Twenty Hours Down, Zero to Go

March 20, 2012
I stand at the gas station pumping my car full of gas, knowing I have a long trip ahead of me I just want to get on the road. My small, silver Nissan Altima guzzles the gas down like it’s nothing. My blonde hair is blowing in the sweet spring air as my pale fragile hands shake nonchalantly against the gas nozzle. Sixty dollars later I proceed on my long journey to Michigan. I know it's going to be quite the adventure especially considering that it's twenty hours away from New York and it’s my first road trip on my own. I’m only eighteen years old, fearless, adventurous and daring. I pull out onto the highway into the early morning darkness and the only thought that passes through my mind is how excited I am to see Greg and meet his family. My fear of driving alone is overwhelmed by excitement to see my boyfriend. The morning sky is still sprinkled with stars because it is only two in the morning. I speed down the highway listening to me and Greg’s song”Wish You Were Here” by Avril Lavigne.

I can't even believe this is actually happening. I haven't seen him since winter at Snowfest. We only got to spend two days together. He is a professional snowmobiler, so he spends his days on the road traveling to Mexico, California and even Australia. I just so happen to meet him while he was in New York. Being twenty hours apart is harder than it seems, but we have been working it out for a steady five months. I haven’t met his parents yet, but I get to meet them soon enough. (Four hours down, sixteen to go).

Either the sun is rising I am starting to hallucinate from being in this car for so long. It appears to be a gleaming ball or orange surrounding the sky. Now I can see a beautiful sunrises off in the distance over a field of grass that is getting closer and closer by the second. I know I shouldn't be going this fast, but the way I feel is indescribable. My hands are shaking on the wheel as thoughts of Greg flood my mind. I remember the first night we spent together. He took me out to dinner and he knew he wouldn't be seeing me for a very long time, so to make up for that, we ate as much as we could. We must have ordered three hundred dollars in food. Of course we had to start out with warm bread, salads and an appetizer. By that point I was already full, but we had our meals coming and even desert. After dinner I noticed he had written on a napkin and stuck it under the plate to be revealed when the waitress left. It said” I kind of have a crush on you”, coming from a twenty year old it was totally adorable. The sun is starting to blind my eyes now as I rummage through my shambled mess of a glove box looking for my glasses. (Ten hours down, ten to go).

Finally Greg woke up and sent me a”good morning beautiful” text. It's about time considering its noon and he slept the entire morning away. Nothing bothers me more than that and he knows it. I’ll cut him some slack today though considering I called him at two this morning to tell him I was leaving. He's a very protective and caring boyfriend who manages to make me feel safe even though he's twenty hours away. My iPod is blasting out the car speakers and when the song changes I realize my phone has been ringing off the hook. Of course it's Greg.
”Hello?” he said with a concerned tone in his voice.
”Hi babe, sorry I didn't answer your first four calls. I couldn't hear over my music. I've been listening to our song nonstop.”
“Awwww that’s so cute. You had me worried. I wouldn't want anything to happen to you! This is a huge trip for you.”
”Yeah I know! I was scared at first but the thought of seeing you made everything alright.”
”Good, you have nothing to be concerned about. You'll be in my arms super soon. Hey I have something to tell you....”
”Yeah?” I said as a thousand thoughts rush through my head, curious as to what he might say next.
” Ahh never mind I'll tell you in person when I see you! Bye babe drive safe!”
”Ughhh alright bye.” I uttered into my iphone
He's driving me crazy and he knows it (fourteen hours down, six to go)

If I don't stop and get something to eat in the next thirty seconds I'm liable to faint. I'm very against fast food, but at this point in time I'll eat anything. When I get out of my car I throw my keys down on the seat with my blue Coach bag and almost locked them in my car. I’m scatter brained because all I can think about is Greg and the sweet messages he's sending me are making it even harder to stop for food. So, I take off running into Burger King and order my kids meal with a frozen slushie. I order so fast it sounds like I'm on one of those TV commercials where they name all the terrible symptoms and side effects in less than two seconds. It felt good to get out of the car and walk around after so many dreadful hours hunched over my silver steering wheel. So I take off running to the car, feeling the cool breeze blowing my hair and my cold slushie dripping down my pale leg. This is just my luck.

I feel like I've been driving on this straight, boring, dreadful highway for days. It’s already starting to get dark out. I am so tired I’m starting to convince myself that there are people standing on the highway, but now that I’m thinking about it, they are probably just the silhouettes of trees. I have nothing else to do, but stare at the clouds and of course focus on the road. Dazing out into the night is very peaceful, maybe a little too peaceful when you’re supposed to be driving. (Nineteen hours down and one to go)
I can't wait to text Greg the news!

”Greg! Don't fall asleep I'll be there in one hour!” I shouted at him
”Bella, I told you to stop and stay in a hotel for the night. I said I'd pay and everything. It's so dangerous for you to be driving right now!”
”I couldn't stop. I tried I swear, but I couldn't stop thinking about you. I just want to get to you.”
” I'll be awake when you get here for sure. I can't wait!”
” I know texting and driving is dangerous, so this is my last text. Bye! See you soon”

Greg was still up around two in the morning talking to himself. “Where could Bella be? She was supposed to be here by now. I hope she didn't get lost. I wish I could get a hold of her to give her directions, but she won't answer her phone. Knowing her she probably has her music on too loud again. That's my Bella, Getting stuck in her own little world and blocking out the world around her, getting hung up on every last lyric to all the songs and analyzing them as if it was her job.”

Little did he know his Bella was never going to get there. She was never going to meet his family or be in his arms...again. The last text she sent was the one that put her life on the line, the one that ended it all, the one that took Bella’s life. After she hit the send button she looked up over the steering wheel and by the time she realized she was in the wrong lane of traffic, it was too late. She went swirling head on into an eighteen wheeler truck. The ambulance showed up immediately followed by multiple cop cars and even a fire truck, but by that time Bella was already gone for good. There was no saving the 120 pound girl from being demolished by a tractor trailer speeding at sixty miles an hour.

Greg didn't find out until five o'clock in the morning, after being in a panic for endless hours and after crying thousands of tears. He was devastated and in complete shock. The whole situation didn't seem real. He wasn't used to seeing his girlfriend on a daily basis, so not seeing her today wasn't out of the ordinary, but never hearing from her again was heartbreaking and unreal. He couldn’t stop the tears from flowing out of his eyes like raging rivers down his face. They were quickly being dissolved by his soaking wet shirt that was now olive green oppose to light green. He felt like he could just text her and tell her he missed her or say”good morning beautiful, let me see a picture of that sleepy face of yours” and a picture of her in bed would pop up on his iPhone screen, but no, never again. He felt like everything was all his fault, like he was the one to blame. He was the one texting her during her accident. The cops even tracked her phone records and found out that he was indeed the one responsible. Nobody could ever replace his girl. They were meant to be together. The only thought Greg was left with was”I knew I should have said I love you on the phone”, but he expected to tell her in person.

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half.note said...
Mar. 23, 2012 at 3:45 pm
That was truly beautiful.  I really enjoyed it, especially the last line.  I found the conversation to be slightly unrealistic, but I loved the plot and the message.  Great job!
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