Did you know that your life can change in a split second? My name is Kayla James, and my life changed within the few seconds that my car lost control. The few seconds that I couldn’t control what happened next. The few seconds where my life changed drastically. I know, you think it will never happen to you… until it does.
October 24, 2013
I remember the smell of metal. You know how a fresh penny smells when you hold it close to your nose? It was like that, but much more. I felt sticky, and I couldn’t move. There was screaming. When I opened my eyes, I saw blue lights and medics running towards me. The only thing I could manage to move was my head. I looked to my left and saw the car had flipped over, and it was smashed into a million pieces. My car was no longer my car. But at that moment, all I could think about was my brother. “Sawyer!” I weakly cried. I was being lifted into the ambulance. My whole body was in pain. The lady that was tending my wounds, which I wasn’t sure of, replied to me. “He’s in the other ambulance, honey. Let’s just focus on getting you to the hospital. Kayla, I need you to breathe.” Although I was worried about Sawyer, I kept falling in and out of consciousness. I was in excruciating pain, and I couldn’t remember what had happened. I didn’t understand. How could this have happened? And then I blacked out.
November 1, 2013
When I woke for the second time, I was in a hospital bed. My mom was beside me. She was sleeping on the couch. “Mom,” I whispered. She awoke quickly. “Hi, honey. How are you feeling? You’ve been in a coma for two weeks now. The doctors told me that they didn’t know if you were ever going to wake up.” She started crying. I didn’t want to tell her, but everything hurt. I could barely stand to talk without crying every time I opened my mouth. I replied, “I’m okay. How’s Sawyer? Where’s Dad?” She said, “Take it easy, kiddo, Dad is in the other room with Sawyer. He’s doing just fine. They had to perform surgery on his leg because it was broken so badly. Other than that, he’s doing just fine. He’s really eager to see his sister, though. It’s a miracle that either one of you is okay. They said that it was like someone had taken over your car because you ran right into the pole; like it was intentional. But let’s not worry about that. Let’s just worry about you getting better.” The doctor came in about five minutes later. She said, “Hi Kayla. It’s nice to see that you are up. Let’s discuss your injuries. You have a large cut across your stomach from your seatbelt, but that will heal over time. It cut right into your skin, but that seat belt is what saved your life.You had internal bleeding in your spleen, but we removed that in surgery when you arrived at the hospital. You have a dislocated shoulder, and few broken ribs, and a broken foot. All of these things will heal. It will just take time. We have to be patient. You are a very lucky girl. How are you feeling?” She started checking my vitals, and then I replied, “Everything is hurting.” She told me that she would give me some more pain medicine but that I needed to rest. She also told me that I had lots of visitors, but that I couldn’t see them for another two weeks time because of the risks from my injuries. I am a cheerleader, and it’s getting very close to competition time. I wanted to ask about when I could cheer again, but deep down, I already knew the answer. I couldn’t bare the thought of never cheering again. I had a full scholarship to cheer at Mississippi State University, and I had a feeling that my cheer career had just ended. Tears started streaming down my cheeks. I laid my head back and told myself to get some rest. I quickly fell asleep. I was exhausted, and I figured that they would let me see my brother when I woke up.
November 13, 2013
I had finally gotten to see my brother two days after I had awaken. Today is a big day; two weeks later. They only let me see my brother because we had begged them until they were tired of listening. I’m still in the hospital and I still can only move one of my legs and one and a half of my arms, but today I can see my friends. When my best friends, Bailee and Kate, walked in the room they ran and hugged me, and I hugged them back, as best as I could. I didn’t tell them, but my ribs were in so much pain. That didn’t matter, though, because I had missed them so much! “How are you feeling?” Bailee said. “I’m better now that y'all are here!” I replied. “We love you so much, Kay! You’ve had lots of visitors. Although, there is this one couple I’ve never seen before. They always come in asking about you and Sawyer. They say they are a family friend,” said Bailee. “What did they look like?” I said trying to think of who it could be. “The lady had short blonde hair, and she was tall. The man was big and strong. He was bald, too. Anyway, let’s not worry about them,” said Bailee. “And guess who has been out there waiting on you the whole time?” said Kate. I already knew the answer. Braxton. Braxton had been my boyfriend for two years now. Although I don’t remember why or how I wrecked, I vividly remember the fight we had three nights before. He was mad because I wasn’t making enough time for him. He said that I was spending too much time on cheer. And if we’re being honest, he really is right. I spend much more of my time with cheer instead of him, but that’s my commitment. I put my all into that. I then yelled back at him and told him that I gave him all the time that I could, and if he had a problem with it then he could leave, and we did not have to be in a relationship anymore. So, he left. Deep down I hoped that wasn’t going to be the last of us. We had little miniature fights all the time, but nothing like this one. We were so mad at each other. I’m pretty sure my neighbors could hear us yelling. We hadn’t had any kind of contact since that night; no texts, calls, or face-to- face talks. Nothing. Three days later, I was in the accident. I wondered if he worried about me. I think the girls could see me tearing up. “He has been really worried about you, Kay. He basically lives off of the cafeteria food, and sleeps in the lobby. You had us all really scared. We didn’t know if you were gonna live,” said Kate. “He told us about your fight. He said that it was really stupid, and that he still loves you,” said Bailee. I felt like a ton of bricks had fallen off my chest. “Well we’re gonna go, Kay. We super proud you’re okay. Do you want us to bring you anything?” asked Bailee. I replied, “I think I’m good. Thanks guys.” I was almost asleep when I heard the door close. I looked up to see Braxton standing there. He looked terrible and tired, like he had just been beaten up and hadn’t gotten any sleep in weeks. From what Bailee and Kate told me, he probably hadn’t gotten any sleep in two weeks. He said, “I’m so glad you’re okay.” I replied, “But what really matters is how I look.” He laughed. He always laughs at my terrible jokes. “But really though, how have you been?” he asked. “There’s good days and bad days. Most of the time I’m in a lot of pain. I haven’t eaten much. The doctor says we just have to be patient.” He looked like he was going to burst into tears. I remember when I broke my arm when I fell out of a stunt at a football game. He took one look at my arm, and I thought he was going to cry, faint, and puke, all at the same time. Right now he just looked sad that I was in this bed, helpless, and unable to move. “Kayla, I still love you, and I am so sorry that this happened to you. You know I didn’t mean anything about that fight,” he said. “I know,” I said, “Guess you won’t have to worry about not spending enough time with me because it looks like I’m going to be stuck here for a while.” He giggled. He replied, “I’m not going anywhere. I will stay right here with you until you are released to go home.” If only he knew how long it would be before I got to go home.
