Car Ride

July 5, 2009
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It was the day before Christmas Eve when we were coming back from spending the weekend over a cousin’s house in Port St. Lucie. Our car was packed until there was no breathing space. My father drove my cousin home first, since his house was closer on the way. The moment we said good-bye, we were on our way to drop my brother’s and I to my mother’s house (yes, my parents are separated). Now that there is space to move around, I wanted to get comfortable in the backseat. I laid my right leg up on the seat and leaned against the door.

At the red light, my father turned around to look at us. He frowned at the sight of my position on his seat. “Lilly, you know better than that. Sit upright and put on ya seat belt.” He demanded. I had to abide. As I was about to pull my seat belt, I felt a sudden jolt of the car and my head was being flung to the back of my father’s seat and back to mine. The buckle for the seat belt jammed into my right thigh and pain quickly came after. The first thought that came to me was that our car had been flipped over in a sudden earthquake. But we all know there were never really earthquakes in Florida since 1942!

All I could hear was my brother’s voice calling my name repeatedly. Tears rolled down my cheek as I came to realize that we had just been in a car accident. My brother hopped from the far back seat over to my side in less than a second when he noticed I wasn’t moving. He opened my car door and my father had to drag me out of the car. Somehow, I lost one of my sandals in the car so I had to walk in the street barefoot.

The woman who caused the accident had to crawl out of her window because her car was damaged badly. Her whole front was gone and the doors wouldn’t open. The car was completely totaled. I crawled into the arms of my older and youngest brothers. I cried nonstop because of the whole thing. Police cars filled the street followed by an ambulance. The medical guys came up to me and asked if I was ok and at that time, I had forgot about my thigh that the buckle had jammed into. Once everything was settled down and the girl was hit with a ticket, we were free to go. The moment I stepped foot in that car, I jolted the seat belt over my body and fastened it. No way was I going to get hurt again.

When my dad dropped my brother’s and I home, I walked inside my mother’s house to the sight of a party. That was the same day of my little sister’s birthday party. My mother came to say hello to me but abruptly stopped when she had seen I was crying. “What’s wrong?” She asked. We filled her in on the news and she went hysterical. She hugged us all and asked if my father was ok. We let her know that we were all ok, but she noticed the pain in my face as I walked away.

She dragged me up the stair to my room for an examination. She noticed a mark on my thigh and when she touched it, I screamed as if she had slapped me. The next day we had all went to the hospital to make sure if no one had a broken bone. The doctors didn’t see anything seriously wrong with my brothers, only a sprained neck. However, they found multiple problems for me. The muscles in my thigh were sprained severely, and one of the plates in my spinal cord wasn’t where it was supposed to be.

I had to go to a chiropractor for a year so I wouldn’t feel the pain I felt whenever I walked or moved my neck. A year has passed since the accident but I still have my moments were I would drift back to the terrifying accident that I experienced. Now every time I’m in a car and we would happen to stop abruptly or drive over a curb, my heart would stop and I would be paralyzed for a short amount of time. Even though I felt my life flash before my eyes, I felt that the accident was a huge sign from God telling me that I need to be safer when I’m in the car. Meaning, I need to sit correctly and always have my seat belt on at all times. There may be a time where things won’t be so sugar-coated.





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