it can wait

November 10, 2017

I had to run into CVS one day after my doctors appointment, to pick up my prescribe medicine. So I left  the doctors office, got into my blue minivan and pulled up google maps on my phone, and typed in the nearest CVS. The voice behind the app, told me that CVS was about 20 minuets away. I rolled my eyes, thinking about the other stuff I wanted to get done before college started up again, and driving 20 minuets to get medicine is not one of them. I fasten my seatbelt, and put the car in drive as I backup out of the parking lot. I quickly reached to get my sunglasses and put them on, as the sun was literally blinding me. I turn on the radio to my favorite pop music station, and blast the music. I roll down my window, feeling a big gust of wind coming through my car and making my hair go wild. i paid attention to each car I passed, thinking about my next car purchase. I was deep in thought when I heard my phone’s ring tone go off. The loud buzzing noise told me that it was my best friend, Alexa. I grabbed my phone that was sitting in the cup holder in between the drivers seat and the passengers seat. I read my phones’ notification from Alexa that read “ Hey BFF! Are you going to the party tomorrow night? Its going to be so much fun and I hope you will be there! You make every party that much better. Let me know as soon as possible! XOXO, Alexa” i smiled as I read that text, because I had already picked out my outfit and everything for the party, there was no way I would miss it. As I kept thinking about all the cute guys that would be there, I realized that I was going 92 miles per hour on the highway, and I swerved around a car I almost hit. My heartbeat shot up as I realized I almost crashed. I got my car back into control as I took a deep breath and reached back to my phone to text Alexa back. I unlocked my phone and went to the messages app. I started to type a reply when I quickly heard a honk and then saw blackness. I can remember the feeling of sharp glass pieces stab me in my chest. I can still remember the words that were being thrown around outside my car, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME? THEE STUPID TEENAGE DRIVERS NEED TO UNDERTAND THAT TEXTING AND DRIVING IS BAD!” that’s the last sentence I can still make out. After that it was just blurs. But I can still taste the sour taste of my blood, as every square inch of my body was covered in it. I lay in the wet, sticky grass on the side of the road trying to wrap my head around what just happened. I could see my phone inches away from me, that was surprisingly not shuddered. I then saw my car that was flipped over In the middle of the street. I saw other banged up cars and a handful of people on their phones, some crying, some angry, and some no emotion at all. then I heard the ambulance sirens in the background of all the chaos, I knew someone knew I was hurt and they had called to get help. I remember the first responders picking me up and placing me on a stretcher, and yelling questions at me, but that was the last thing I remember.

4 weeks later, I’m still in the hospital recovering from the terrible car crash. I was in a coma for 8 days, and I broke both my legs and my left arm, a piece of glass was stuck in my head, and I have bruised lungs. Every day that has gone by has never felt longer. My only company in my hospital room are my parents, and occasional nurses to come and check on me. They drug me so I won’t feel my pain. Now looking back, I would much rather have my weeks’ worth of medicine from the drugstore. I hate taking the same nasty medicine every 6 hours. I also watch the TV, but I have a limit of only 4 hours of technology use a day. So when I have the chance, I turn on either the news, or my favorite kids show. Somedays I feel like watching Arthur, or the newest episode of Phineas and Ferb. But some days, I want to feel more like an adult and watch the news. Today’s topic on the news just happened to be about the car crash I was in, but most importantly, the one I caused. It started off with Amy Robach on Good Morning America saying “Hi everyone, a serious a car crash has happened in Nashville, Tennessee involving a 19 year old girl, Reese Macking. She was severely hurt and was in a coma for 8 days. We will share more details with you later.” After she said that, it was a commercial break . “Of course, I said.” “they always have a commercial break right before the have a big announcement or something.” I was so nervous to hear about my story, because the news anchors probably knew more of what happened then me. After the Neutrogena commercial for their new coconut luxurious shampoo ended, the news was back on. “Welcome back. As we said before, Reese Macking has been in a near-death car crash at the age of 19. So far, 21% of the United States’ teens have been in a car crash do to texting and driving.” i had no emotion, because I knew that number, from a project we had done in class just weeks before the accident. As the new anchor started saying more and more about what happened, the more and more I wanted to turn off the TV. As i gently adjust my bed, so it was comfortable to lay on, my least favorite nurse, Nurse May, opened the door with a big “Hello Reese! How’s my favorite patient?” this nurse was driving me insane, so I stay quiet. She looked at me like I was crazy for not answering, but that didn’t bother me. She rolled in her cart, with a bunch of scary-looking medical tools, and started putting together the contraptions to somehow check on me. I looked over to where my parents were staying, they had a nice corner of the room, and both of them were watching me like an eagle. I smiled, giving them a hint that I was okay. My mom smiled back, but I noticed she was fighting back the tears. I mean, who wouldn’t?  your daughter had caused a terrible car wreck, and now the medical bill is spiking more and more every day. The nurse was putting more needles into me, and was taking the old tubes out. She was doing a lot of things, so I taught myself not to pay attention, so I wouldn’t get scared. As nurse may was cleaning everything up, she asked my parent to meet her outside, that she wanted a word. When she said that, my parents got up quickly and beat her outside the room into the hallway. I could see all three of them through the blinds of the door. They looked scared. I knew something was wrong, but I wanted to hear it from the nurse, to make sure I wasn’t over thinking the started to walk back into the room, a big depressing wave of sadness and anger, came over me. I also felt lonely, realizing that I hadn’t seen Alexa since last week.  They all walked back in, no one making eye contact with me for a long silent moment. The nurse finally looked up at me, and told me that I got a brain tumor. My first thought, was the thought of me with no hair. Then, it hit me. “I could die.” I didn’t speak, I didn’t move. Nurse may went on to tell me that I would have brain surgery in two hours. Both my mom and my dad started crying, but I didn’t. I was in shock. The nurse left the room, and I remained silent. My mom asked me “honey, I know this is a lot to take in, do you want me to ask Alexa to come.?” I nodded.

