Directionless | Teen Ink


February 9, 2021
By Anonymous

I emerged from the hands of death. I was sweating, but I felt cold. I was so weak, but had an urgency to move. As I squinted past the bright white lights, in a bright white room, I realized I was surrounded by eight towering figures. I tried to make sense of the situation, but I was left bemused. I heard a male voice say, ¨He's awake!¨ But was I? I could not communicate to confirm nor deny the voice. My body felt heavy and my head was throbbing; I tried to sit up, but I was only able to move my arms a couple of inches off the hospital bed. Moments later my arms made their way towards a discomforting piece of plastic lodged down my mouth and I flailed and whined to get it out. I was abruptly stopped and was held down by figures in white coats scrambling to fix the plastic that I realized was providing me with the ability to breath.  At this moment I panicked, unaware if this was a dream. 

As my dream began to fade into reality, I woke up in my second life.

It took me a week to finally be able to breath on my own and regain back my physical and mental strength. Walking without assistance was a feat in itself. The most devastating and challenging part of the trauma I sustained was the effect on my memory. I had difficulties remembering faces and recalling events. It felt as though a part of me was left behind in the accident. During this time of rediscovering life, I slowly learned how my life almost ended. It was a car crash, I have been told. I was the only one to make it out alive. I have been told that my two best friends were in the car with me on that Friday night on the way home from that party. I was left devastated. I could never remember who my friends were. Doctors explained to me that they found me at the sight of the crash. I had a life threatening case of internal bleeding and  had to be put in a medically induced coma. My parents did the best they could introducing me to family and friends and retelling stories over and over. But it seemed like they weren't telling me the whole story.  My life felt incomplete. 

 After  discharge from the hospital and two months of physical therapy, I went back to school. Nervousness is an understatement. I was a senior in high school and having to put all the pieces of my life back together in an environment I barely remember was an impossible task. I began to experience the true set-backs of the coma. My memory had suffered tremendously and relearning was a challenge but I soon began to slowly regain the basic understanding of my academics. School was one big moment of dejavu.

Soon after my return to school, I was walking down the hall to class, and I passed a boy who I recognized, but I could not remember a thing about him. He had this look in his eyes that I caught for just a moment. It was a look that I had gotten many times before. A look that showed painful empathy. Usually I think nothing of it, but this boy, I knew him. My thoughts quickly changed to something else, I seem to be more easily distracted these days.

As I walked further down the hall I passed by the school gymnasium, there in a glass case were all the schools sport trophies. There was something that drew my attention and kept my gaze as if I somehow was a part of those accomplishments. A memory scurried across my brain, but like a flash of lightning, it was gone. It made no sense. No one ever mentioned anything to me about participating in sports. 

That evening I went home and to my surprise, my parents were nowhere to be seen. My curiosity took over me; that trophy had not left my thoughts. I needed an answer. I roamed around the basement looking for something, anything. Anything that would make sense. A feeling of frustration rushed through me, and suddenly, the memory came back. But this time for longer. At that moment, a red piece of cloth draping out of a box located in the far back corner of the room caught my eye. I threw open the box to discover a jersey. My last name printed in big, bold, white letters across the back. This was my Jersey. Under the jersey was an opened letter and a newspaper. I read the newspaper heading first,¨Local Highschool Star Ranked at #1 Quarterback in The Country¨. I did not believe it. I read further and they really were talking about me. Again the memory came back to me, the connection even stronger. I began to remember more about my life. I then turned open the envelope. It was a letter from the University of Alabama offering a full scholarship for football. Why? I thought. Why was this hidden from me? 

In anger I rushed upstairs and with my jersey in my hand. I awaited my parents’ return. When they opened the door, they saw me with my jersey and gave a sorrowful look. They explained to me that they kept this a secret from me for my safety. Their words enraged me. They figured it was not worth it to tell me because they did not want to disappoint me. I could not play a sport again anyway. 

As an adult now, I still wonder what my life would be like without the crash. My parents finally opened up to me about my football career. Many memories came back to me and in the end, I began to feel more complete. Although the crash devastated me, I began to recover from my accident. After all, I emerged from the hands of death, and shouldn’t that be enough?

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