"Because You're Here"

You never think it will happen to you. Until it does. You hear about them on the radio, on the T.V., in school, from your parents, everyone. The one thing they can’t tell you about, no matter how hard they try. It’s the most terrifying experience and I hope that no one else will have to go through it. It’s a useless and pathetic wish though.

You always hear people say that when they are involved in an accident, their lives flash before their eyes and they have a moment of complete clarity. What a load of crap. Your only thoughts will be on what is happening, are your passengers ok, is the other driver, am I ok? But it will go to fast to really know anything like that. That’s one thing they got right. It does feel like the blink of an eye, or a snap of the fingers.

To really understand the magnitude and surrealism of the situation, you need to know the entire situation. What happened? Well I have six words for you. I. Was. In. A. Car. Accident. That unfortunately isn’t the answer people are looking for.

It was a semi-normal school day. My sister was sitting in the backseat and we were on our way to pick up her friend, as was our morning ritual. Mackenzie hopped out of the car and went up to the door. Sarah joined her outside and they both made their way to the car. We were all wearing black. There was an incredibly somber mood in the car. And that was to be expected. But me, being me, was always prepared. I popped in a Meatloaf CD and started singing along. As I expected the car’s mood brightened.

Too bad outside didn’t. It was dark and dreary with a steady light rain falling. Traffic was horrible! It took us ten minutes just to get to the gate! We kept moving. Inch by inch. We got to the part in the road where you get to make the decision to turn into Aquia Town Center and avoid a busy intersection, or to go straight to the busy intersection. I sat there for a little bit, thinking just go straight. It’s safer. A bus behind us made the decision to go through the town center. “See Kay? A bus can make the decision! Why can’t you?” Mackenzie said from the back seat. She was joking. “Fine.” I said and pulled out to the turn lane.

I stopped, looked to see if anyone was coming up the little hill. The way was clear till the intersection. So I started to turn. Halfway through the turn I heard Mackenzie scream “Kayleigh!” and Sarah was screaming too. I turned my head to look at them. And saw what they saw. I yanked the wheel so that when we hit, at least I would be the most hurt. Not them. This was all for selfish reasons, if they got hurt I just wouldn’t be able to live with myself. Then the cars collided. The airbags blew up and hit me hard in the face. The cars stopped. My immediate reaction was to get them out. “Sarah, Mackenzie get out of the car!” They scrambled to get out. I tried to open my door. But it wasn’t opening easily. There was white powder everywhere. When I finally pushed open my door, the girls were standing there looking at me anxiously.

I tried to start to move and found that my knee wasn’t working the way it should. A man came out of his car and grabbed my arm. He helped me over to a little ledge and told me to sit. I looked over and saw another kid sitting there. He was the other driver. “Are you ok?” I asked. He nodded his head, took one look at me and said, “Ohmigod! Are you ok? I’m so sorry!” I just smiled and nodded my head.

I looked over at my sister and Sarah, who I also consider my sister, and asked if they were ok. They both said yes, but they looked shaken up. Understandable I said to myself. I looked at the car, and I wanted to be sick. The entire front was crushed. The other car? Just missing a headlight. I tried to stand and got really dizzy. The man pushed me back down and said that the ambulance was on its way.

My sister was still freaking out so I gave her a job. Go get the bags out of the car, and call mom. I handed my phone to Sarah and said call your parents. “I can’t get through.” She said trying to hand me back the phone.

“Keep trying. This is important Sarah, please.” I pleaded. She just nodded and redialed. She got through and I heard her explaining. I took a deep breath and looked at the two of them again. They looked okay, a little shaken up but who wouldn’t be? The man, I never got his name, kept asking me if I was dizzy or was blacking out. I replied no.

“The ambulance is coming.” He said for the umpteenth time. “You would think that they would be here faster given that they are just up the road.” I gave him a small smile. And in the distance you could hear sirens. The police officer who was on the scene directed the ambulance to me.

“The others are fine,” He said. “This one is beaten up. She is complaining of her knee and her face is pretty badly bruised and scratched and what not.” The EMT volunteer walked over to me and helped me up. We walked, well I limped over to the ambulance and he lifted me up. He put some strong smelling stuff on a gauze pad and told me to hold it to my face and that it should help with the burns. I didn’t say anything but took the thing and pressed it against my face. The cool, but rough surface of the gauze was refreshing against my burning face. “Talcum powder is a bitch isn’t it?” The EMT volunteer asked. It was so random and honestly, a breath of fresh air that I laughed.

That is how my mom found me. In an ambulance with an EMT volunteer who had a spot right in the middle of his head, that I couldn’t tell if it was shiny from the rain, or if he had polished it that morning. He had a large, handsome moustache that he had obviously been grooming for the past few years. She got into the truck, her eyes red and puffy from crying. Tears still streaming down her face.



It’s been nearly a week since the accident, and my first competition since then. “I can’t do it.” I told my mom. “I can’t march, and my solo is going to fall apart.”

“Kayleigh Anne,” Uh-oh I thought, we are bringing out the full name. “Now listen to me. When you start playing that fife, and rocking that solo, I will be cheering the loudest. Want to know why?” She asked her eyes misting. I looked at her. “I’ll be cheering because you’re here.”





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