Having your life flash before your eyes is something I thought only happened in the movies. But on April 12, 2017, I realized that having your life flash before your eyes is, in fact, something that can happen to anyone.
The day started off as any other school day would. I stumbled through my classes, barely able to keep my eyes open due to the lack of sleep I got last night. Luckily, we had a 12 o’clock dismissal at school because it was the first day of Easter break. I was more ecstatic than ever to be out of school for 6 consecutive days and actually catch up on my sleep. And, of course, complete all the homework my teachers so graciously assigned me. As soon as the announcements were over, my two friends, Laura and Hannah, and I bolted out of school and headed towards my car. We quickly threw our backpacks in the trunk and hopped into my 2006 white Honda Accord. “Put on some music,” I said as I handed Hannah the AUX cord. Hannah eagerly took the cord from my hands and put on “Sign of the Times” by Harry Styles. After about 10 minutes, we reached our first destination, which was Laura’s house. After dropping Laura off, I drove about 5 minutes to Hannah’s house and dropped her off, too. When I was finally done being everyone’s taxi cab, I sped off to go meet my mom for lunch.
Lunch with my mom was very enjoyable. We ate at the Blue Crab, a restaurant on the lakefront, and our table overlooked the peaceful and serene waters of the Lake Pontchartrain. After having a delicious lunch of macaroni and cheese and a chicken sandwich, I received a text message from Laura saying she wanted to hang out. I told Laura that I would be leaving the restaurant in a few minutes and then I would head over to her house. I told my mom goodbye and got in my car to drive over to Laura’s house for the second time that day. On the drive to Laura’s house, I opened my sunroof and played some music. “Today’s going to be a good day,” I thought to myself. “The weather is perfect and school’s out -- what could be better?” Little did I know that later that night my life would be in complete chaos.
“I’m bored,” Laura said. “I don’t want to sit around my house any longer.” Laura, Hannah, and I had been hanging out at Laura’s house for quite some time now, and it was getting pretty late. “Well I don’t know what else to do,” I retaliated. We continued to sit on Laura’s couch pondering what to do with ourselves until Hannah had an idea. “Hey guys, I’ve got an idea. Let’s go back to my house and we can ride my golf cart!” Laura and I eagerly agreed; my friends and I always have fun when we ride in Hannah’s golf cart. So we piled into my car yet again, and I drove us to Hannah’s house to ride her golf cart around the neighborhood. When we got to Hannah’s house, Hannah’s dad explained the rules to us before we could leave: “Make sure you always use the blinker. This golf cart is like an actual car when you drive it in the street. And always keep your headlights on. It’s 9 o’clock and very dark outside.” “We’ve got it, Dad,” Hannah reassured her dad. “We’ve got our seatbelts on. We’ll be fine.” And with that, we were free to go.
Hannah was driving the golf cart, Laura was sitting in the back directly behind Hannah, and I was sitting next to Laura on the passenger side. Hannah was driving pretty fast, but we didn’t think anything of it. The wind was blowing in our hair, and we were having fun. That is, until the accident happened. One minute we were cruising down the street, and the next minute we were flipped over on our side in front of a stranger’s house. Hannah accidentally hit the side mirror of a car parked on the side of the street, and she tried to overcompensate by turning the wheel too fast, which caused the golf cart to fall over. The golf cart fell on the passenger side, which is the side I was sitting on. I managed to unbuckle my seatbelt, crawl out of the golf cart, and examine what had just happened. As soon as I got out, Laura began to scream, “MY FOOT! MADELINE, HELP ME MY FOOT IS CAUGHT!” Sure enough, when I looked down, I saw Laura’s foot trapped underneath the railing of the golf cart. “It’s okay, Laura. I’m gonna help you,” I said as calmly as I could, even though I was having a mental breakdown on the inside. I tried to lift the cart off of Laura’s foot, but it was too heavy. Before I could ask Hannah to quit having a panic attack and come help me, a man and a woman came out of their house to help us. The man helped to lift the golf cart up, and Laura was able to slide her foot out. The woman brought us ice and kept asking us if we were okay. I was fine; even though it was pretty large, I only had a bruise on the side of my left leg. By this point, Hannah had called her parents and told them what happened. We were only a few blocks from Hannah’s house, so it didn’t take them long to get to us. When her parents and brother arrived, Hannah’s dad asked Hannah what exactly happened and how on Earth she did this. Hannah’s mom began to call Laura’s parents and my parents to let them know what happened. After having a flashlight shone on me multiple times to examine my body for any other injuries and being asked every 10 seconds if I was sure I was okay, everyone began to calm down. Well, everyone except Hannah began to calm down. She didn’t really have any physical injuries, but boy was she emotionally scarred. She couldn’t stop crying, but I guess I understand why. She was the one driving the golf cart, so she feels responsible for me and Laura. All I could do to comfort her was give her a hug and reassure her that everything was going to be fine. Eventually, Hannah’s dad and brother started to carefully drive the beat up golf cart back home. Laura’s parents came to pick her up, and Hannah’s mom brought me and Hannah back to the house. When I got back to Hannah’s house, I decided it would be best to gather my belongings and head on home. Hannah’s mom offered to drive behind me to make sure I got home safely. After about 10 minutes, we reached my house, and Hannah’s mom wanted to come in and talk to my parents. She came in and talked to my dad, even though my dad wasn’t worried because I had assured him earlier over the phone that I was completely fine. Hannah’s mom left my house, and I went up into my room to think over what actually just happened on this first day of Easter break.
Getting into the golf cart accident was a scary experience to say the least. This might sound cliche, but I really felt like I saw my life flash before me eyes. Getting into this accident really made me think of the ‘what ifs’ of the situation. What if I didn’t have my seatbelt on? What if I was the one with my foot stuck under the railing? What if I wasn’t as lucky and got seriously injured? These are all questions that went through my mind shortly after the accident occurred. Everything that happened, happened for a reason. My friends and I are very fortunate that we came out okay for the most part. Accidents happen all the time, and you never know when you are going to lose someone. So even though this may sound a bit dramatic, getting into this accident has given me a greater appreciation for life. It has shown me that life is too short to have regrets, so just go for it. Don’t let anything hold you back because you never know what’s coming up next in your life.