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

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   Living

by E. P., White River Junction, VT

Her name was Susan. She and I were best friends. We were always together.

One day in gym class the gym teacher interrupted the field hockey game. What the teacher was about to reveal would have a traumatic impact on my life.

"Erika, may I speak to you?"

Three hours later I was walking through the impersonal front doors of the Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital. Two stories up I was to be found clutching my friend Diane for support.

I insisted that she come to the hospital with me to see Susan. We stood just outside her doorway, afraid to go inside.

Eventually a nurse opened the door. Startled by our discovery, there was nothing we could do but step forward.

There she was, lying still in the middle of the dreary, gray room. Her parents, exhausted and concerned, sat restlessly on wooden chairs. Susan's neck was in a brace and her bruised face was capped with blood-soaked bandages.

We could see a large tube extending to a machine on the left, taking fluid in rhythmic quantities. Her left arm was in a cast and her knuckles were replaced with plastic. I had to turn away. I could no longer look at my best friend and her consistent pain.

Susan's mother later informed us that the car accident had been caused by a drunk driver. If Susan had not been wearing her seat belt, the force of her head smashing through the windshield as the car rolled three times into a ditch, would have killed her. Though her life had been saved, Susan underwent extensive brain surgery and missed four months of school. Physical therapy was the only class she attended until she regained complete use of her full capabilities.

Susan's accident had taught me the invaluable lesson of living; that life consists of people who are loving and understanding. I witnessed the trials of patience her parents had to endure. I felt the near loss of a close friend, and I also learned how much my friends and family mean to me. I have learned the art of giving and compassion and how lucky I am to have loving and supportive people around me. I have been taught how to appreciate the life surrounding me, not just on my own.


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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