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A Turn For the Worst
I hadn’t expected a moment that felt so exceptional, to take such a dark turn, in what seemed to be faster than the speed of light. The thought still flashes through my mind every single day. I know I should have trusted the beating headache and irritating voice in my head, constantly telling me not to get in that car. “The boy you love wants you to go for a drive home with him after the big party,” thought one side of my mind. “Don’t get in the car, it could turn out ugly if you do,” thought the other. But, I did it anyways, not realizing that I would regret my decision a short time after.
I had never felt the way I did on that Saturday night. I constantly touched my lips to the brim of that red solo cup, feeling a little bit more hazy with every swallow. As I looked into the bottom of the cup, I watched the beer sway back and forth around the inside like an accident waiting to happen. It seemed so easy to just set it aside, put the drink down and walk away, but for some reason I just wanted to feel even more faint than I already did, more dizzy than I already did.
“Pax is looking for you outside,” spoke an unclear voice from right behind me.
I gathered myself together, or at least I tried, and managed to set the drink down on the table beside me. Stumbling through my fellow classmates, I felt the mild spring air hit my face as I pushed open the front door. Standing in the front yard was the only person I could recognize through the blurriness in my eyes. It was my first love, Pax. He would never hurt a soul, at least not on purpose, and he had the most kind-hearted and peaceful personality. Nobody would have ever expected the unexpected, on a night like this.
“Come on,” he spoke loudly, not realizing because of the alcohol in his system, “go for a ride with me.”
Little did I know, that whatever decision I made, would impact my life either way. My mind knew there were two ways to take this in, but my heart spoke like there was only one. I wasn’t going to let Pax drive intoxicated alone, and I was too scared to suggest otherwise. As I walked towards that passenger door, I already felt a difference in the world, in myself, in my life. With each step I took towards that car, the air seemed to get colder and the night seemed to get darker. But, my heart wasn’t letting me turn back. I slowly closed the rusty door behind me, and looked right at Pax who was sweating bullets and looked almost as if he was in his own world. Suddenly, the car was moving beneath me and we were on the road. I took a quick glance behind me, curious if that party was the last place, the last moment, the last step I would take in this life.
“You ok?” Pax questioned me with a soft touch to my thigh.
I nodded my head slowly, but I wasn’t speaking my truth. I continued to look down at my lap without much emotion, not aware of anything in front of me on the road. I could feel the car going over the speed limit, along with a slight sway of the car moving back and forth on the road, and I didn’t have to look up to know this. It all happened so fast, until suddenly I felt it, I heard it, I knew it.
“Oh crap!” I heard Pax scream from the driver’s seat.
Suddenly, the car swerved sharply to the right, I felt it. My breath came to a fast stop, I felt it. The car smashed into the guardrail, I knew it. Somehow, I was still conscious to realize all of this was happening, but the alcohol rushed to my system even more. I found my blurry vision to come back to me, yet my hearing had been gone. Shaking my head and blinking my eyes constantly, I sat up against the dashboard of the car and saw it. The one thing I was afraid would happen, had happened right in front of me. There he laid, my first love. His arms were pried up and twisted against the steering wheel like a pretzel, and the blood began to rush from his head. I didn’t know what to do next. I stumbled out of the broken window because the door was trapped against the rail. The darkness of the night complimented the whole scene in an evil way. As I climbed out of the window and dropped onto the ground, my life had changed even more, in one moment. I never really brought myself to understand why Pax had made such a sharp swerve, instead of just slowly veering off the road like most drinking and driving accidents. Then, I saw it. Pax wasn’t the only one laying dead and motionless on the scene. Under the hood of the car, partially jammed against the rail, was a younger woman with blood also rushing from her head like Pax. He had murdered another kind soul because of his reckless driving, and I was part of the reason. This moment was now a part of me for the rest of my life. I could hear the faint sound of the sirens in the distance, and I felt that I couldn’t take any sort of responsibility for this, even though I had some. Past the guard rail, was ironically the mountain leading down towards my neighborhood. The sirens began to get closer, but I pulled through for one last climb. I rolled over the edge of the guard rail, and stumbled my way home the best I could. That’s all I could gather from that dreary night.
It is the most catastrophic night I would ever be alive to witness and with it, came the most idiotic decision I would ever be alive to make. It has been 3 years, but that day has still not fully come to focus with me yet. How many options did I truly have? Get in the car, risking your life but potentially protecting your intoxicated boyfriend who would have been driving alone, or don’t get in the car, and be able to live your life without everyday thinking about the pain of that night. I understand now that I made several wrong decisions that night, including the alcohol. However, getting in that car was the worst. The thought of admitting to people that I too was in that car, floats through my head like a boat lost at sea. Yet, I still haven’t brought myself to that point, even years after. There’s no words to describe this situation. This darkness, this cruelty, does not have a name. I hadn’t expected a moment that felt so exceptional, to take such a dark turn, in what seemed to be faster than the speed of light.