A Mistake Like No Other

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Flashing lights. The smell of burnt rubber. Nausea. Bent metal. Pain. Searing pain. These were the things I was feeling at 1:03 a.m. on Christmas morning. I had no idea what happened, where I was, or where I had been. I drifted back out of consciousness and woke up in the emergency room of some hospital. I heard the steady, monotonous beeps of the various machines surrounding my hospital bed. I open my eyes and suddenly an intense wave of pain shoots through my entire leg. I scream in pain as nurses rush to my bedside as they begin injecting morphine into my arm. Then I begin feeling cloudy and dizzy as the drugs entered my bloodstream. I drifted back into sleep.

A middle-aged man with a doctor’s coat and large glasses walked into the room. “How are you doing Mr. Wilson?” I simply asked what happened when he told me that I had driven off the highway travelling at about 65 mph. “You are lucky to be alive.” This all felt like a dream; I couldn’t remember a thing about that entire night. “You also had a substantial amount of alcohol at the time and police are still trying to find out what else you did that night.” I didn’t understand. I’ve never been a heavy drinker. Sure, I was having a rough couple of months but I was never the kind of person to solve my problems with drinking. “But I came here to talk to you about your injuries. You’ve suffered a mild concussion, broken ribs, but the worst part is you have a major tear and fracture in your left knee. We’ve scheduled for major reconstructive surgery in two hours. In the meantime Detective Colford is here to help piece together what happened.”
All I saw was my whole career fading away. I’d lost everything: my parents, my wife, my kids, and now my body, let alone my baseball career. I’d made a fair share of mistakes, but I’d never dug myself into a whole this big before. Then I drifted back into sleep. All of a sudden I saw my family. Happy. Loving. Together. Then slowly they faded away, like a sunset in the distance. I saw myself at the bar, separated from everyone else and miserably knocking back drink after drink. Empty glasses were scattered around me like leaves on the lawn on a fall morning. Then I was jolted from this nightmare that was now my life by three knocks at the door. The dream felt so real that for a second I hoped that the whole thing was surreal, and I was back in my bed. But sadly I was still in the hospital and the detective was at the door.
“Good afternoon, I’m Detective Colford and I’m here to ask a few questions.” I greeted him and told him I would fully comply with the investigation. “Take me through Christmas Eve.” I told him I’d been feeling pretty down since my family left me and my parents recently passed away. I went to the bar and I began drinking heavily. “The bartender said you were quite drunk but he was under the impression that you were taking a taxi home. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case and therefore we will be putting you under arrest immediately following your release from the hospital. Best of luck Mr. Wilson my son was your biggest fan.” This really hit me hard; not the arrest part, I knew that was coming. But I realized how much I letdown my team, my manager, but more importantly my fans. They had always supported me but now I completely failed them.
“It’s time for surgery Mr. Wilson.” I wasn’t sure where my life was heading but I knew after I paid for my mistake I was going to have to completely change my life around. I lost everything: the wife and kids I loved dearly, my parents, and my career. It was going to take all my power and determination to turn my life around after this. Forget baseball, I simply needed to reconcile what I had done. It was right then, just before I was put under by the anesthesia, that I knew I was going to help people. I’m going to help people so that they don’t make the same mistakes that I did. I will make sure, that no matter the circumstances, no one loses hope on life like I did. Then I felt the smallest amount of happiness. I wasn’t sure why, but I felt like I was going to succeed, and that this whole ordeal will only make me a stronger person.





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