Before Your Eyes

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A boy is killed in a car crash and his life flashes before his eyes in the most unique way possible.

Submitted: November 19, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: November 19, 2018






Before Your Eyes

I was going to die.

I saw the car speeding down the road directly towards us. I knew at that moment, I was going to die. I, only fourteen, was going to die. My first thought was Why me? I had done nothing inherently wrong. I mean, I hadn’t killed anyone or anything. I lived a normal life, got good grades, had good friends. Why me?

The car smashed into us with brutal force, tossing me around violently. Then, quite literally, time slowed down. I could see the windows being shattered, each individual shard appeared to be moving as if in a vat of Jello. The airbags deployed, but at a snail’s pace. What on earth was going on? Things were now moving so slowly, they appeared to not be moving at all. Were they? Had time officially frozen?

I looked at the shattered passenger window at the world around me. We had idled on the side of a quiet street in order to get directions. We were on a road trip to see my grandma, who lived in Kentucky. The street we were on was in the middle of a series of apartment complexes, but no one was really there. The car had turned a corner, the driver’s head was down, presumably looking at a phone. Now the car was right there in front of me. The driver’s face was frozen in pure terror.

Then something happened. I felt a warm hand rest on my shoulder. I turned to see . . . nothing. No one was there, but I still felt the hand on my shoulder. A voice whispered in my ear. “Fix your mistakes.”

Then everything turned inside out. The world seemed to be twisting and morphing before me. Was this what it was like to have your life flash before your eyes? As soon as it started, it ended. I was somehow sitting at my kitchen table, a macaroni noodle necklace was in my hands. I remembered holding that very necklace years earlier. My sister had made it for me for my birthday. I hadn’t really liked it, so I threw it away the next day. I looked around the room. Balloons and streamers were hung on the walls and ceiling. A large “Happy Birthday!” sign dangled from a window. This was the day after my party! I recalled the voice saying to fix my mistakes. What mistakes did I have to fix?

My sister skipped into the room. “How do you like your present?”

Then it hit me. Fix your mistakes. I was fixing my mistakes. The mistake I had made by throwing the necklace away. I looked at my sister earnestly and said: “I love it.” I put the necklace around my neck, and my sister smiled and skipped out again.

The world morphed around me again, and I was in a park. It was a park I had been to many times. My friends and I were in the middle of a game of pig. I was mid-jump, and the ball had just left my hands. It bounced off the backboard, far from the hoop.

“That’s G!” Someone shouted. I suddenly remembered what was happening. That day, I had been the first one out in pig. I had taken the ball and thrown it into the street out of anger. A car ran over the ball, which belonged to my friend. I had stormed away in anger without even thinking about apologizing. My friend never forgave me for that. It was something simple that he probably forgot about, but, because of that, we had never become friends again.

I grabbed the ball and bounced it to the next person in line. I watched the rest of that game and got in the next, which I ended up winning. After the round, I gave my friend a high-five. As far as I know, we stayed friends the rest of our lives. I never figured out because the scene changed again.

This time, I was in school. I was walking down the halls past the bathrooms. I was confused. It looked like a normal school day. I somehow knew exactly where I was supposed to be going, and I found myself walking to the Science classroom. I rounded a corner to see a girl on the floor, scrambling to pick up her things that had fallen out of her bag. I walked past without giving it a second thought at first. Then I remembered that I was here to fix my mistakes. Was not helping the girl considered a mistake? Maybe my mistake happened later. I forced all other thoughts out of my mind and turned around to help the girl, only to see someone else had already helped her. I felt a pang of guilt in my gut. I had missed my chance. What would happen now?

I received my answer. The world morphed again and I was back in the halls where I had started. I had to do it right this time.

I turned the corner and instantly got on my knees to help the girl.

When I finished the girl gave me a smile. “Thanks,” was all she said. It was small, but it felt good.

Everything changed again, and I was getting out of our car, which hadn’t been smashed yet. I was being dropped off for school.

“Bye bud, love you!” my mom said.

“Bye!” I shut the door and started walking to the school. What was the next mistake I needed to fix? Before I could find out, everything changed again. Had I already fixed my mistake? I was back in the car, so I obviously hadn’t. What did I do wrong?

I said bye to my mom again and closed the door, gently this time. Was that it?

Nope. Everything changed again.

I tried again and again but was always brought back to the same point.

I don’t know why, but it hit me what I was supposed to do suddenly. It took me twenty tries, but I finally got it.

Instead of just saying “bye” to my mom, I said, “bye, love you too.”

It was so simple, yet I had never said it before. My mom gave me the biggest smile I had ever seen.

The scene changed, but it was so different from anything else I’d seen that I was temporarily stunned. There was nothing but black. Pitch black. I looked down to see a notebook and pen next to me on the dark floor. A sticky note was attached to the notebook reading “Write.”

That was all. Write. So I chose to write this. I sat on the hard ground and wrote what you are reading right now if anyone is reading this at all. My life flashed before my eyes in the most unique way I could imagine. I don’t know what is going to happen after I’m done writing this. All I know is that I have learned a lesson and it took me dying to realize it. If any of my family is reading this, know that I love you.





Officer Troy examined the wreck. It was heartbreaking. A family of three had been killed by a careless driver. A boy sat in the front seat, slumped over the dashboard. He looked about fourteen. Blood dripped down his face from several gashes along his cheeks and forehead. The shattered glass had done quite a number on him. The thing that stuck out the most was the macaroni noodle necklace around his neck.

“Poor guy,” another officer said. “Another innocent kid killed. It astonishes me the ignorance of some people nowadays.”

Officer Troy nodded in agreement. He sauntered to the passenger door and carefully opened it. Several loose shards of glass tinkled to the rough asphalt.

Something caught Troy’s eye as he scanned the mess. A notebook sat on the floor in front of the boy. Troy picked it up, noticing how unharmed it was despite the vicious crash.

“Check this out,” he said to the other officer, handing him the notebook.

The officer opened the notebook to the first page. There was an extensive journal entry written. The officer read aloud.

“I was going to die.”




© Copyright 2019 Ethan Crandall. All rights reserved.

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