Alexa arrived shortly after that with a big bouquet of flowered, and chocolates. She came in the door and said “hey, how’s my best friend doing?” she was giving me that half smile/half frown looking face. “hey lex, I miss you so much.” “I know” she said, trying not to make eye contact with me, as that would just make her cry even more. She came and gave me a long, comforting hug. She sat in the old rusting metal chair next to the bed, starting to catch me up on all the latest drama going on at school. Some news, like Ben breaking up with his girlfriend, I saw coming. We both smiled, and some news she told me was just straight up funny. “ 

Everyone asked me to tell you that they miss you and love you. Sam even wrote you a card” she said reaching into her coat pocket. She handed me a folded up piece of pink paper, with a picture of me and him on our first date taped to the top. “he has never been a neat person.” I said to Alexa, who started laughing in agreement. As I opened it, my heart melted. “Dear Reese, I love you so much. I’m so sorry I haven’t been in to visit you yet, I’ve just been out of town with my brother for his wedding. I promise I will come to visit you soon. I hope your feeling better, and today at school, I said a prayer for you over the intervom during the morning announcements. Seriously, Reese, we all love you and miss you. Ill be there soon. Love, Sam” “oh my god, I love that kid.” I said to lex, who didn’t say anything, just smiled at me.

I looked over to my parents, and my dad said “Sam Is the best boyfriend you’ve had yet, Reese. He’s a keeper.” “I know dad.” I said with a grin. My mom was in the other corner of the room facing the window on the phone. “is everything okay, Mr. Macking?” said lex with a worried tone to her voice. “yeah, someone from a foundation for hospitals just wants to talk to her.” Ok.” She said, still not looking relieved. As my dad started to ask her how school was going, my mom let out this big cry, And breathing dad ran over to her, and asked her what was wrong. I didn’t take my eyes off of them. I couldn’t tell what my mom told him, but by the look of his face it was bad. My mom immediately stood up to come over to me and Alexa. “Hey alexa, hey reese.” We both didn’t say aythinhg, we just wanted to know the bad news. “since you have  the brain tumor…” Alexa screamed. “You have WHAT?” I didn’t say anything, I just wanted my mom to finish telling me the bad news. “…the owner of the company ‘make a wish’ told me that you should think of a wish you want. She said you have..” my mom started to cry, not to mention alexa bawling beside me. “Mom what is it? Mom?” “…she said you have two months to live.” All four of us in the room were crying. There was not a single dry eye. No one said anything for a long 10 minuets. The only thing that broke the crying was a knock on the door alexa ran out of the room, which was odd.” My parents looked at me, wondering if they should go see where she went. But moments later, Sam walked in with a bouquet of flowers and a banner that said “I love you Reese, get well soon!” I went from sad cry to happy cry in a matter of seconds. He placed the flowers on the chair and layed the banner across two chairs. He came over to me and kissed me on my forehead. “Thank you.”I said softly, not knowing what else to say. I look across the room at alexa, as she was sitting on the chair next to my parents with her knees pulled up to her chest and her face buried in her sweatshirt. “Alexa. Are you okay? Alexa, im fine. Ill be okay.” “I know” she said. “I just cant imagine my life without you. You’re my best friend, Reese. I wish every teen and adult in this world knew how dangerous texting and driving was. Now I understand the saying ‘it can wait’ because your text can wait for you. And this is all my fault. If I didn’t text-“ “ALEXA. Calm down. You cant blame yourself for this. I knew better than to text and drive on the highway. Its my fault.” I started to hear little cries over my shoulder. I look up to see sam crying “Sam, honey. Ill be okay. I love you.” “I love -you-too.” He said, trying not to cry in between words. When the room was silent, I lay my head back on the pillow to maybe get some sleep. I was pretty tired. I knew something was a little off when could feel my self starting to shake and then all I saw was blackness. i remember hearing nothing my parents screaming at sam to go get the nurse. And that’s the last I remember.

  When I woke up later, I found out that I had slipped into another coma but this time for longer. I had been in a coma because my brain was bleeding for 7 weeks. When a nurse told me that I was shocked. I didn’t know how to react. I saw my mom and dad coming in the room looking stressed, and that’s when I figured they probably hadn’t heard that I woke up. My dad was carrying a tray of hospital food and my mom was only holding  a bottle of water and a protein bar. When they saw me smile at them, my mom screamed at the top of her lungs and threw her bottle and bar in the air, causing the bottle to open and water ended up all over the floor. My dad started crying and they both came over to me. “REESE!! BABY WE MISSED YOU!!!!! HOW ARE YOU FEELING?” that was too much for me to take in because that was the first thing I had heard in 7 weeks. I lay there in silence not wanting to talk.

And again, that is the last thing I remember. I know that I died last week, because I’m now in heaven. It seems unimaginable I know. But I’m not in pain now. I’ve been watching over my family and they don’t know it, but I was actually standing in between my parents at my funeral. Again, its weird but true. I can see that Alexa and Sam are the saddest out of everyone. Everyday, or at least I think in heaven time goes by days, I blame myself for texting and driving. Even though Alexa texted me first, I knew better, and I deserve to be up here. I just hope that my family will tell everyone my story and bring more awareness to the world. Trust me, it can wait.

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