Everything can change in a second. In that one second, your entire life can be turned upside down, and for me, it literally was. I will forever be haunted by the sound of metal being crunched and wrinkled. The sound of shattering glass or the thud that comes when everything that is in the car with you, suddenly hits the roof. But mostly, I will forever be haunted by the sound of my name being called by the person in the passenger seat: my best friend.
On that rainy night, we were doing what any teenagers would do: just riding around. It was dark, and the car wasn’t that great, but life is great at that age. At that age you feel like you are invincible, like nothing in the world can bring you down. There aren’t words to describe the emotion that comes when you realize you are wrong.
The moment I realized I was wrong, wasn’t when we hit the tree and flipped, believe it or not. It wasn’t when I was taken to the hospital to make sure I hadn’t hurt my head or neck. It was somewhere between the two. I think about the time that me and my friend were both out of the car and I saw that she didn’t have a scratch on her. It seems weird, right? That I would discover that I’m actually fragile after seeing my friend in perfect condition. But, when I saw her like that, I knew that I wasn’t.
Unlike her, I wasn’t smart enough to have on my seatbelt. Unlike her, I wasn’t caught in the seat hanging upside down: I was lying on the roof with everything else that had flown there. And, the glass of the window had cut me. I didn’t realize it until later, but my legs were cut up. Not bad enough that I have scars for the rest of my life. In fact, even now, thirty years later, I only have one faint mark where the deepest gash was.
The rest of the night is still burned in my memory, but it is that one moment of the wreck that I see every time I close my eyes. It is those horrific sounds that I hear every night as I try to fall asleep. A second can change a lot. It sounds crazy, but it changed my life.
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