. I tighten my grip to let her know I am still here. I have never loved her so much. People adore those in need, it makes them feel stronger. However, when it is someone familiar, little do they know the strong one is the one that is holding onto them but slipping through their fingers all in the same breath, the one’s that have that ability to take your breath away.