Disappointment, disbelief and fear filled my mind as I lye on my side, sandwiched between the cold, soft dirt and the hot, slick metal of the car. The weight of the car pressed down on the lower half of my body with monster force. It did not hurt, my body was numb. All I could feel was the car hood’s mass stamping my body father and farther into the ground. My lungs felt pinched shut and air would neither enter nor escape them. My mind was buzzing. What had just happened? In the distance, on that cursed road, I saw cars driving by completely unaware of what happened, how I felt. I tried to yell but my voice was unheard. All I could do was wait. Wait for someone to help me or wait to die.
The third maddening buzz of my alarm woke me as I groggily slid out of bed to the shower. It was the start of another routine morning, or so I thought. I took a shower, quarreled with my sister over which clothes she should wear for that day and finished getting myself ready. All of this took a little longer than usual, not a surprise, so we were running late. We hopped into the interior of my sleek, white Thunderbird and made our way to school.
With music blasting, voices singing and talking, it was another typical ride to school with my sister. Because of our belated departure, I went fast, too fast. We started down the first road to our destination. This road is about three miles long and filled with little hills. As we broke the top of one of the small, blind hills in the middle of the right lane was a dead deer. Without any thought, purely by instinct I pulled the wheel of the car to the left and back over to the right. No big deal but I was going fast. The car swerved back to the left, to the right, to the left. Each time I could feel the car scratching the earth with its side. My body jolted with the sporadic movements of the car. The car swerved to the right for the last time. With my eyes sealed tight, I could feel my body float off the seat of the car.
I opened my eyes to see the black road in the distance above me. I could feel the cold ground on the side of my body. I couldn’t move and couldn’t understand why. It had happened so quickly. I lay there until my mind comprehended what had happened. I was wedged between the hood of the car and the dirt. The car rustled, every movement of the car pierced my body. It was my sister. She was okay. I could see her slowly crawl out of the back seat window then tear away. I opened my mouth to yell her name but air failed to escape my lips. Gasping like a fish out of water, I dreamily lied there until someone would help.
I heard an uneasy voice in the distance, “Betsy! Oh my God! Betsy!” It was my dad. I was disappointed and embarrassed of myself. I had let him down. My voice yelled for help as my heart beat rapidly with fear and relief. The car jiggled. I could feel the weight of the car lift slowly off me. For the first time, intense pain struck my lower half. “Crawl out of there,” someone yelled to me. I pushed against the ground with all my might but I couldn’t move. The pain was excruciating, nevertheless I could not feel the lower half of my body. I felt paralyzed. Still struggling to move, I felt strong arms glide around my shoulders and under my armpits. They drug me out of the way of the falling car. My dad had saved me. As I lye on the weed covered ground, several people surrounded me. I dreamily looked around and saw my sister sitting Indian style next to me, plastered in blood. She had run barefoot to the nearest house to call 911 and my dad. She was my angel. We sat there in shock. Was it just a dream? Everything had happened so fast. Every minute lying on that dirt felt like a lifetime. Strangers kept poking every inch of my body and prodding me with questions that I didn’t have answers to. Finally, the ambulance arrived. They rushed over to my sister and I. They asked me a number of questions that I obliviously answered and started to get me ready to go. With a bright orange brace around my neck they slowly pushed me onto a stiff backboard. Each tiny movement they made pierced my lower half like a knife. We finally made it into the ambulance and made our way to the hospital.
My sister and I were sent to Delta Hospital. My sister was all right. She had stitches in her eye, head and elbow. I was relieved that she was not severely injured. I don’t know what I would have done if something extremely bad had happened to her. I was sent to the Denver Memorial Hospital, where I went under surgery that same night around midnight. A plate was put on my hipbones to help them stay together. I was in the hospital for six days and in a wheel chair for around eight weeks.
I have now realized how precious life really is and that it can be taken away in a single minute. This is even easier when you are driving a car. One little mishap can result in extreme injury or even death. I am lucky that my sister is all right and that I lived. I will never forget that moment when I was lying on the ground, disappointment flooding my mind, waiting.