Three seconds. After being on this Earth for almost eighteen years who knew it would only take one intersection, two cars, and three seconds for my whole life to be turned upside down forever.
I remember a rainy night on an almost empty road, the rain on the street glistened from the street lights above. It was late April, but cold for it still being spring time.We were racing home from the airport to see dad after being gone for a few weeks. Mama and I took a trip to the city that never sleeps to visit colleges, look into various dance companies, and just have a fun trip together.. In the moments of being in the city, I could feel my life starting to come together. My future was looking more clear and bright. I was realizing what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
“Your dad is gonna get nervous if we aren't home soon, it's almost 1 in the morning.” she says as I snapped back into reality I look at the clock on the radio realizing it’s 12:56am.
The light had turned green so mama kept going straight across the intersection, picking up her speed a bit because the street was empty.
“Can you please get your phone and text your dad, tell him we will be home in fi….”
One, I could no longer hear what was going on. We were spinning and spinning and spinning. The truck that hit us stopped immediately, due to the man slamming down on his breaks immediately after his truck collided with my mamas Jeep. I could hear the tires screeching as we continues to spin like a mary-go-round.
Two, I started to feel numb to the pain shooting through the right side of my body, the sharp pains that should’ve felt like daggers, I was almost unaware of. I was starting to come out of my seat, ripping the seat belt as I started to fly forward. Head hitting the dash,then the windshield. Glass started to shatter as my head made contact with the windshield and I started to fly out.
Three, I hit the concrete. I don’t remember making contact with the hard surface that managed to break bones, on bones, on bones. But that's where I was picked up. An emergency helicopter started to make its way in. I was almost unconscious, but able to hear the roar from the helicopter and the commotion of the EMS crew working quickly around me. I was airlifted to the hospital. I could hear the crew yelling and could feel everyone around me getting me into the helicopter so I could get there as soon as possible, but I was unable to fully comprehend anything they were actually saying. Everything was moving so fast. I was being rushed here, and being rushed there. Hooked up to bunch of different machines to keep me alive in that moment. I want to speak, but I can’t. I want to ask what happened, where’s mama? Where did she go? But the words won’t come out. They can’t come out. I can barely even begin to mumble. This was all because of three seconds. Three seconds caused me to be paralyzed from the waist down. Three seconds gave me brain injuries bad enough I will never be able to speak again. All because of three, quick seconds, my life was changed forever. The big plans I had ahead of me, didn't seem as bright as they did just a few hours before. I will never forget mama walking into the room after I got out of emergency surgery crying apologizing for the accident While my whole life had been changed forever with injuries that affect everything, mama suffered from a broken arm. We sat together in silence, mostly because it was no longer physically possible for me to respond to her. But I could still tell what she was thinking. We had a lot of change ahead of us. My life was completely turned upside down, and so was hers in a way. No more college in New York. No more dance. No more, anything until I found out how to live my new life. The thought of this created a knot in my throat. It was hard to swallow while holding back all the tears I wanted to spill right then and there. My stomach kept turning as mama sat holding me. The doctor came into the room to talk to mama about the surgery and giving her advice on what we should do next. But I couldn’t focus on him or mama. This was all so much to handle and I simply wanted to be alone. Just me, the hospital room, and my new silence.