Dear Jake.......

November 25, 2010
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Dear Jake,

I’m writing this to tell you how sorry I am for being so stupid, especially after all the warnings you gave me about texting and driving. I don’t blame you for not visiting me. In your situation, I’d have felt the same way. How did it feel knowing you might never see me again? Lying in the hospital after the accident, I had a lot of time to think about my actions and how stupid they were, but of course they are my fault and I can’t reverse the past, only learn from my mistakes. I never thought I’d be hit by that car, after all, it was only a two-minute text to my friend and I’d be fine. Or so I thought... I’d just pressed, “Send” when the car came out of nowhere, I swerved to try to avoid it, but it was no use. Even with the airbags, the nurses told me I was lucky to be alive.

I could have waited to send the text, but I didn’t. I thought I was invincible. The nurse sitting next to my bed when I woke up told me that Nicole and Ben had made a card for me and got the year to sign it, along with a bunch of flowers. My room is surrounded by them, but I don’t deserve them. I apologized to Mum and although she was angry at first, she’s just glad I’m alive. I don’t want to face you, but I’ll have to sometime, I can’t hide forever. The doctors told me it will be a while before I’m fully healed and I have to keep coming back for physio twice a week.

I find it hard to talk about, even now, 6 months later. I’m living proof that things like this can happen to anyone. At first I thought if I didn’t talk about it, it might go away, but it hasn’t. I’ve gradually realized that I have to be honest with myself and accept what’s happened. I’ll never forget. I’ll always be reminded that my stupidity resulted in the loss of my left leg. I have to talk about it. Even if people constantly tell me how stupid I was, I’ve been silent long enough.

I wanted people to feel my pain, my loss. I wanted sympathy. I wanted them to be me, lying there with one leg missing and the other a swollen, red lump of flesh. I was lost. I didn’t know what I’d be able to do now, with only one leg. There were so many things I had to adjust to, but I didn’t make it any easier for myself. I was angry for a long time. Days would pass and I wouldn’t talk to anyone; not Mum, Dad, Nicole, Ben or any of the countless nurses or psychologists who tried to get me to talk about what happed. It was all a blur to me then, my mind refused to allow me to remember, no matter how much I tried. I would have given up if it hadn’t been for Tamara.

Tamara was my nurse and she wouldn’t let me give up. I hated her for so long. She refused to let me feel sorry for myself. If I tried to quit physio, she’d stand there, waiting for me to give in. Even if I ended up screaming, or pounding my fists on the floor, she’d never let me go back to my room. Sometimes she’d wait for hours, but I’d still have to do it. If I could have run, I would have and not come back. I understand why she was so harsh. I knew at the time, I just didn’t want to accept it. If she hadn’t been so demanding, I wouldn’t have made any progress and would still be lying in the hospital feeling sorry for myself. If it hadn’t been for her, I wouldn’t be back at school or joined the swimming team. When I went back to school, people treated me differently and I was angry. It took me a while to realize that if I wanted to be treated normally, I had to act normally and stop feeling sorry for myself, which meant accepting my injuries. I’m trying to move on. Sometimes it’s not easy, but I’m getting there.

I’m sorry I hurt you. I hope you can forgive me.


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CarrieAnn13 said...
Aug. 3, 2011 at 7:57 pm
Great article!  It's kind of cliche, but well written enough that readers should ignore that.  For not writing in a while, this was an excellent article!
mudpuppy said...
May 30, 2011 at 7:28 am
Sad, but it's good that Tamara was a positive influence on her.  As Elizabeth's voice 'speaks' you can feel her guilt and development! :) Stories like this one teach pain, but important lessons without being cliche'. Five out of five! :)
Annerdy said...
Dec. 7, 2010 at 2:44 am
Since you were the first person to comment on my thriller/mystery fiction "Sleep", I figured it would only be fair if I reviewed some of your work. :] I really like the way Elizabeth expresses her feelings on paper. Even though it's something she's ashamed of and there is a chance of rejection, she still manages to face the truth, apologize for what she's done wrong, and hopes for forgiveness. This really shows how small mistakes could lead to big consequences, such as texting while driving. It'... (more »)
Ellawind said...
Dec. 6, 2010 at 9:46 pm

I like the way you're so honest about this character. If I'd written something similar I wouldn't have thought about the embarrassment of causing your own limb loss, or realized it's the general 'invincible' feeling of teens that leads to things like this. You went very deeply into her mind.

I love the description of Tamara- it's great that you explained how she stopped feeling sorry for herself instead of just acting like it happened overnight. One thing I'm not really understanding i... (more »)

-Missy- said...
Dec. 6, 2010 at 6:21 pm
Very interesting. The things that can happen when driving while texting. A girl that I knew had died from texting and driving. She was only a sophmore.  Its sad how many people, teens more than adults, die.
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