Those Kids This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     "Those kids are going to die," my dad muttered. I looked out the window to see a black Mustang passing us with two boys who were smoking and daring the world to notice them. I couldn't wait to get my driver's license, to be free, in a sense, just like them. As I listened to Britney Spears' "Hit Me Baby, One More Time," I could hear my parents talking about how stupid they were driving like that on such a dangerous road. I didn't think they were stupid; I was jealous.

I continued listening to my headphones, thinking about those boys. Ten minutes later we turned a corner and saw a large cloud of dust. My dad slowed and I looked to see what had happened. I saw what looked like a pile of black metal.

"Girls, cover your eyes!" my mom shrieked.

What was happening? The dust started to settle and I peeked out my window. No, it wasn't the Mustang. It couldn't be. Those boys were fine ... I heard my sister yell and my dad say, "Becky, call 911." As I stared at the car, I saw a body. Or what looked like a body. Blood ran down his face, down the car, and into a puddle on the ground. I couldn't see the driver. I didn't want to see the driver. I buried my face in my pillow as my mom called the police. Two other cars had already stopped to help but I could tell that there was no hope. No hope. How could I be thinking this when ten minutes ago I wanted to be them, to be riding in a car with friends, us against the world?

I saw an older man walk over to the pile of what had been a car. He looked at the boy hanging out his window, shook his head and covered his face. The man knew the boy was dead; he knew there was nothing he could do. I couldn't move. How could life just end? Flash, and you're gone. Everything you ever dreamed, loved or hoped for, just gone. In a second. The thought was hard for me to grasp.

My dad asked if there was anything he could do, but the older man replied that there was no point. The ambulance was on the way, but what good would it do? He told us to leave, thanking us for calling 911. My mom sniffled; I think she was crying. I know I wanted to. I curled up in a ball and held my pillow tight over my face. I was too scared to cry, and in too much shock to think. All I saw was the car and the boy, his face, his blood, his crumpled body. As tightly as I closed my eyes and as hard as I held my pillow, that's all I kept seeing.

I didn't open my eyes the rest of the ride home. I couldn't. What if that had been me in that car? I had wanted to be them - and now they were dead. I prayed for them, their families, their friends. And I also prayed that no one would ever pray for me like I was for them.

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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