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One Of Life's Little Lessons This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   There's no question about it; it was my fault. I should have made sure I knew exactly where we were headed when I pulled out of Scott's driveway. Instead, I told them to lead the way; I would keep up. It was a rainy night so the road was wet, and I knew the tires on my car were pretty worn (one of these days I would get some new ones). For these reasons and a plethora of others, I should have thought twice about the speed I was going on that dark, winding road. I had no idea where they were headed, so when I fell behind I knew I would spend the rest of that Friday night alone at home if I didn't catch up before the next stop sign.

I was going about five miles over the speed limit, but that was much too fast considering the road conditions and the particularly winding stretch of road I was headed for. Although I was going fast, I didn't feel at all unsafe until I saw that one curve in the road. I applied my brakes and turned the wheel to take the turn, but it was as if I hadn't turned the wheel at all. As the road curved left, my car skidded straight ... straight off the road and directly into a stone wall.

The rest of that night is a blur. Police officers, an ambulance, and a long night at the Emergency Room are all vague memories of that frightening evening. However, the one memory that is clearly imprinted in my mind is the look of concern on the faces of my parents when they arrived at the scene and saw how close they had come to losing their son. One thing I will always remember is that they would have lost me had I not been wearing my seatbelt.

From "Seatbelts save lives" to "Things like this don't always happen to someone else," I learned many valuable lessons that night. It's too bad that it often takes a tragedy or near tragedy to teach a lesson, but I know that I will never take anything, including life itself, for granted again. c


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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