Everything Happens for a Reason This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     "What's happening?" This was the only thing I remember hearing during the longest 30 seconds of my life. My mind went completely blank. I knew I was okay, or at least that I was alive, but she was screaming. I didn't know what was wrong, but I was certain we needed to get out. I tried to push open my door, only to find it was jammed. The only way out was over the broken glass that lay like a blanket across the back seat. Actually, at the time, I didn't notice the glass and slid carelessly into the back, wedging tiny pieces of the shattered windows into my palms. When I was finally free of the vehicle, I went straight to her door, and with her pushing and me pulling, we got it loose so she could slide out.

It was cold, and we were forced to wait in the snow. We were relieved by the sight of headlights coming toward us. When the driver got out of his car, we explained what had happened and asked him for help. This fine individual took the time to comfort us, giving us a blanket and his presence. Then I noticed the red that covered my hands. Until that moment, I had been calm, but then panic set in.

Finally, I could hear sirens in the distance. She was still in pain. A police cruiser pulled up, followed quickly by an ambulance. The officer and the EMTs asked what had happened, and thought they would relieve us by telling us that if we hadn't had our seatbelts on, there was no way we would have survived. For some reason, that stuck in my head. I often wonder why.

Our story seemed to get shorter and less detailed the more we had to tell it. We slowly climbed into the ambulance. Inside the light revealed that even though we weren't badly hurt, we looked a lot worse than either of us needed to see at that time. I was scared as they examined us separately. I felt like I was being interrogated for doing something wrong. They began to clean the blood that covered my hands and then noticed blood on my head. This obviously worried me more because I had no idea how bad it was. She had little blood, but a lot of pain in her arm. I automatically thought it was broken. They made me fill out a form with my medical information, but I had to stop halfway through because I was shaking so much I couldn't write straight. It was time to head to the hospital; we were both minors, so it was mandatory. Since I had more injuries, I had to lay on the stretcher. I felt like there was more they weren't telling me about my condition. When we arrived, they decided that I could walk and didn't need VIP treatment.

Once inside, the atmosphere lightened a bit. We had to call our parents - the call they don't ever want to get. The news could have been a lot worse, though.

After some confusion over where they were going to give me my tetanus shot, and the irritation that my friend didn't have to have one, our parents arrived. On our way out, I ran into a police officer who asked if we had our seatbelts on. I laughed and replied, "Yes, we put them on about ten seconds before we started to slide."

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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