My eyes slowly opened, the weight of my eyelids pulling against one another. Once I finally forced them open, a great deal of confusion was the only thing that registered in my mind. Though, as soon as that distinct smell of iodoform and plastic gloves lingered into my nostrils, I knew I was in a hospital. Why? There were so many questions I needed answers to but that was the only one I was concerned with in that moment. I tried to look down at my body, which didn’t feel like my own, but I couldn’t lift my head far enough to see because I had a neck brace on that was suffocating me. I lifted my left arm and saw that I was hooked up to all kinds of different IV’s that were pumping a variety of liquids. I tried to lift my right arm and a searing pain shot through it. The majority of it was in my elbow. My hands were caked with dried blood and I was unsure whether or not it was mine. My whole body began to ache and the smell was making my stomach gurgle. I heard a woman speaking on the phone out in the hall but I couldn’t make out what she was saying over the loud beeping of the machines that I was hooked up to. I tried to breathe through the anxiety and panic that was growing in my chest but it wasn’t working. So instead I just tried to take comfort in the fact that I was alive.
A few moments later, a man walked in. He was wearing blue scrubs and one of those masks that hook around your ears and cover the bottom half of your face. I opened my mouth and tried to say something to him but nothing came out, so I cleared my throat and tried again.
“What happened? Why am I here?” My voice was weak and raspy.
The man turned around and slowly walked over to my bed. “You were in a pretty bad accident young man. You’re doing just fine but you’re lucky to be alive.” His tone wasn’t very sincere. Did I do something wrong? Maybe that was just the way he talked. He sighed, “Your mom is out in the waiting room. I’ll bring her back here.”
“Oh Faron,” The doctor wasn’t in too much of a hurry because it felt like an hour before my mom walked in, “I was so worried.” She dropped everything in her hands and ran over to the bed. She embraced me so tightly I thought my ribs would collapse, but I didn’t care. Being held by my mom has always made scary situations a little less scary. Shortly after, my little brother Tyler walked in. He put his hand behind my head and rested his forehead on mine and said “I love you Far.”
I slammed the door and walked out into the brisk, winter’s night knowing that no matter what I did, I was not going back there. I was too upset to care how cold it was. I was done with my mom and her vapid, narcissistic boyfriend. Since my dad died everything went down the drain, including my happiness. I was so glad that my girlfriend left me her car when she went out of town for the holidays because it allowed me to escape when I needed to. The car was started up and I was about to pull away, then Tyler ran out and hopped in. He didn’t want to be there either. We started in the direction of my best friend Grahm’s, because that’s where we always went when things got bad at our house. When we arrived I tried to convince Grahm to go to a party with us; we wanted to have fun and not think about our messed up family. Unfortunately his girlfriend was there and they just wanted to go to bed, so Ty and I went together.
Once we got there we both immediately started drinking. We were all having a great time dancing and listening to music. I knew almost everyone there. I played a couple rounds of beer pong with some friends and won every time. This was the best I had felt in a long time. Until my girlfriend called me. No, not now. She hates when I go to parties. I let it go to voicemail. A drink got put in my hand, I chugged it. A couple minutes later I got a series of nasty texts from her. She knew I was at a party. Another drink got put in my hand, I chugged it. One of her friends saw me and told her I was there. I was so busted. I ignored the texts and went back to what I was doing because I was too drunk to care.
I wasn’t sure when or how we got in the car but when I looked out onto the street I saw two of everything. I looked over into the passenger seat and Ty wasn’t there. It was my friend Nathaniel. But then I heard Ty in the back seat messing with the aux cord.
“Faron you almost killed two people.” My moms voice was trembling. I didn’t realize how serious this was.
“What?” I went numb. My whole body was rigid. Then all at once my emotions came rushing through me. What have I done? I burst into tears and I was shaking uncontrollably. “Where are they? I need to see them. I need to see if they’re okay.”
“They’re in surgery. We’ll let you know once they get out.” The doctor informed me. I didn’t know how to feel. I could go to jail for something I don’t even remember doing. I could go to jail for the rest of my life. Everyone in the room was crying.
The phone rang in the kitchen and my heart dropped into my stomach. It had been weeks of waiting to hear something. Anything. The time was finally here. My mom answered the phone and spoke to the officer on my case for maybe a half an hour before she came into my room. The girls in the other car lived, but they were also under the influence of alcohol. This meant that I wouldn’t have to go to jail, but my license would be suspended until I was 21 and I would receive a couple of other charges. That moment of relief was the first feeling of comfort I had felt since it all happened. One thing I knew for sure was that I would never get behind the wheel with a drop of alcohol in my system ever again.