8:00 A.M.- Wake up, roll over, grab your phone, and check for texts.

8:15 A.M.- Wash your face, brush your teeth, semi-brush your hair, get dressed.

8:20 A.M.- Grab a yogurt, swing on your purse and head to school.

8:37 A.M.- BOOM! Crash your car on I-10… (wait… that was definitely NOT part of my plan.)

Ouch! What just happened? It smells weird, like something sour is burning… What’s that hissing noise? I just crashed… Oh my gosh, I just crashed! Ow, my lip. I’m bleeding… Where are my glasses? I just crashed… There’s smoke coming from the engine, I NEED TO GET OUT. I JUST CRASHED.

Ugh, trying to fit through a semi-opened door against the wall was a struggle. I’m shaking like a Chihuahua. “Hey! Are you okay? I’m going to call 911!” Yeah okay… thanks! Oh no, the police are coming. Why can’t I see?! Oh yeah, my glasses are somewhere in the car.

Fitting into a semi-opened door against the wall is a bigger struggle. Where is my phone? Let’s unlock the car so I can look on the passenger’s seat. Wait, that was such a fail, the car doesn’t unlock… Crawling through deflated air bags in this car was met with difficulty, but I finally found my phone on the floor. I need to call someone for help. I need to call my dad. What is he going to say?

“Do you need to go to the emergency room?” No. “Does your head hurt?” No, it’s good. “Do your neck or back hurt?” No, they feel fine. “Did you lose consciousness?” No, I remember everything.

8:35 A.M.- About to pass the Starbucks and hideous lights on Airway, I got lucky, there’s not that much traffic this morning.

8:36 A.M.- Red Bull advertising van moves onto my lane (the fast lane). I can’t see in front of them. Red Bull van hits the breaks 2.7 seconds after moving onto my lane.

8:36 A.M. (with 51 seconds on the minute)- Piece of sh!... Starts to break. Starts to swerve. AAAAAAAA…

8:37 A.M.- …AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!! BOOM! Crash your car on I-10.

Not a part of my morning routine, but it happened. Crashing your car is not a fun experience; panic and confusion fill your body, and invasive adrenaline flows all throughout. Talking to the police, answering their questions while waiting for a tow-truck to take away your broken vehicle, not what I wanted to be doing at all. “Do you have anything important in your car?” I just have my yogurt. “O-okay ma’am. Anything else?” No, just my yogurt. (It was a very important, very delicious yogurt that I ended up drinking when I got home).

My dad wasn’t as mad as I was expecting, and my mom didn’t freak out as much as I anticipated. Everything seemed to be normal, except... it wasn’t. How could everything be normal when I just crashed my 1995 Honda Accord? When I had just rendered my 21-year-old white car useless? The engine shifted, the right signal broke, the front lights shattered, my left tire popped, the brand new oil I had just gotten changed the day before spilled all over, and the driver’s door couldn’t close. I ended up missing my 9 A.M. class, which the teacher totally understood because she was the third person I called after crashing.

As soon as I got home, I ate chicken noodle soup, and 2 tamales (this incident didn’t hinder my appetite). Then, I took a 5 hour-nap after not being allowed to sleep for 3 hours because I might have had a concussion. When I woke up, I was not feeling any pain (that came later on). I straightened my hair, picked a new outfit, and went to a club meeting at around 7 P.M. (my dad drove me).

The previously mentioned pained decided to surface the second I got home after the meeting. My lower back was as sore as if I had gone to the gym, except... I never go to the gym. It was as simple as, my neck suffered from whiplash. I decided I needed sleep again, so I put on my most comfortable pajamas and attempted to go to bed. I say attempted because it took a lot to finally fall asleep. Every time I closed my eyes I heard myself screaming, and the loud banging of my bumper against the wall. Every five minutes, I remembered the back of the van and how stupidly close it was to me. I kept thinking about all the possible scenarios that could’ve happened, but didn’t. I kept feeling grateful for being alive.

Days after, as I’m typing this, I still feel pain. Not from my back or neck, but this damn busted lip keeps burning and it’s annoying. I’m also feeling pain in an emotional way. I don’t want this to happen again, especially not in my new-but-used 2004 Toyota Corolla that my dad just gave me. I feel safer in this car, except that I can’t help but doubt my driving skills. I can’t help but to feel grateful, and that’s both a blessing and a curse. I realize everything at stake now, and I take life more seriously than I did before.