I kept on looking back and forth from the clock. Back and forth . . . back and forth, ten minutes felt so much longer when you stared back and forth from it. I looked outside the window at my
1995 Grand Am car, which I only bought a few weeks ago, used, from a salesman. I saw the rain pouring heavily, crashing into the hard cement. I looked at the red paint on the convertible parked two
stalls away from my car and wished it were mine. I imagined myself driving it. I looked back at the clock on the wall. Nine o'clock. I could finally leave my office and go home. My parents would
start worrying any minute. I put my scissors in the drawer, put the letter in my pocket and my chipmunk back in her cage and ran towards the door, opened it, and locked it. I ran down the sidewalk
to the parking lot, all the way to the car, before I got too wet. I struggled to open the car door, but managed to open it. I finally got into my car and closed the door.
I turned the key into the ignition. I floored the accelerator, speeding out of the parking lot. I was in a hurry to get home. I drove towards the back road until I reached a back alley that would lead me to the busy main street. I reached the back alley and turned right into it like I did on most nights. Mud and dirt were spraying onto the sides of my car doors and partly on my windows. I had my windshield wipers on so I could still see. I began to speed up before reaching the end of the back alley and, without thinking; I turned the corner of the alley onto the busy street where it happened. I had seen the car coming towards me.
The windshield smashed inwards, glass flew everywhere. Small chunks of glass flew towards me, but luckily missed my face. Within half a second, another car flew into the driver's side door of my car. I wasn't wearing a seat belt, so the impact jolted me forward, resulting in me hitting my head on the steering wheel. A large piece of metal came out of nowhere and through the wrecked windshield. This is when I felt a jolt of shock. I noticed blood spraying out everywhere. I lay there staring, not fully comprehending the fact that a piece of metal about one foot long and two inches in width had seared right through my left arm, pinning it to the seat. I could see thick, gooey red blood spreading around the car seat. I saw my flesh just dangling and it was starting to turn a dark shade of reddish purple. After the initial shock came the pain. It felt like a thousand knives were puncturing my arm. I had to squeeze my eyes shut to prevent the flow of tears. I didn't realize such pain could be possible. I tried to lean over my left shoulder, but an awful, harsh after-effect of ripping skin and horrible pain followed. Instead, I lay back staring at the ceiling of my roof, not knowing what to do.
Things got worse when smoke rose from under the hood of my car and slowly made its way inside the car. I began to struggle, wanting to leave; my mind was wandering. I was imagining skulls staring at me, laughing, telling me to suffer. I felt like screaming myself.
Damp smoke continued to fill the car interior. It was becoming unbearable and I began to cough heavily. It felt to me that there was no way out. I struggled to find the doorknob with my right arm. The pressure caused my arm to fray; the flesh was being skinned off. I wanted to open the door, but I couldn't find it, so instead I found the already cracked window. With the remaining strength I had left, I punched the window, causing it to shatter; in the process, I broke my hand. A new but different erupted from it. I lay back, almost crying. Blood was pouring at rapid speed out of my hand. I sat there and smiled for a moment, trying to be positive, knowing the outcome wasn't, and looking very appealing right now. I knew I had to do something to get out of there before it was too late.
It wasn't long before I saw bright red flames rising from the hood of my car. I felt the heats lowly increasing, leaving a burning effect on my arm. My arm seemed to throb ten times worse in such heat. I felt more and more dizzy. My head felt like it was going to fall off and I knew something wasn't right, beside my injuries, right now. Trying not to think about it, I lay back wondering if I was going to get through this. I felt helpless and useless. I didn't know what was going to happen. My thoughts shifted to my parents. They must be worried about me right now. My mind shifted blank as the smoke was covering to the point I couldn't see. I gathered the strength to scream a few words.
"Help, somebody, help." My voice was weak and raspy.
I knew tonight may be my last and what was starting to bother me was where everyone was. I was on a busy street and there was no one helping me. I felt like I was on some deserted island or planet far away. I felt like it was me, my car, and the land I couldn't really ay my car since it was totaled but the fact didn't matter. Besides feeling isolated, I felt like and ant nobody cared about, small and overlooked in the world. I remembered something my grandfather would say: "Natalie, you are only small if you choose to be."
Those words rang so true at that moment. It feels like you never actually worry about death until you look at it straight in the face. It is like fingers pinching you and knives stabbing at you, torturing you, trying to take every last ounce of life out of you, but when you get down to it all it is just a part of life.
I forgot all my rumbled thoughts about life when I heard the sounds of sirens. My heart rose to a wonderful feeling. I wasn't excited, or happy, just had an odd feeling. It didn't take long for them to find me. The one firefighter saw my critical injury. I saw him whisper something to the other person. His face was worried. He didn't smile or look directly at me I finally got the courage to ask.
"It's bad isn't it?" My voice was rough and I felt a certain sensation that I wasn't out of the woods yet, but I felt that I was going to survive. Everyone told me I was a survivor. I was lying there waiting for a response.
"You just have some serious injuries, that all," he replied softly.
Before I knew it, I was on the stretcher being wheeled to the ambulance. I was thinking of my parents and everyone. They would all be worried about me by now. I began to wonder if they were worried. I felt self-conscious and that made me feel worse than I did all ready.
The actual ride to the hospital seemed so harsh, I felt like something bad was going to happen. Some bad life-changing thing that I'd never recover from was going to occur. What if I died minutes before arrival? What if the ambulance blow up and everyone dies including me? I hated myself right then for thinking such stupid thoughts; I thought I must be losing my mind and it wouldn't take long before I ended up in the psych ward at this rate.
At the hospital, I underwent some testing and then I was put to sleep. I woke up to see the arid, buff yellow hospital room. It had a light smell of urine and was not the most pleasant place to be. My focus shifted to my left arm, now in tight bandages. I was happy to see that there was no big piece of metal through it. My right arm was in a large cast. I must have really done a number on it.
A nearby nurse walked in to see how I was doing.
"We are glad we got to you when we did, Natalie," she muttered quietly.
"I'm glad they came, too, because I couldn't be dead right now," I replied avidly.
"You take care and try and take it easy," the nurse coaxed, and left.
After the nurse left I lay back to try to fall asleep. I had a rough night. I looked at the clock; it said 1:34 am. I felt better a little better, and some of the pain had subsided. I presumed it was from all the drugs they must have put into my system. At around 8:00am the next morning when I awoke, I gathered enough energy to go downstairs, where I sat to think, and think I did.
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