I still remember the car crash that happened when I was sixteen years old in Nigeria.
I can still remember the fear and panic that I felt. I can remember the forest and I get nightmares every night.
Here is what happened
It was a cold, dark, stormy and rainy night when we were making our way back home. Beside us was a huge, dense forest. Thunder roared. The enormous wind rustled the tress leaves from. I was awake. My sister; May was asleep beside me. Her long black hair fell across her face. She looked like she was dreaming a dream that would never end. I suppose she was dreaming about Barbie because she loved her. Dad was whistling a tune by Hawk Nelson which was playing on the radio in the car, while Mum was listening to one of her favourite classics by Jane Austen on her mp3. I was looking out of the window wondering why we even decided to leave my cousin’s house at that time of the night. It was 9:00pm. On the news, there hadn’t been a forecast for bad weather on our way back to Benin.
Then all of a sudden, lightning struck and our car swerved off the road. Dad yelled and Mum screamed. Our car started to roll. May screamed. We slammed into a tree. My head slammed really hard on the window straight from the impact and my world went blank.
Then I woke up.
I looked around my surroundings. I was in the family car and it was stuffy. I could still hear the song ‘Letters to the President’ playing on the radio. The beat of the song gave my head a pounding headache. I was drenched with sweat. My hair was wet. It felt as if I was just getting out of the water. May was laying on the seat with her hair ion her face. She didn’t move a muscle. Something was trickling down my temple. I wiped it using my hand. The pain stung really badly. What I saw made my blood run cold.
I saw blood.
I looked at myself. My blue t-shirt was covered in blood. I stared at my front. Mum and Dad were slumped down on the two front seats. Mum’s book was on the ground.
I looked outside my window. The forest was with tall trees, overgrown grass and it was really dense. The place was quiet and eerie. It looked like a graveyard. Rain was falling hard. The trees looked as if they were going to fall down. Their leaves rustled from side to side. Lightning struck a tree instantly. The tree landed on the ground with a loud bang that made the car vibrate. Thunder roared angrily in the sky. I removed my gaze away from the window. My spine shivered and I put my hand over my chest. My heart was pounding as if it would burst from my chest. The hairs on my back stood on the end. My breathing became faster and faster. I began to panic. Then I screamed the loudest scream that I had ever screamed.
I kept on screaming until my mouth went dry. I couldn’t hold my breath any longer screaming. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I thought everything that was happening was a dream. We were driving then we end up here. It was still. The car was quiet. I touched my sister. She was warm and her breathing was regular. She had a cut from her fore head. Dad and Mum were unconscious but Mum had slammed her head so she was bleeding.
Dad had a huge scar across his cheek. Blood was gushing from his wounds. He had hurt his arm and he looked horrible.
I was sick. I felt like throwing up in the car. The aroma was disgusting. I needed help. I didn’t know my way around the forest. I wanted to get out of the car but another part of me wanted to stay in the car. What was out there? What if I got even deeper in the forest and couldn’t get out? Then I would die a slow and agonizing death.
I took in a deep breath. Dad had always told me that I had to stop thinking negative and now was the time to stop. I grabbed the door handle and tried to open the door but the door wouldn’t budge. I tried again and again but the door stayed firm.
I looked at my right hand side. The door had been mangled. ‘This doesn’t look good.’ I thought.
I looked at my sister’s door. I could easily open it. I removed my seat belt. Blood was smeared over it. I stood up and my head instantly banged on the roof. I crouched down and began to make my way towards the door.
Once I got to the door handle I grabbed it. I wanted to get out of the car. It was a filthy, disgusting prison. The door opened instantly and I fell out of the car and onto the ground.
I landed really hard on the ground. The ground had twigs, leaves and dirt. Prickles were on the ground. Lots of the prickles stuck on my shirt. I bit my lip. My head was pounding. I didn’t move from the ground for some time. The air didn’t smell fresh. I began to throw up on the ground. I looked around. All I could see were tall, dark, gigantic tress and our car mangled up in front of a tree. Twigs, branches and leaves on the car. They must have fallen from the tree.
I looked around again. Then I began walking north. I was making my way through leaves, sticks, branches and overgrown grass. Then when I thought of giving up hope, I saw a pathway with tyre markings on the dirt. I walked toward the marks and I saw the road. I fell on my knees. I had to find help.
I went and stood in the middle of the road. After five minutes, I saw headlights.
I wanted to move but I stood firm. The car was coming at my direction at high speed. I knew the car wouldn’t stop in time. I saw the face of the driver. It was a woman. I could see the fear and surprised look on her face. She screamed when she saw me and tried to stop the car but she couldn’t. I ran to the other side of the road.
The car stopped. The woman then got out of the car. I couldn’t make out her face in the dark. “Are you okay?” she asked. Her voice was shaky. “I need your help. I was just involved in a car accident and my family is unconscious in the car. They are in the forest.”
The woman put her hand over her mouth. She then grabbed her cell phone and called 199. She gave made me give the paramedic on the phone the details of the accident and where it had happened.
The ambulance was there within minutes. I took them into the forest. They found my family and attended to them. They had to cut mum and dad from the car because their doors were mangled.
Then I was attended to. I had a huge cut on my stomach. My wounds were attended to. We then got taken to the hospital.
Mum, Dad and May woke up in the hospital in the afternoon the next day.