I was in a major car accident on Wednesday. It’s consumed me for the past two days, and I’ve finally found the resolve to write.
I was driving to school around 8:30. As I started down the hill of a windy road, I noticed a white car driving towards me, about six inches over the yellow line. I had an instant to think, “I really hope he doesn’t hit me,” before I felt the impact, and my car spun around to the opposite side of the road, where the another car smashed into the passenger side of my car.
My car stopped moving, and for a moment I was suspended in time, with the scent of gasoline and dust pressing against my lungs. I didn’t get out of the car right away, but sat still, frozen. It seemed unreal. The car that had crashed into my passenger side was blaring, it’s alarm going off. When I stepped out of the car, the first thing I wanted was a shower. I didn’t notice the pain, but on either side of the road cars were lined up, stopped, and I was standing in the middle of it all, shocked. I heard the sound of feet pounding pavement, and a young man with short, spiked blonde hair and black gauges asked, “Is everyone all right? Thank God everyone’s all right!” I couldn’t look at him. A woman with shoulder length blonde hair approached me, asking if I was all right. She guided me to her car, which was parked in a driveway along the road. She turned on the heat, “I don’t want you to get cold.” She asked me questions, “Does your head hurt? What’s your name?” I called my dad, told him I’d been in an accident — the car was totaled. I did start to feel the pain, sharpest in my left knee cap, but which was really only a slight scratch. I didn’t dare touch the right side of my head, which throbbed in foreign, scary way. I was shaking, not too hard, but steadily. The police were dialed, and soon after an ambulance was called, too.
The kind woman who held me safely in her car rubbed my arm, and kept me company until the police arrived. I tried to explain what had happened, but it wasn’t entirely clear. I could state my name, my birthdate, the car I drove, etc, but I hadn’t paid heed to the other drivers, or their cars. The ambulance arrived, and the tech asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital. “Do I have a choice?” I asked. “Well, actually, yes you do,” he responded. I didn’t think I’d have one. I requested to be taken to Bryn Mawr hospital, and sat up throughout the bumpy ride with a lap belt across my waist. I gave the driver directions to the hospital, as his GPS wasn’t working. It wasn’t urgent.
The ambulance tech asked me standard questions, “Does your neck hurt? How old are you? Are you on any medications? What for?” I rattled off answers, gave away my privacy. I couldn’t wait to go home.
I was escorted directly to the emergency room, where I met a nurse. Shortly after Kelly, my Dad, and Jay walked through my curtained room and I smiled for the first time that day. I was very lucky, they all said. And I knew I was. I knew.