To the Other Driver

September 30, 2016
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I didn’t see you coming. If I had, I wouldn’t have turned.
After what seemed like hours of standing in that intersection, I learned
that it was me who was at fault. I was the one who ruined
both our cars, our insurance bills, so much I never knew, and,
I know you are unhappy. I definitely would be too
if a teenage girl’s dumb mistake gave me a stiff neck like mine gave you.
I feel so awful inside, my skin dry because my tears dried,
and I can feel your hate, I can almost hear the snide
remarks you are making to your husband right now.
I don’t know if this apology is meant to allow
you or myself to be reminded that it’s called
an accident for a reason. And neither of us were sprawled
in the road, no glass shattered, no bones were broken.
The next morning came, we each awoke in
our own beds. We went about our lives, our cars in a tow yard.
My dad would tell you I’m being way too hard
on myself, but I want you to know how I felt that day.
I will not easily forget the sound of the sirens on the highway
or the look on your face when I ran over to check
if you were okay, or the sound of your voice when you said you couldn’t move your neck.

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