Not a Minute | Teen Ink

Not a Minute

April 6, 2011
By ElizabethBlack PLATINUM, St. Louis, Missouri
ElizabethBlack PLATINUM, St. Louis, Missouri
40 articles 7 photos 15 comments

“We were riding in the car.” Why is it so hard to remember the night? There was the party, and then we left to go home. “Me, and Caitlyn. Caitlyn was driving, and I had shotgun. And Lexi was in the back, in the middle. Caitlyn turned the bass all the way up, and we were dancing around like idiots. At one point I waved up my hands and hit Lexi in the face, which is when Caitlyn told us to cut it out.” I started laughing, a lot. Sometimes I laugh at things that aren’t really that funny. There was a pause. “We were all wearing our seatbelts, I know, because I made sure. I’m like the mom sometimes; I have to look after everyone.” I stopped again, and wriggled around a bit so I could sit up straighter. “And then Hanna called. I know, because Caitlyn’s phone was on my lap. I almost didn’t notice, because it was on vibrate, but I thought I felt a bug or something, and when I looked down, there it was. And when I said that Hanna was calling, everyone freaked out, because she was supposed to be in the middle of a date. I told Caitlyn I’d answer it, and slid it open, but she said “Give it here,” and reached out her hand.” Her nails were bright pink, but they were fake. I looked up at her, annoyed, and rolled my eyes. She was in the middle of a laugh, mouth half-way open, eyes shining, when the headlights glared behind her, casting a halo around her body as if she were an angel. “I don’t know what happened next.” The cop looked up at me. “We need you to try to remember. Think back.” My body was thrown forward in one hurried motion. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the steering wheel turn to the right, and the car was spinning, and the earth was spinning. Something pulled sharply against my chest, binding me to the seat, and then the world exploded. I was shoved backwards, the air knocked right out of me. Glass shattered somewhere. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t move, or tell if I was still moving.
“Another accident?” The crackly voice came from nowhere. The cop turned around towards the flashing lights. I couldn’t feel my left leg anymore, but I knew better than to look. The sheets covered it, anyway. “…into a tree.” The cop carried on his conversation with the crackly voice. “Morgan Wilson, Lexi Adams…” There was something, some memory, trickling back into my conscious mind. “Sir?” The panic started to set in. My heart started to beat so fast, I thought it would burst. “Sir?” He turned. My heart skipped a beat. “Caitlyn? Where’s…?” He took off his glasses. “Ma’am. I had a son, once. He made some bad decisions, and they cost him his life. Not a minute goes by when I don’t think of him. Not a minute.” All other sound was instantly muted, and the activity around me seemed to slow. “Ma’am. My son’s going to take good care of your friend, okay? They’ll have each other. Ma’am? Ma’am?” The ambulance doors clanged shut, but as my mother held my hand and wept, as my dad stroked my hair and put his arms around my mom, I just faded down, into darkness.

The author's comments:
Perhaps it was a mistake to give teenagers cars; blown up versions of the ones they used to play with as kids, but 1,000x the danger.

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