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A Silent Calamity This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.


The sun warmed the air; it was a beautiful and carefree summer day. The drab living room in which I was trapped was suddenly flooded with sunlight, as a cotton-like cloud passed. The living room, to a boy of ten years, was a cage. The world beyond the window was taunting me with its beauty and mystery. No longer could I wait to be free from my cage. I had to take action.

I raced toward my mom with all of the speed that I could muster.

“Mom! Mom!” My eagerness had gotten the best of me: I was tugging at her sleeve.

“Uggggh,” she groaned. “I’m on the phone right now. Can it wait?” Surely she was irritated with my constant prodding at her while she was on the phone. This definitely wasn’t the first time she had to remind me to keep to myself until she was done using the phone.

Instead of responding to her I turned my back in protest. I was impatient and the only thing that I could think about was what I wanted.

Young kids are selfish in this nature. They have good intentions but they don’t have the ability to comprehend reality. To them the world actually revolves around them because they’ve never known anything other than that. In this sense, I was still just a little kid.

My mom returned to her conversation and I began to pace the floor in front of her. As I strode around the kitchen, I brainstormed activities to do with my mom. It didn’t take long for me to come up with the perfect antidote, to put to rest my desire to explore.

What better way to experience what lies beyond the pavement of the driveway than a bike ride? I could hardly contain myself at the thought of it.

Again I made my way to my mom. This time I was more eager than the last.

I could tell that the conversation was coming to a close so I decided to make my move.

As soon as the off button of the phone was clicked, I assaulted my mom with dialogue. There was urgency in my tone as I asked her the question I was dying to have answered.

“Of course we can sweetie. Just give me a few minutes to get ready.”

That was enough for me though. I had already made my way through the kitchen and to the garage where the bikes were stored.

The simple minded kid in me was undeniably showing today. I would argue that that is the greatest asset of childhood.

I hopped on my bike and began riding around in circles in the driveway in order to pass the time until my mom came out of the house. Relief came in the form of the warm summer breeze hitting my face as I coasted around on the pavement.

Time began to pass faster and faster now that I was outside experiencing this gorgeous summer day. I had almost forgotten that I was waiting for my mom when she finally stepped into the garage to retrieve her bike. My excitement had returned. I was ready to explore.

We made our way towards the road, squeezing the brakes hard while going down the steep driveway to prevent ourselves from flying into the street.

“Be careful! Don’t forget to look both ways!” My mom nagged at me.

How many times could she remind me? I was ten and by now, the amount of times I had heard this phrase was too many to count. I realize now why she felt obligated to continue to remind me to be cautious in the street.

We made a left turn onto the road after carefully checking both ways. Making a left takes us to the front area of the subdivision, where traffic was the heaviest.

I pedaled hard in order to pick up speed, increasing the distance between my mother and me. I started to sweat due to the heat.

“Hold on Cole! Wait until I get up there with you.” She called after me.

I responded to her by slowing down but I neglected to stop. As I continued to pedal into the three way intersection I turned to spot where my mom was at.

“Noooooo!” She screamed. I turned my head to see what she was yelling at. As I reared my head around, I heard the screeching of tires on blacktop. It was too late. Nothing I could do could prevent the inevitable from happening.

I hit the brakes as hard as I could but the grill of the white Escalade approached my face rapidly. My heart stopped. All of my senses left me. I couldn’t hear or think. I could only see a massive truck come closer and closer.

It suddenly skidded to a halt mere inches from my face. If I would’ve leaned forward in the slightest my nose would have touched the scorching grill of the monster that sat dormant before me.

I slowly regained my ability to think, but I could only ask myself what had just happen. I looked up at the driver who displayed a look of pure horror on his face. He was completely devastated. I couldn’t imagine what it must have felt like to be on his side of the steering wheel.

It was so incredibly quiet in that moment and the silence lasted for what felt like an eternity.

I turned to my mom, whose hand was placed on her chest, as if she was just recovering from a minor heart attack.

I look back on this event and realize that I was wearing a blank expression at that moment. Both the driver of the truck and my mother were still completely terrified, yet I didn’t know what to feel because I didn’t understand what could’ve happened that day.

The difference between kids and adults is their ability to comprehend the reality of situations. I was thinking, “I can’t believe I almost got hit by a truck.” And the driver of the truck was thinking, “I can’t believe that I almost killed a kid.”

I stepped down from my bike and walked over to where my mom was standing. She was just beginning to regain mental consciousness.

She apologized to the driver for what I had done a million times. They were both sorry for what had happened.

When they were done talking, the driver slowly drove away, still half in shock. My mom embraced me tightly and didn’t let go for at least a minute. We began to walk home together while she explained to me the seriousness of what had just occurred.

Even after this happened, I still didn’t understand that I very easily could’ve been dead because of my careless decision. However, reflecting on this event at an older age has helped me find a new perspective on life. I have become so much more grateful for every day because I’ve realized that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.

I will definitely consider the things that my parents say more carefully now. Chances are, they really do know what they’re talking about when they warn you to be cautious about something. I had to learn this lesson the hard way.



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