A Losing Battle | Teen Ink

A Losing Battle

December 28, 2018
By cherry-blossoms SILVER, San Jose, California
cherry-blossoms SILVER, San Jose, California
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Golden light enveloped my face, cradling my head in cheerful warmth. I laughed, a high-pitched chortle tumbling out of my mouth upon hearing the boisterous conversation of my cousin and sister in the backseat of the car. Gazing out the window pensively, simultaneously listening to the animated chatter behind me, across my face stretched a contented smile. My worn-out, torn, turquoise backpack lay pressed comfortably against my shins, and I carefully pulled my jacket closer around my thin frame.


I paused to look up in front of me when I felt the car start to slow down in front of a bulky, gray truck doing repairs on the road. A hand reached out of the truck driver’s window, motioning at us to pass him. After an awkward pause of incomprehension, we suddenly swerved left and switched lanes, accelerating toward the next intersection. As I was thrown back against the seat, the red traffic light above us filled my vision, making me yell feebly in protest. Suddenly, the red traffic light above us filled my vision, sending a detached panic in me. Feebly, I yelled in protest of our accelerating vehicle approaching the intersection.


Despite the car rapidly speeding up, time seemed to slow to a languid crawl. Visions of the car bulleting into another and spiraling out of control played inside my mind, as I imagined myself tumbling through open space, whirling in slow-motion, thrown against the sides of the car, utterly submissive to the impulses of gravity. I would be knocked to the ground, smoke around my head like a halo and fragments of burning metal against me sending pain ricocheting through my body. Through it all, my grades, my test scores, none of it would matter. All of my hard work would be vanquished by the turbulent wishes of nature. For how would a 4.0 grade point average stand up to gravity sending steel panels thundering over my limp body?


All that I valued as important in my life, all that I had prioritized, would be inconsequential in the final seconds of my existence. The numbers I had obsessed over, the words that had perpetually filled my thoughts, and the worries that had consumed me would be mercilessly crushed by the inevitability of metal colliding into metal.


However much power we think we have, we are utterly submissive to the will of nature. We presume that by creating powerful, technologically-advanced transportation, we are defying the expectations of nature and rethinking what is possible. Yet, when exposed to nature’s fury, no one is left unscathed. Our crude, man-made inventions stand in pale contrast to the terrifying powers of the world. We are subject to inevitability of time passing, of the wind blowing, of the rain falling. If natural disasters fail to, time will make wrinkles appear, hands to wither up in weak resignation, hair to lose its color. All humans stand helpless to the natural forces of the earth that we pretend to control.

Sitting on the frayed seat of the car, sprung out of the sluggish hold of time, my back pressed against the seat as the car sped forward, I watched the battle between nature and man culminate, rising into a formidable storm. But within nanoseconds, it was over, man invariably losing.



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