“Sleep Now, It’s Ok To Wake Up Late”
The car accident played over in their minds, I’m sure. I couldn’t do anything about it though, and it killed me inside; I didn’t want it to end like this. What I wanted, however, hadn’t mattered for years, so I expected my death to be something like this.
You see, I was in that car. I was in that car when the truck crossed my path. I was in that car when my parents drove by.
They stood there, holding each other, sobbing quietly. It happened so fast, too. First, I’m driving home from another bad day at school. I drove home with the thought of my boyfriend breaking up with me in front of the entire lunchroom. I drove home with the dread of my father yelling at me for failing yet another one of my classes.
Lucky for me, I never made it home.
I walked up to my body, seeing the paramedics clean up the dark blood that flowed down from my head. The car accident was all just a blur until I saw that. It flashed in my head: the twisted, intricate design of metal heating and cooling rapidly, the scraping sound of two cars colliding at a speed far greater than I should have been going, and the one lone sigh that escaped my lips when I knew I’d met fate.
I walked over toward my parents and tried desperately to get their attention. Their vacant stares continued to burn a hole into my lifeless body; it was the only thing they could see.
“Mom,” I said. I even screamed it, just to discover the same thing over and over again. “Dad,” the same thing happened.
They closed the ambulance doors and sped away. My parents slowly got into their car and started to pull out. I, however, followed my body.
The doctors rushed about in the back of the ambulance, trying to save the life that was slowly slipping through their fingers; I’d lost a lot of blood by now.
I prayed just to hold on for the car ride. My parents needed to see this. They needed to take their final bow as well.
Finally, the doctors were able to stop the bleeding. Yet still, my heartbeat slowed with every minute that I was in there.
We pulled up to the hospital, and I stepped out of the back, along with my body. They rushed me through the emergency doors, past all the other doctors and into a small room. Almost immediately, they had me attached to tubes and machines I’d never seen before. With the assistance of a respirator, my chest rose slowly up and back down.
My parents arrived soon after. Hours of talking passed between my parents and the man in the white jacket; I didn’t bother to listen, though. All I did was watch myself lie lifeless on the hospital bed. The doctors started to clean up the equipment and stopped stitching the wounds I’d created.
My mother walked over to me and whispered into my ear. I heard it very clearly inside my head.
“I love you,” she said. I didn’t try to respond.
Something wet fell onto my face; she was crying. My father squeezed my hand and pulled away quickly.
I knew what they were going to do.
The doctors had stopped trying to fix me. My mother turned her head into my father’s chest. A wave of relief covered me.
The doctor walked over to my respirator and pulled the plug.
+ + +
I awoke with a bright light shining in my eyes. I blinked, trying to regain my vision.
“She’s alive,” said a shadow that appeared over me.
“That’s impossible,” said another blurry person.
My vision slowly came into focus.
My mother was still being held by my father’s arms. She wasn’t crying anymore, but praising God for my being alive. She ran over to the side of my bed and hugged me gently.
No. Not this. I never wanted this.
A tear rolled down my face as I realized that I was here for good. You see, what they don’t know is that I drove into that truck’s path.
Originally published in Penduline Press