Car Accident

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetI remember the drizzle. I remember the flip flops, the flimsy jacket, the Florida sun bearing down on Cannon and I six hours earlier.  I remember leaving Cannon’s house in Charlotte, wanting to make it back to Chapel Hill before the storm hit… I remember the quick hugs from her parents and the “be careful” from her mother.  I remember the heat on my freezing toes as the engine purred on. I remember turning my Waze App on for directions and waiting until I was on the freeway to call my boyfriend, Nate.

 

Nate, my car is slipping.

“What do you mean?”

It’s slipping. I don’t have full control of the car.

“I don’t understand babe….”

The wheels are slipping on the ice Nate, how else can I explain it?

And then I remember his silence. The silence.

 

I remember the black pickup truck pulling up in front of my car and two guys walking out into the snow.  I rolled my window down and I will always remember their faces.

 

“Hey, are you okay? Do you need some help?”

*******************************************************************

The snow had begun to fall making it difficult to see clearly. My windshield wipers were on the fastest setting. I watched the speedometer as I let it fall to fifty miles per hour.  I focused on the road and the cars around me.  Both of my hands were on the steering urlwheel and my heart was beating out of my chest.

The car slipped on the ice and lost control, it spun until I was facing oncoming traffic on the freeway.  I stared at the looming blurs of lights as my car continued to slide swiftly to the side of the freeway.

I am sure I am going to get hit by multiple cars at once. Steven.  I just talked to my dad a few hours ago… that is the last conversation he will have with me. Cannon’s family is going to be so upset.  How could I be so recklessly stupid. Steven. Mom is going to freak out.  Andy will cope and be alright. Steven.

The back and left side of my small sports car violently smashes into the guardrail.  I look down at my body.  My body is fine; I am not injured.  My car says inoperable as all the lights go off.  I cannot get out of the driver seat since it is pinned against the guardrail.  Nate is still on speakerphone.

 

I crashed.

“What?”

I crashed!

“Are you okay?”

Yea, I’m just scared…

 

Nate tries to keep me calm as the realization that I am alone at least an hour away from my friends in either direction sets in. It is full on snowing at this point and no one can drive to me.  I want to get out of the car and go into the woods just in case another car slips and slams into mine.  But I am in flip flops and a light jacket.   I hang up on Nate and call my dad.  He is in Mexico and the call won’t go through. I keep trying, adding a 1 before the area code.  It still won’t go through.  I call my mom, no answer.  I call my brother in California, he always knows what to do.  No answer.  I am alone and scared and frustrated.

As I sit in my car that won’t turn on freezing because the car is not working, I have no plan.  I have no idea what to do besides call roadside service which will take hours because there are plenty of accidents in snow storms like this one.  My phone is on low battery, I haven’t showered or brushed my teeth.  I am a mess. I am panicking because I have no plan.

Then they came.

 

“Hey, are you okay? Do you need some help?”

*******************************************************************

I was cold, alone, lost, mortified – and they helped me.  They didn’t have to, and yet, they did. They were patient as I made the rounds of phone calls, from the tow company to my dad and back to Nate.  They stayed with me until I was safe.  They did so much more than I can properly describe.  And I wish I could thank them.  Really I wish I could do even more than that: I wish I could send them a card, a fruit basket, take them out to dinner, thank them the way they deserve to be thanked.  Instead, I don’t even know their names.  I don’t even have their numbers.

Maybe I will never get to thank them the way I feel they deserve, but I do vow to pass it on and I hope that everyone else does too.  Do something selfless.  Be kind.  Go out of your way to help others.  It may not seem like much, but it could mean everything to them.

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