December 1, 2013
It is almost Christmas now, and the doctors have talked about letting me go home for Christmas. Sawyer got to go home a week after I woke up from my coma. My shoulder and ribs have healed, mostly. I’m still in a cast for my leg, but it’s not so bad. My stomach is the problem. It has been infected lately. They had to take the stitches out and restitch the wound. They thought that the old stitches were causing the infection. I can’t really twist or bend over. They are afraid that my stitches will bust if they let me go home. They say that I would have to stay in my wheel chair or on the couch all the time. But if it meant that I could spend Christmas at home with my family, I am up for anything. In the time that’s passed, Bailee and Kate bring me sprite and movies to watch. Braxton stayed true to his word; he hasn’t left my side. He sleeps on the couch beside me. If I even whimper or cough, he sits straight up. Something has been happening that hasn’t ever happened before, though. I have these dreams. When I go to sleep or if i see something familiar, something like a vision pops up in my head. When I dream, I dream of me driving my car before the wreck. I remember not being able to control it. I couldn’t use my brakes or control my steering wheel. It was like my car had been taken over, which was exactly what happened. I am almost 100% percent certain that someone hijacked my car. And not to mention the letters. They are sent from someone anonymous. The first one said, It was supposed to kill you. The last one I received said, I’ll be back for revenge. I don’t know who did this, but I will find out, even if it’s the last thing I do.
December 20, 2013
The doctors let me come home yesterday. They told me that I had to take it easy. I have been researching hijacking, while sitting on the couch all day, and found that it was very possible that whoever did this to me could have been a close friend or relative. I haven’t told anyone about the letters. I can’t because everyone is a suspect right now. I received another letter around noon. It said, Tonight. The old car lot by the motel 6. Be there. 5:30 sharp. I cringed as I read the letter. It made my insides turn to jelly. I had no other option. I wanted to put an end to this. I was going, alone. I sat around the rest of the day brainstorming how this was going to go down tonight. Braxton was supposed to come over tonight, but I told him I had plans. I just hope he doesn’t come looking for me. I wheeled myself into my parent’s bedroom and grabbed the pistol that my dad kept under the bed. I put it in my backpack along with some bandages just in case my stitches don’t hold. I had to take the bus because my parents are waiting to get me a new car for Christmas. When I arrived at the motel, I was the only one there. I propped up against the side of the building. Three minutes later, a black chevrolet with tinted windows pulled up and parked in one of the spots. A man stepped out of the vehicle. He was bald. I immediately thought back to what Bailee had said about the couple. She said he was bald and stocky, and the woman was tall with blonde hair. Where was the woman? I was pretty sure he could see me shaking. I was so nervous. I thought my brain was about to explode. He spoke, “You were supposed to die two months ago.” I replied with a shaky voice, “I..I don’t understand. Why are you trying to kill me?” “Your dad,” he said, “He bought my bank. My bank. Just because I couldn’t pay my bill every month; he took it away. It was all I had. Me and my wife were struggling with money, and now, we have no money. None. The only option I have is to kill his prize possessions. You and your brother. I figured that if I got rid of both of you, then your parents would drown in their sorrows. That was my plan, but plans change. When you and your brother lived, I had to come up with an alternative plan. So, here I am, about to kill his daughter.” He pulled out his gun. I reached for my backpack and the woman, his wife, came from behind the corner and grabbed my backpack off of my back, and grabbed the gun out of it. She stood there with a smirk on her face. He then raised his gun. My head was spinning. I didn’t know what to do, so I just stood there waiting for them to shoot me. Then someone shot, but I wasn’t hurt. I couldn’t tell who shot, or who was hurt. Then, I turned and saw Braxton standing there, with wide eyes, holding a gun. The lady was on the ground, blood running out of her head. I turned back quickly, almost forgetting about the man. Before I could even get all the way turned around, the second shot was fired. This time, it was me. I fell to the ground. I felt the bullet dig into my right shoulder, the shoulder that was dislocated in the wreck. Then, a third and final shot was fired. The next thing I saw was Braxton in my face. He was saying something, but everything was silent. I could read his lips though. He was saying, “I can’t lose you. Not again,” he cried. He picked me up and carried me to the car but I had blacked out before we made it to the hospital.
January 7, 2014
Today I was being released and ,hopefully, for the last time. I prayed that I would never see that hospital again. Turned out, Braxton had saved my life. He killed both the blonde woman and the bald man. My dad kept apologizing about the bank. I insisted that it was okay. In return, he bought me a new car. My arm was bandaged and in a sling. I knew it would be a while, but I eventually will have full use of my arm again. I spent Christmas in the hospital, but it’s okay. I have everything I need now: my parents, my brother, Braxton, and MSU has allowed me to keep my scholarship money, even though I can’t cheer. I’m happy and content. So I ask again, Did you know that your life can change in a split second? I know, you think it will never happen to you… until it does.