That Night

August 3, 2008
By Hannah Nervik, Mont Vernon, NH

People always told me that I should live everyday to the absolute fullest. That I should live my dreams, not just dream them. They said I should live without hesitation, because you never know when you could stop living.

I wish I’d listened.

Now, don’t get too upset, I’m not dead. Although, to me, death seems to be a much better option.

I’m seventeen. I play the drums, and I’m on the varsity swim team. I get good grades, have tons of friends, and I go out almost every night. If you were to meet me, you would think my life was perfect.

My life was perfect, but it only takes one night to turn a world upside down
It was a Thursday. The last Thursday of the summer—school was starting on Monday. Naturally, some kid with a huge house was throwing a “good-bye to summer” party. A couple of friends and I piled into my Jeep and headed over around nine.
I barely even remember the party. I know there was dancing, and talking, and, of course, drinking. There was a game of truth-or-dare going on, and I remember some outrageous dares, but I couldn’t tell you what they were. I recall looking at the clock around 11:45 and swearing, because I was supposed to be home by midnight.
I ran around the party, looking for my friends. Once more, we all climbed into my Jeep for the ride home—not one of us was sober. There was no way I was going to make it home by curfew, but I sped anyway.
The last thing I remember is the oncoming car’s high beams blinding my eyes.
I woke up hours later, confused and in pain. My mother leaned over me, tears in her eyes. She said something, but I couldn’t understand. I opened my eyes more, and saw my entire family around me. I realized where I was: the hospital.
I tried to sit up, but my body wouldn’t allow me. I tried to speak, but it hurt to even breath. I tried to understand, but I don’t think I ever will.
That night, I had driven head on into that oncoming car’s high beams. That night, I killed an innocent man. That night I endangered my three best friends. That night, I lost the ability to move.
People still tell me live everyday to the absolute fullest. They say I’m lucky to be alive, and that I should embrace it. But I don’t know how to live like this—I have to learn all over.
So, try to live without hesitation, because you never know when you could stop living the way you’re used to.

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