It was a warm October night, the kind of autumn night that is entrancing. I sat on my porch steps waiting for my friend to pick me up. I remember exactly how the warm breeze felt, the way the leaves twirled in the air, and the faint smell of distant burning leaves. I could have sat there all night thinking of nothing at all and feeling a peace I did not feel very often at the age of seventeen. If I would have known how the night would end, I would have stayed. I would have never left my porch.
Breana arrived and I turned into my normal teenage self again. The place we were going was a dead end road (which is pretty ironic) with water on one side and fields on the other. I was excited to be outside on such a beautiful night, so my mood was light and I had a good time. In fact, we all had such a good time that we lost track of time. As soon as we realized we were going to be late for curfew we said our goodbyes and drove off.
The details of this next part are very important. The road was a very windy road, it was the kind of road you truly could not speed on, unless you were crazy. We were two girls, so if she had tried to drive too fast, me being the mother hen that I was would have yelled at her to slow down…because the road was already scary enough. Like I said, it was a windy road and it was dark because there were no streetlights. The next important detail was this: I did not wear a seatbelt before that night…unless I was in the car with an adult who had to remind me to put it on. So we were driving down the road without seat belts. This where my memory gets a little foggy. I struggle with the explanation of what it was…a whisper in my ear or a gut feeling? I don’t know. All I know is the whisper or feeling told me to put my seatbelt on. So I did. As soon as the seatbelt clicked, the car flipped…and flipped…and flipped…
Everything was in slow motion. Breana and I turned our heads to look at each other, both of us raising our hands, not fully understanding what was happening. I blanked out after that. The next thing I remember is sitting in the car and looking over to the empty driver’s seat. Where was Breana? It took a moment to get my bearings before I remembered the accident. I got out of the car and all I could see was darkness. No road, no lights, and no Breana. I found her laying on the ground. I helped her up and I started running but realized I was running in the wrong direction, I must have been a little disoriented, but didn’t realize I was. We ran toward the road and a car stopped to help. They drove us back to our friends, and then our friends drove us to the hospital.
Breana fractured her back and I lucked out and just needed stitches on the top of my head. The police investigated the site and told us they don’t know how we didn’t get more hurt. They explained with the way the car flipped so many times, if I had not had my seatbelt on, I would have been thrown out and more than likely the car would have landed on me.
I have wanted to write about this for a while, but I have always hesitated…all because of the ending. I almost wanted to make up the ending at times because I was ashamed, I guess. I will start with telling you how it should have ended. It should have ended with me thanking God for sparing mine and Breana’s life that night. I should have learned a very valuable lesson that night. I should have turned back to Him and never turned back away ever again. But I didn’t.
Instead, I continued living for myself. I was never a horrible person but I continued on with my selfish ways knowing better. I always knew better. I took a lot for granted in my younger years, especially when it came to God. He never left me, though. He was patient and loving when I probably didn’t deserve it. He never gave up on me.
Sometimes when I look at the cross, I remember my old self. I remember how I could have died. I remember no matter how hardheaded I was or how selfish I remained, Jesus still died for me. All the things in my past have brought me to where I am today so I am fully okay with the ending now. God knew all along where I would end up.