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Reckless

I remember the scent of his cologne, it was tangy and sweet, like his personality. I remember the
way the skin around his eyes wrinkled when he smiled or laughed. His laugh, oh, I miss it. I miss
him. I miss his deep brown eyes, that with one look could reach into my soul and know everything
about me. I miss his voice, sweet and soft, like a fresh blossom of daisies. I miss his short brown
hair, and how it would comfort me just to rub my hand against it. I miss the blush that would appear
on his cheeks when he was embarrassed. I remembered the day like it was yesterday. I was a different
person then. It was a late October night. We were leaving a party, and put frankly, we were both
drunk out of our minds. I never did remember how I became the designated driver. At the time I was
seventeen. He was a few months younger than I. We had been going out for almost a year. Our one year
anniversary would have been in two weeks. We were driving on Interstate 95 towards his house, a
large two story mansion in Belmont. His parents were out of town for the weekend, so he didn't
have to worry about curfew, and I told my mom that I was staying at Katelyn's house. Katelyn was
my best friend; we were practically sisters. I'm not sure if it helped that I knew I was
absolutely drunk while I was driving, or if that hindered my chances, because I every so often I
would take my eyes off Jake and check to see if I was going straight--not that I could really tell
or not. He was absolutely beautiful, and I loved that fact he was mine--all mine. I felt invincible.
My phone buzzed while as we were getting off the highway. I was slowly, cautiously driving on the
curvy exit. This was why I always hated going to Jake's house. Even when I was sober this road was
a challenge to me. I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket, a challenge in itself. Jake looked like
he passed out beside me, but he murmured something incoherently to me. I smiled. I couldn't
understand what he slurred, but it still sounded beautiful to my ears. Anything that came out of his
mouth was like a new unveiling of a little part of him, like he was slowly revealing himself to me
until I knew him completely, utterly and wholly. I had a text message from Katelyn. After some
intense squinting, I made out the message. She, too, was drunk, and stranded at a party. She asked
if I minded driving her home. 'Hey Jake,' I murmured, but it sounded like a foreign language in
my slack lips. He murmured a jumbled response. 'Mind if we pick up Kate first?' I asked. He
nodded drunk. I banged a uey and got back on the highway. It all happened so fast that it's still
a blur to me, but what I know is that I didn't realize that I was trying to get onto the highway
using the off exit. I remember being confused as to why the headlights were headed towards me. Then,
slowly as realization as to what was happening dawned on me, I screamed, but my head was in another
place. It took me too long to steering wheel. I remember the impact. It was like those dreams you
have, when you're falling, and suddenly you hit whatever you'd been falling toward, and then you
wake up in your bed with a jolt. This was like those dreams, except there was no waking up after the
jolt. There was just a lot of pain.

The screeching sound still haunts me in my sleep. The whole night haunts me. The worst part is when
I realized that Jake was in worse condition than I. We slammed into a pick-up truck head on. I
turned the wheel slightly at the last minute, so Jake took the brunt of the impact. I heard a loud
crunch and a pop, and lots of yelling, some of it mine, some of it Jake's. I could never
distinguish between the two. I think I must have been unconscious for a short while, because I
remember waking up to an airbag in my face, and Jake's limp hand enclosed in mine. 'Jake!' I
cried. He didn't answer. I tried shaking his hand, but even with the most force he remained limp.
I prayed that he was just unconscious. 'Jake!' I yelled at him, my voice hoarse from crying his
name over and over. 'Jacob Morgan!' I screamed his full name inoperably. I looked at Jake with
tear-stricken eyes, and saw the image that caused my nightmares. It was the image of Jake all
squished up and bent beneath the pressure of the air bag. The nose of the car was all smashed. Blood
was slowly dripping down his face, from a huge gash in his forehead. As it dried on his face, more
streamed down on top of it. I screamed, and screamed, and screamed. I screamed when the ambulance
came and removed the two of us from my car. Sobs racked my body when they put us both on stretchers.
Jake was lying on the stretcher next to me. His skin was pale and gaunt. He looked like he was dead,
but I prayed that he wasn't. I reached across to him, and took his cold hand in mine. 'I'm
sorry Jake,' I cried. 'I'm so, so, sorry,' I blubbered. The EMTs came to part us. I had to
go in one ambulance, he in the other. As we parted, I gripped his hand tightly. 'I love you,' I
murmured, squeezing his hand once before dropping it. That was the first time I told him that I
loved him. That was the last time I saw Jake. At the wake, I couldn't look at the body. It was too
overwhelming. Seeing him lying there in that casket would be admitting that he was dead. Jacob
wasn't dead to me. He still isn't. He lives within me, a constant reminder. He is the reason why
I get up in the morning. I can't disappoint him. I know that he's out there somewhere, watching
over me. I've become a better person because of Jake. He was my first love, and I killed him
because of my recklessness.





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Fredwardness said...
Oct. 4, 2009 at 2:19 pm
That is a good story if that doesnt convince ppl not to drive drunk i dont no wat will. that waz reallly sad tho, really good anywayz
 
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