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I remember getting the phone call. 8:39 pm on a Saturday. I answered it but was instructed by the authoritative tone on the other end to hand over the phone to my dad. It was the police informing us of my brother’s adventures that night. He had gotten high and into accident. He was being examined at the hospital now but was over all fine. Both of us, relieved by the lack of severity in his injuries, were later blindsided by the real damage he did that night.
8:20 pm Saturday
Music fills my ears. Radio floods the car. I instinctively sing along to every word without a thought. The street lights fade and the world becomes unimportant. At that moment all there is me and that song. I belt out the singers lyrics as if I could actually reach her notes. And as the climax note comes up I fill my lungs till they feel like they are going to burst. Then let out the same long and dramatic note.
My mother, who is not known for her singing, also begins to wail with me. Only hers is different. It is echoed by something outside of the car. Hers is a little to shrill, not sweet and strong like I was trying for. Her eyes were wild with fear and her hand clamped around my wrist; which I didn’t understand until I followed her gaze out my window. The second squeal that my mom was doing her best impression of was coming from a red car speeding towards us. It’s tires making futile marks on the ground. The drivers eyes just as wild as my mother’s. My last raw instinct before the pain; protect mom. I turned away from the crazed driver and created a shield around my mother with my arms.
8:50 pm Saturday: Hospital
When dad and I walked into the ER we were quickly rushed into Shane’s room. He was hysterical. I guess whoever spoke to dad on the phone didn’t have all his facts quite right. Rye had a slightly soiled bandage taped to his left temple. Nurses came in quickly after us as he screamed incoherent things about some girl. With a small prick of a needle his shoulders dropped and his words became understandable.
“What? What’s wrong are you hurting?” dad came out asking.
“She was so little! And hurt. Please someone! Where is she? How’s her mother?” he said quieter now.
“Who?” My father, a particularly interested nurse and I asked at once.
“The girl in the other car. How come she isn’t here? Did I kill her? I did, didn’t I!?” he got hysterical again at the end.
The nurse answered this one, for my father and I had heard nothing as of yet of the other car. “She was put in an ambulance before you. She went right into the operating room. She is in bad shape but she is as of now alive. Her mother is already bandaged up and waiting for her.”
“How hurt is she?” it was my turn to ask.
“Bad is what I have been told. I was assigned to your brother early on and haven’t heard anything after that.”
“Who is she?” my dad asked the most important question; not that I knew that at the time though.
“A sophomore at East High. Corin Bent.” The nurse answered coolly. At that moment I thought I could never be happy again. My brother might just have killed the best thing ever to enter my life in pursuit of reaching a new “high”.