Everything that day brought me to that accident. I rarely pick up my mom from work, because I just moved into my new apartment. But my family’s second car broke down the week before, so my dad asked me if I can pick up my mom from work. My class also got out early, so I was 15 minutes ahead of schedule. There wasn’t any traffic and I felt good, like life was finally giving me a break. I remember exactly what I was thinking seconds before I got hit. My mom was going to take me grocery shopping and I was excited, because I wouldn’t have to spend money. I was supposed to be back at my apartment in an hour. It’s crazy how that all changed.
I’m blessed that the only physical injury I had were bruises from my seat belt. Those things work ridiculously well, because my glasses flew off my face from the impact. But I was safe in my seat. All of the glass from my window landed on the passenger seat and the driver's seat, but none of it cut me. No matter how unfortunate this accident was and how hard I was on myself, I have to remember that I am alive with only one bruise. I could have been more hurt than I was, but somehow I was safe. I can only thank God.
With all of the damage to my car, the emotional trauma of the accident, the countless hours I was at standing at the scene, I got slapped with a ticket stating it was my fault. Not even a, “I’m glad you’re fine,” from the State Trooper. With little sympathy of all that happened that day, I got to go home with all of the blame. All of the hysterical crying in the backseat of my parents car, because I was the last string of hope to help my family. All of the excitement from getting a head start to my weekend, got taken away from me in a second.
This morning I stood in front of the mirror and I didn’t want to look at my bruises, because I knew they would be there. I looked at my hamper and hid my dress from the accident to the bottom, because I couldn’t accept the fact that this happened. I didn’t want any reassurance that the day before was real life. It felt like a nightmare that I was trying so hard to wake up from. But it wasn’t a dream.
Car accidents are more than just a physical experience. When I close my eyes I relieve the moment I saw the other car and knew it was too late. I hear me screaming, “No” at the top of my lungs once I saw the other car and braced myself for the hit. I see the airbags and the broken glass. I see me opening the door and realizing the car was still moving. I relive it all.
I keep saying, “Why me?” Because honestly why did it have to be me? But I can’t be that selfish, because I am alive and I’m OK. I think the scariest thing out of all of this was realizing this could happen at any time and there’s no way to prepare for it. You can be the best driver in the world, but there will always be other cars that could decrease your safety.
It’ll probably take me a while to shake off this experience, but one day I’ll be living my normal life again, which makes me even more blessed. When I used to see accidents on the side of the road, I used to not even think twice about them. I maybe even called the person stupid for driving recklessly. But accidents happen all the time. The people involved, even the person who was technically to blame, all have lives. They aren’t some person who wanted it to happen. They didn’t want to ruin your day, they didn’t plan it. But the most important thing is, we are both alive.