Dear Everyone Above the Age of Sixteen,
There I was, 5 years old and screaming my lungs out until my grandpa stops the silver, Ford F150. The feeling of my stomach dropping to my feet, my legs tingling, and heart racing is what tears on my little smile and urges the tears to roll down my cheek. The only things on that country road were my grandparents, their truck, and some potholes. It is almost eleven years later now, and I still get those horrible feelings in my body, but now, they make surprise visits every single day of my life.
I beg on my scraped up knees for someone else to take the wheel, knowing that won’t make a difference. I’ve changed now that I am older though. Tears don’t fall as violently anymore. I get embarrassed when I accidently show signs that I am terrified for my life. When my friends want to drive around at night blaring the music, shouting the lyrics to the rooftops, I act excited. Sometimes I even get relaxed, until it hits me again and bam..I’m all tense.
When you look into my eyes, you’ll see fear. You can see my face slowly getting red, and very warm too. My legs sitting on the leather, yet I can only see that, there are no feelings. My long, blonde hair smushed between by back and the seat, very unbothered. Big, blue eyes widen like never before, sometimes a cute, little twitch runs through them. My hands are sweaty, squeezing my thigh, which is so tingly I can’t feel the pain. Trying not to distract the old man or embarrass myself, I blurt out to be careful. The outside of me may look calm, but when I see that green road sign on the corner, the inside of me turns to ashes.
Carleton West Rd. The government has never put one cent into fixing that road, if you would even consider it as one. The path has room for one car to drive smoothly on a good day. You have to drive over those faded yellow lines, but what if another vehicle is racing down the road? What if a huge tractor is moving at the pace of a slug and wants you to pass them, which happens more often than not. When either of those things happen, I feel a sense of fear run through my body, head to toe, knowing that we could tip into those trenches of a ditch at any second. Two feet into the sides of that road, the cement has gone away in patches leaving huge potholes, that the locals try to fill with stone. Those small, grey stones that make it look slightly smooth and even, hit the dusty tires of the newly flipped, spun out car.
My legs go numb, feeling tingly as my smooth legs get the chills. My heart beats fast and stomach drops as if I were going down the Dragster at Cedar Point. Don’t forget that I absolutely hate roller coasters for that reason. My grandpa’s clammy hands grip the steering wheel as the color red drifts through my head. It might just be a graceful bird flying in front of the car, or maybe an old lady in her fluffy robe strolling to get her mail. Either way I am out of breath with my muscular legs shaking as if I were standing in an igloo with only a bathing suit on. The fear of car accidents is something I have to carry in my pocket every day of my life.
When I say in my pocket, I mean the fear is just sitting in the back of my brain, picking dandelions, waiting for excitement to happen. I want to empty my pockets one day, and feel how normal people feel while watching cars pass. My pockets are filled with what feels like black, dirty tires, which are heavy and can’t be flipped by the 400 pound lineman. Putting my tense, clammy fingers in my pocket and throwing the fear of cars on the ground before I pick my foot up and slam it down, lifts a weight off my shoulders. At the moment, a burden sits on my shoulder as if it were the devil.
Not many people know how hard it is to walk around with a fear this big. I want to tell everyone about it for awareness. Imagine making someone depressed and they have depression. That could impact them, just as driving recklessly could affect someone with fears alike mine. Put this into perspective the next time going behind the wheel.