Near Miss

January 26, 2013
By Mackenzie Looney BRONZE, Longmont, Colorado
Mackenzie Looney BRONZE, Longmont, Colorado
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Letting a kid walk alone in a blizzard is like letting a blind man drive. You may not know the exact outcome, but you can almost always assume that it wouldn't be good. This was exactly what traveled through my mind on that cold February after noon when I almost lost my life.

In Colorado you can always guess that January will be cold, February will be snowy and April will bring very few showers, leading up to the ever dry summers. During an average year the people will get to experience plenty of blizzards, mornings that start far below zero, dramatic weather changes and the scorching heat of July and August. Which was exactly why it was early February and the snow fell around me in furry blankets so thick I couldn't see ten feet in front of me, and at age eleven I was lucky to be able to tell where I was walking from the sidewalk.

Snowflakes knotted my hair while the well below freezing air blew around my cheeks in sharp gusts, reddening them to the point where I could feel the blood rushing to heat me up. The icy cold wind numbed me all over, and all my exposed skin felt like someone had come out of the white haze to knife me but leave me alive to suffer. My fingers ached from me trying to move them against the cold; it was an extraordinary reminder that I had forgotten my gloves, winter coat and boats, the kind of reminder I didn’t need when I was already so cold. The worn down Converse on my feet did nothing to stop the cold snow, slushy and dry alike, from soaking into my socks freezing my toes so that I couldn’t feel them. Mentally, I cursed the shoe brand for not lining them with fur and coming with built in heaters.

If I had been sitting at home watching some girl stuck in my situation on a television show I would have laughed. It was clear that I was not prepared for a blizzard, even though the weather channels had warned everyone. My flimsy jacket did nothing to stop the cold from reaching me. My lack of gloves froze my finger tips, turning the back of my hands purple as I waited for the cold to seep further in and for frostbite to ruin my hands for good. The shoes on my feet were not made for a Coloradoan February. All in all, every little aspect screamed that I was an idiot for not listening to the news.

The weather itself was admirably atrocious as it beat down on me. There was no beauty in the snowflakes, no time to marvel at their unique shapes and patterns, only time to speed up my walk to my dance class and hope that I wouldn’t catch a cold from turning into a popscicle. It was a thick fog that hung so close to the ground that you couldn’t see where the sky ended and the Earth began, but it was too cold and it melted when I walked through it, going into my skin and clinging on to the fabric of my clothes.

I could feel tears building up in my eyes as I kept walking down the street. Of course if I let the tears leak down my face they would only freeze and scorch my cheeks in a fiery pain from the ice. To make sure that they didn’t spill over my eyelids, I stopped. I blinked a few times and then closed my eyes, making sure that I was ready to continue the walk. I let out a deep breath and open my eyes. At once my breath hitched.

Two beams of light were headed my way, and even with the snow deeply impairing my vision I knew exactly what was coming for me. “How…?” my question drifted off into a piercing silence as the numbness in my legs and the shock that fogged my mind kept me in place as the car sped towards me. My eyes stayed locked on the quickly moving vehicle as it hit the ice awkwardly, the driver losing control and the large truck changing its direction ever so slightly before the driver took hold of the reins once more. If I hadn’t been in its direct path before I was now. I knew that the ice that the car was on was preventing it from stopping; I knew that if I ran even ten feet then I could make it safely out of its way. More than that, I understood why deer stand still in headlights.

Everything was numb, either from the cold or from the idiot parasite that had seemed to have taken over my brain as I stayed perfectly still, not even risking a blink while the car barreled towards me. My fingers were even colder than before and would have hurt more to move, had I had the brain capacity to move them. My toes had stopped whining in pain from the slush that had made its way into my shoes. My hair was getting more and more tangled by the moment, but I didn’t notice as time slowed down.

I was waiting for my sense to come back and for me to run screaming into the blindness that was the blizzard, I didn’t. My fight-or-flight instinct never kicked in as my eyes bugged out of their sockets and my jaw slackened as I stared at the car as it headed for me head on. It was getting closer and closer, I knew this but I stayed stuck in my place as the car made no visible motions to slow down.

Not far enough away, it slowed down. The driver looked as terrified as I was sure I did, panic creasing his forehead, knuckles white around the steering wheel as the large car decelerated until it came to a full rest only an inch from my frozen form. I watched in a dreamy state as the driver breathed out in relief, backed up and drove away. For a few more seconds I just stood there, silently looking at the place where the car had been. Then I slowly retaught myself how to breathe and blinked a million times before walking away.

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This article has 2 comments.

on Nov. 16 2013 at 6:57 pm
Deej6595 BRONZE, Billerica, Massachusetts
3 articles 0 photos 375 comments

Favorite Quote:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

That was a great ending. I love the very last line. The imagery you used was realistic and i could imagine perfectly the Colorado weather.

on Jan. 31 2013 at 11:44 am
SystemTerminus BRONZE, N/A, Texas
3 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Don't make a girl a promise- if you know you can't keep it." -H4 AI C

I'm surprised he didn't make sure you were okay. :o great work on the literature.

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