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Guardian Angel MAG
A guardian angel saved me August 4, 2014. It was the summer I turned 16. I was filled with excitement because of my new freedom of driving. I drove cautiously with my new license. Along with this new privilege came new responsibilities. I would rehearse the same routine, call one of my parents, tell them where I was going, who I was with, and when I would be home. It became a typical cycle.
I had been working all day in the hot sun. I was exhausted and ready for a nap. But my stomach told me something different. Discussing with Ellery, we agreed that going to Four Seas Restaurant was a go. Eager to fill our stomachs, we made our way into town. The Chinese food tasted great, satisfying our appetite. After our meal, we had no idea that our day would soon change for the worse.
It takes one moment, one bad decision, to shift your life upside down. I vividly remember deciding to drive fast. Too fast. I came to the conclusion two years later, that that mistake will be with me for the rest of my life.
Ellery and I were cruising down a dusty gravel road on the backside of Headwaters Golf Course, off of Highway 1. I was driving a shiny black Saturn. I was very fortunate to be driving it. It was perfect in my eyes – the fresh smelling leather and the spotless carpet. It even had an AUX outlet so I could listen to whatever tunes I wanted; I loved it. I could see the rolling hills in the distance. Tall pine trees traveled on both sides of the road. The sunroof was open, the warm sun was peering in from above. With the music blasting, it was another typical ride with my friend.
We were enjoying ourselves.
Coasting freely in my car, we came across a loose spot of gravel. Glancing at the speedometer, I saw that it was just reaching 50 mph. The sand was like soup, my tires were lost in it and desperate to escape. My car started fishtailing. In panic, I slammed on the brakes. I now know that was the biggest mistake I made while driving that evening. I instantly lost control. Colors were flying past, faster than I can explain. It happened so quickly. Afraid, I clenched the steering wheel with an unbearable grip, and began jolting the wheel back and forth, desperately trying to regain control. My body became stiff, overflowing with panic. Looking to the right, I took a glimpse of Ellery. Her body had jolted to the left, toward me; She was trying to brace herself. The car was propelling left to right, coasting along the gravel like it was ice. The speed of the vehicle was so powerful it was impossible to maneuver. Moments later, the front of my car smashed head-on into a tree.
My eyes were wide open the whole accident. The car was totaled in seconds. Shards of glass glistened through the air as they hit my face. I heard a roaring sound of the contact my car made with the tree, and the deploying of the airbags. I remember the white balloon hitting Ellery violently. Her body flew back in the seat like a rag doll. My body jolted forward, meeting the seat belt I was thankfully wearing. The glove box on the passenger side was cracked, window shattered, and the passenger door was destroyed. The impact my car made on the tree was powerful.
Guilt overwhelmed me. Ellery could have died. This thought was racing through my mind. It was all my fault. I put her life in danger. I was responsible for this mess. I wish I could go back and avoid putting my friend’s life at risk.
“My life is over. My Dad is going to kill me,” I said.
Ellery didn’t say a word.
“My life is over,” I said again.
I started looking for my phone. I knew I had to call someone quickly. Searching desperately, I finally found it in the back of my car on the floor. I got out of the car and made the call to my Dad. As I listened to the ringing, I noticed the glass embedded in my thighs. Blood was dripping down my legs. I got my Dad’s voice mail. No answer. The same thing happened when I tried calling my Mom. The next person that came to mind was Austin Carlson; we had just dropped him off after we ate. He picked up right away.
“Austin, Ellery and I just got in an accident! You need to come help us.”
“Okay, calm down, how bad is it?” He replied.
Trying my best not to cry, I stuttered, “It’s bad, like really bad.”
Peering back inside the car, I noticed Ellery sitting there motionless. Overwhelmed with fear, I couldn’t control my actions.
“Get out of the car, Ellery!” I yelled at her.
“How?” She murmured. “Crawl over to my side!” I said with sass.
Dodging the glass, she made her way out. I began walking back and forth on the dirt road trying to get ahold of my parents. Eventually they picked up, and said they would arrive as soon as possible. After ending the call, I looked around for Ellery. She was crouched in the ditch sitting silently, arms wrapped around her knees, rocking back and forth. I remember feeling stunned; I’d never seen Ellery so shaken up.
The five minute wait for Austin felt like hours. I was relieved when he arrived. As he stepped out of the car, his eyes became wide and his mouth fell open.
“Holy. Ellery, are you alright?” He asked, observing the passenger side.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” She quietly responded.
We waited patiently for my parents to show up. I was on edge and nervous about their reaction to all the damage I had done. About 10 minutes later, they arrived. They stepped out of the car at the same time, and walked over. Their initial reactions were similar to Austin’s.
“Are you both all right?” My dad asked. We both nodded our heads indicating yes.
“Well, I’m going to make a few calls. Madison, start cleaning out your car.”
We obeyed what my Dad said, and started cleaning out my messy car. Back and forth we went. Carrying handfuls of swimsuits, running clothes and work shirts. It was never ending. My sister at the time was in the driver’s seat cleaning out loose items. She found the guardian angel car freshener my mom had bought me in May. In frustration, I yelled at her and told her to throw it away. I didn’t want it. It was supposed to save me, but it didn’t
do its job.
I could feel tears start to swell up in my eyes. They felt heavy, like they could burst any second. Somehow, Tayah, a friend of ours, found out about the accident. She showed up and gave us both hugs; tears instantly poured down from my eyes. I began to bawl, and gasped for air. My mom walked over and gave us both hugs. Later in the evening, a sheriff showed up to the scene to report the accident. He asked me a few questions, and then had me describe what happened. Afterward, we were released to go home.
This experience was a blessing in disguise. I have impacted others’ lives as well as my own. Classmates of mine have opened their eyes
because of my story, and I have learned to drive responsibly and with caution.
The car I received after the accident is a green Ford Taurus. At this point I couldn’t care less how new it is or what it looks like. I am thankful for a car. The thing I treasure the most about it is the guardian angel car freshener. It hangs proudly on the mirror. In the moment of the accident I was sure the angel was the problem. Reflecting on the situation, I am sure it was the solution. Swaying back and forth, the angel is my sign of safety. I am able to drive with confidence because I know the angel has a plan for me.