Shoes by the Washer This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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My mother said she knew when my sister had come home because her shoes were always by our washing machine until one night when I was awoken by a knock on our front door. I lay in bed as I heard my mother answer it. What could someone want at 3:47 in the morning? I thought. Pretty soon I found out. We had to go to the hospital. My older sister had been in a car accident.

I quickly said a prayer and put on jeans. I pulled my hair up in a ponytail and grabbed my shoes which were by the washer. I looked at my younger sister's teddy bear lying on the couch. I should bring it, I thought, so she can look at it and think of home. Nah, I thought, deciding against it. Mom called me, and we left for the hospital.

When we arrived, we were told to stay in the waiting room. The same officer who had come to our house asked to see my parents alone. I remembered sitting and staring absently at the TV. My thoughts began to whirl. What if she was in a coma? What if she has broken legs and needs a wheelchair? I would gladly push her around. Maybe knock her into some furniture while I'm at it.

I looked up as the officer came back into the room and asked my younger sister and me to follow him. We came to a room that had a small sign which said Family Room.

We went in and the officer shut the door. My mother looked at me with her tear-stained face and said two words I will never forget, “Becky died.”

I sat down. I was in shock. I sat there for some time. Then I began to cry.

It took us months to find out what had happened, but to this day we still don't really know. All we know is that Becky had been worried about coming home late and didn't want to call for a ride, afraid my parents would get mad. So she got a ride home with some friends. All seven packed into a small car and my sister had to sit on someone's lap. The driver was drunk and ran into a telephone pole. Becky died instantly.

To this day, I'm still confused and sad. I ask God why. Didn't She know that she was my best friend?

Sometimes, I stare at the empty spot where my sister once put her sneakers and sadly think that her shoes will never sit by our washer again.

My sister is now a part of a statistic that we are in control of. I know that people don't think it is possible to kill someone while driving drunk. Believe me, it's possible. So please, I'm asking all of you – please don't drive drunk.

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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