The Day That Changed My Life | Teen Ink

The Day That Changed My Life

November 1, 2020
By nylah_22 BRONZE, Lawson Mo, Missouri
nylah_22 BRONZE, Lawson Mo, Missouri
1 article 1 photo 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
Live every day as if it’s your last because you never know when it will be.

On August 12, 2019, I woke up like I have for the last 22 years of my life. It’s just a classic Monday morning, you know waking up late,bad hair day, the normal. Well somehow I forgot I had an interview with the world's largest editing company. This was supposed to be the most important day of my life. Well let’s just say it was, but not in the way that you think. Since I forgot about the interview, I didn’t actually prepare for it. As I was frantically getting ready and collecting the stuff for the interview, I remembered I forgot to get gas last night. I was rushing out the door as fast as I could in these stupid heels!
I got gas from the sketchy gas station down the street and started down the highway. I thought I would prepare as much as I could while driving. Can you guess what happened next? A traffic jam. Of course. Why was I surprised, I live in the center of Los Angeles? This is typical. I decided to turn on the radio. While I was stopped I saw a man that was struggling to walk. He had a weird limp and oddly enough I felt bad. He looked like he was in his late twenties, He didn’t seem threatening. So, I rolled down my window and got his attention. I asked him, “Hey do you need a ride?”. He said that he would appreciate it and thanked me. I unlocked my doors and moved my things to the backseat of my 2017 grey Ford Escape.
He calmly got in my passenger seat. God I really wish I didn’t offer him a ride. Suddenly the traffic started to ease and we were moving down the highway. I realized that I hadn’t asked him where he was going, or what his name was. So I asked him where he wanted to go. He didn’t say anything. I thought that maybe he didn’t hear me so I turned off the radio. I politely asked him again. He still didn’t say anything. At first I thought that he may be mute, but then I remembered that he thanked me for giving him a ride. I thought this was strange. I tapped him on his shoulder and that’s when things got real.
When I tapped him, he started freaking out! Like he started going crazy, totally bizarre! It was so unexpected. He started yelling gibberish and screaming really loud. His whole body was trembling like he couldn’t control his movements.

I didn’t know how I was supposed to react. What are you supposed to do in that situation?
Just when I thought it couldn’t be any worse of a day, he went to the next level. He started violently hitting things. I thought that he might break my window or set off my airbag with how mad he was. Then, he tried to grab my steering wheel! I tried to push his arms away, I really did. I guess that this guy actually has some muscles. It surprised me I won’t lie. While I was fighting him off of the wheel, I wasn’t even thinking that what happened next could happen at all. Then it did... all I remember hearing was the horrible sound of metal colliding and rubber burning from tires. That screech will forever be burned in my head.
When I opened my eyes, my car was upside down and I could smell smoke.I remembered the crazy guy was still in my car. I frantically started looking for him but he was nowhere in sight.It’s like he just disappeared out of thin air. All of a sudden I heard sirens. Looking back now I know I was too self-absorbed to even think about what had happened. It turns out that when he grabbed the wheel, he drove us head on into another car. They took me to the most expensive hospital around the area. Why? I have absolutely no idea. I was far from rich. I lived in a one bedroom apartment in the middle of downtown.
I guess I became unresponsive during the drive because the next time I opened my eyes, I was staring at the bright fluorescent lights. My head felt like elephants were practicing tap dancing on my brain. Suddenly a beautiful nurse came in and said that she was glad I’m awake. I guess I was in a medically induced coma for three days. Then it hit me, I hit someone.
It was like I wasn’t present in my own body. I remember hearing what she said, but my head refused to believe it. She told me that I had hit a 33 year old woman. She was ejected out of her car and her head had split. She fractured 7 vertebrae in her back, broke both femurs, and was pronounced DOA. There was no possible way I had killed her. This is just some weird dream I’m having from the accident. They told me that she was a mother of 3, a 10 year old girl, a 5 year old little boy, and a 1 year old baby boy.
I had ruined their lives.

I was in the hospital for 7 days. On the third day I was there, a police officer had come to my room to get details from that morning. I told him everything about the guy who went crazy and grabbed the wheel causing the wreck. He stared at me like I was talking French or something. Then, he told me there were no other parties in the accident besides me and the mother who passed. I told him that there was a guy and they just didn’t look hard enough. He told me that they had towed both cars and collected all of the evidence on the scene.
There’s no way that they have gotten everything, he was real I know he was! I told the police all of the details I remembered of him. I told them that he was around 5”10-5”11, short black hair, and he was wearing a red dirty hoodie and ripped jeans. They said that they would look around the neighboring areas.
About a month later there had still been no evidence of the person I had picked up. At this point I had been released from the hospital. I had also received 10,000’s of dollars in hospital bills and there was no way that I could ever pay those off. The following week is when I had to go to court. I sat in that courtroom for what seemed like forever, waiting for the jury to start the case. The court said that they would have to collect more evidence before they could decide how to proceed.
I had never been more scared,stressed, and anxious in my life. I was terrified. On September 31,2019 I was charged with vehicular manslaughter. They had said I made up the other party and that I was hallucinating him so I wouldn’t blame myself. There was no possible way that I would ever be free again. So now I’m in cell number 287, with 13,000 dollars of debt that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to pay back. So yeah this is my life now and there’s nothing I can do about it.
All I want to say is live your life as if it is your last. You never know when your last day will be and how much your life can change in a blink of an eye. So please just look twice and wait a few seconds because it can save someone's life.
Rest In Peace
Emily Rae Jones
Fly High Beautiful You Are Loved More Than You Know

The author's comments:

This year one of my close family members was killed in a motorcycle wreck so this story is very personal. When I was asked to write a short story in my freshman english class my mind jumped straight to this. I hope you like it!

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