Pure Stupidity This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Before this tragic accident occurred, I should haverealized how immature I am for a 17-year-old. Little did I know how much oneperson can learn within seven seconds of stupidity.

It was the end ofJuly, and the night air was warm enough to wear shorts and have a cold drink inmy hand. The roads were just wet enough to see the shine off the pavement. Istopped by the store where I was to meet my friend, Eric, who was about to getoff his 2-10 p.m. shift. I told him I'd go on ahead and wait for him at hishouse.

I had just added an air intake for my car's engine, so it had morehorsepower and a deep sound like the rumble of a tiger's roar. Of course, I hadto add this to make my car "cooler."

I turned in to abusiness-residential area to take a shortcut to Eric's house. By now it was 10:45p.m. and the road was wide open.

I had driven this road many times indaylight, and with my keen sense of street smarts, had mapped out every possiblearea in the city where the police could wait and fire a radar gun. On this road,there were no such areas.

I rolled up to a stop sign. With my new airintake in place, I figured I should experience the power laying dormant under thehood.

I took a deep breath, knowing I'd be doing 80 miles an hour in about16 seconds. I screeched my tires, causing an ear-piercing pitch that any dog inthe area could easily hear. Leaving five feet of rubber painted on the ground, Isped off into the night like Batman chasing the Joker. My air intake was in fulleffect, creating the deep sound I was begging for when I first bought my car. Ihad reached 85 when the seven seconds that shall replay in my mind forever camealong.

There was a sharp curve in the road ahead. I thought I could gowith it. Big mistake. I could feel the rear of my car swing to the left, the signof a skid. Out of pure instinct and fear, I swung the steering wheel to the leftwhile applying my brakes. The sound of rubber trying desperately to hold on tothe concrete dominated the sound waves. Like an astronaut, I felt the G-forceslam my head into the headrest, as my car pulled a 180-degreeturn.

Amazingly, I did not blink once. The next thing I knew, my car cameto an abrupt halt. My body flew toward the windshield, but because of a strap oftough material over my shoulder and waist, I was yanked back.

"Oh,s**t!" I remember saying, my terrified voice breaking the eerie silence. Tomy surprise, a lesson from Driver's Ed that I figured I'd never use popped intomy head. I knew I had to turn off the car, not knowing if my gas tank wasdamaged, or even worse, on fire. Filled with fear, I soon realized the ignitionswitch was paralyzed. A sudden rush of anger engulfed me as I realized I coulddie inside this smashed car because of a faulty switch.

The darkness ofthe night filled my car as I sat there stunned at my situation. Then, in recordtime, I unfastened my seat belt. My hand shot toward the door handle, and with myfingernails digging into the gray upholstery, the door swung open. To my relief,I could escape my twisted and mangled hunk of metal.

The now-chilly airhit me as I got out of the car, almost as if trying to calm me. My feet attackedthe ground and my legs pumped rapidly as I ran from my near-encounter with death.I couldn't breathe. I gasped and begged for the cold summer air to fill my lungs.After running for several seconds, my body decided it was time to stop and take agood deep breath. Sitting on a cracked curb, I turned toward my car, not knowingwhat to expect. An explosion? A human being trapped under my car that I did notnotice when the accident occurred?

I stared at my car and remembered howbeautiful it had looked when I had waxed it a few weeks before. The dark purpleshimmer had made it seem like a rare animal. I remembered the thunderous roar ofthe engine with its new air intake, and how it made heads turn as I zoomed downthe road. I remembered the perfect pitch that the exhaust made when I revved theengine, mimicking the sound of a Nascar racer.

But those memories werequickly disposed of.

The brakes had snapped and cracked off after theimpact with the curb. The two back tires were hanging on by one bolt at roughly a45-degree angle. At this point my eyes began to water, and I knew that if thetires were this bad, the back end must look like hell.

I moved withcaution to my ex-car, fearing that in some freak accident it still might explode,and I panned around to the back end. At this point, I knew it was all over. Mycar had taken over the spot where a huge boulder had been. The rock now sat inthe middle of the street with an enormous paint stain on its side. I felt mystomach churn. I knew that if I looked at my car any longer, I'dvomit.

With some unknown force pushing me from behind, I stood face toface with the rear of my car. My face lost all feeling, my jaw dropped, my heartjumped into my mouth and my legs shook uncontrollably. The rear of my car lookedas if God himself had punched it. A once-perfect trunk was shot wide open,exposing all that lay inside: a couple of skateboards, some bowling shoes, thespare tire and the box in which my air intake had come.

The trunk'spurple glow had disappeared. The rear bumper hadn't done its job and was crumpledlike a sheet of paper. The rear right wheel was dislodged entirely, and theonce-bright chrome rims were snapped into various shapes and sizes with manyscattered pieces tossed onto the street and grass. Both taillights screamed outof their sockets, dangling by a few ripped red and black wires. I had planning tobuy some head and taillight black outs the following week, but now I had nothingto waste my money on.

This was not the worst sight yet. When mytear-filled eyes met with my rear spoiler, it was then that I began to cryuncontrollably. To me, my dark purple rear spoiler made my car look tough,good-looking, and added that extra boost that made the car eye-catching. Thespoiler must have exploded into at least 30 pieces. I could not move or breathe.

At this point, I knew my car was totaled. No auto mechanic on Earth couldrepair the damage my idiot ass had done to my once-beautiful car.

I knewI was an idiot. I knew how my parents would react. I knew my plans for any funactivities in the last weeks of summer were ruined. I knew I had come close todeath.

I sat on the curb next to my destroyed car, buried my face in myhands and cried for what seemed like forever. I didn't know what to do. There wasno way out.

I screamed with my last bit of energy, hoping that someonewould answer my distress call. I screamed again, and this time a group ofteenagers ran toward me. They all looked at my car, then at me. They asked how Icould have survived a crash like that. I had no answer. One of them called 911.

I knew then that this was not a nightmare, but reality. I was going tohave a tough battle ahead of me in every aspect of my life. The teenagerscomforted me somewhat, but I still cried uncontrollably.

From a distanceI heard the high-pitched song of the fire engines, police cars and ambulancesapproaching. The first cop pulled up 15 minutes later. I knew this was it. Therewas no turning back now. No shoulder to lean on. No reset button for me to push.I was all alone on this one. Completely alone.




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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