Nate Taylor, a 17 year-old boy, pulled out of a popular shopping complex in Seattle. He was driving his father’s 2011 BMW Sedan, and heading for the left-turn lane to get through the intersection. In his passenger seat there was a backpack, two take-out dinners and a large teddybear purchased at the hallmark in the complex. Even though it was night time, almost 10pm when he left, there were lots of cars on the roads. Most of these cars were filled with teenagers or young adults who spent the evening eating out or partying at the nearby club. Right across the intersection was the mall, which would closed in about an hour, causing another rush of traffic. Pedestrians in clothes much too cool for the nippy air walked around in the parking lots and the sidewalks along the busy streets oblivious to the vehicles moving around them. As Nate stopped at the red light to the intersection just as it had turned, he pulled out his phone and quickly typed “Just left work, I’ll be at your house soon ” in a message to a girl named Annabelle, his girlfriend of one year. Nate took a moment to look at the contact picture; it was a photograph of him and Annabelle sitting together on a rock outside of the entrance to his school. Annabelle had blonde hair then, now changed to chocolate brown and Nate hadn’t had his right ear pierced yet. Smiling slightly to himself, he put his phone into the passenger seat with the rest of his things and sat back to wait for the on-coming traffic to cease and for his light to turn green. While waiting, he noticed that the sky was illuminated with the bright, full moon and that you could walk anywhere that night without needing artificial light to see. This was a good thing, as Nate was a beginning driver and disliked having to drive down the long, dark country roads that led to his house late at night. He was always fearful he’d hit his cat. Finally the traffic light turned green, and Nate pressed on the gas to move forward into the intersection. His car lurched forward, and at that exact moment, he noticed a truck speeding though the red light perpendicular to where he was in the intersection. This Ford F-150 was black, detailed on the sides with blue lightning bolts, and had two little horns stuck to the passenger and drivers side windows. The custom wheels on the truck raised the driver’s door almost two feet off the ground, and required a step to be put in so a person could comfortably enter the vehicle. All the other cars in the intersection had slammed on their breaks, avoiding the oncoming car, barreling down on the BMW. Nate too hit his breaks, but by the time his foot hit the peddle the truck had already slammed into the driver’s side of the car. The initial hit was blinding. All the glass in the windshield and the windows on the driver’s side of the car completely shattered, sending sharp shards of glass flying everywhere in the car. The driver’s door caved in, deploying three total air bags on the driver’s door and above Nate’s head. The one on the wheel did not deploy, much to Nate’s surprise. In the blow, Nate was forced sideways into the passenger seat; the only thing keeping him in the car at all was the thin, black fabric of the seatbelt he always wore. The food and drinks spilled onto the floor in a gush of syrupy sugar and gooey sauce, all splashing onto Nate’s now limp body. Nate’s body hunched over the middle console, his head dropped on the blood soaked passenger seat. His right arm was sprawled in an unnatural position, and his left arm was up over the dash and through the windshield. The rest of his body was littered with shiny glass and small streams of red blood, flowing slowly while staining every surface it comes to. The driver of the other car, a large man with long hair and a beard, hardly noticed Nate’s silver car as he sped through the intersection. His wife was expecting him home, and he knew she would be angry if he wasn’t back from the bar before 11. He knew he was drunk, but he didn’t think he was so impaired he couldn’t see where he was going. But, by the time he noticed that the light in the intersection had turned red, he had already hit the BMW. At first, he didn’t realize what had happened. Because he was seated high in a large truck, the crash felt like a large
bump, and only deployed his front air bag. When the car came to a complete stop, he staggered out of his truck and over to the other car to yell at the driver for getting in his way. By now, the people surrounding the accident were getting out of their cars and were moving over to see if they could help the unconscious driver of the BMW. When the driver of the truck started to yell at the driver of the silver car, some people moved to calm him down while others called 911. After the black spots in Nate’s eyes disappeared he could see Annabelle leaning over him, cradling his head in her arms. As he looked up into Annabelle’s eyes, he was confused by the tears welling and spilling over her cheeks. As the tears fell onto her lilac satin top, it blended and diluted the already present dark red blood droplets. She reached her hand out to brush some fallen glass shards from his cheek bone, and he was dismayed when her hand dripped with blood from a mysterious source. He tried to speak, but all that came out was, “Annabelle, blood, what happened?” Her response to his question further confused him, “Honey, everything will be Ok.” He was baffled as she attempted to nurture and console him as she was the one covered in blood. She then moved her hands down to his chest and softly cried. He couldn’t understand what had happened to her. He tried to reach up and wipe blood off her cheek, but his hand wouldn’t move. He then realized that he couldn’t move at all; his other arm, both is legs, his neck, head, were all completely immobile. He was aware of all that surrounded him, the white speckled summer sky, the green leaves wrestling in the gentle breeze, Annabelle’s shallow breaths. He could hear a dog barking nearby and feel the gentle wind as it ruffled Annabelle’s skirt on her lap and beneath his head. Suddenly, he felt himself sinking into the ground, in the pool of blood which surrounded him. Again, he attempted to move his left arm to reach for the now fading Annabelle. He tries to call out to her, but his mouth won’t form the words his mind desperately wants to say. As Nate sinks further down, Annabelle gets up and lays his head gently down into the blood. She stands there and looks down into his eyes, and mouthed the word “Goodbye”. Eventually, as the image of Annabelle grows further and further away, she becomes nothing more than a sweet memory. Suddenly, once the blood fully envelopes him, he discovers he can’t see or, more importantly, breath. Nate is certain he is going to drown when the blackness is replaced by a blinding white light and he finally gasps in a lung full of air. As Nate slowly opened his eyes he blinked from the blinding lights above his bed. He could faintly smell rubbing alcohol, and until his eyes fully adjusted he only knew that he was surrounded by bright white. When he could finally look around, he first saw the mass of tangled cords and wires surrounding him. All of these wires were connecting him to a various array of beeping and blinking machines and there was a round plastic remote in his right hand. His mouth was dry and his lips were cracked and he desperately wanted water. Not knowing what else to do he pressed the button in his hand and turned his attention to the gauze and cast which now covered the vast majority of his body. His entire left arm was casted, as was his entire left leg. There was a sharp piercing pain every time he breathed coming from deep within his right lung and exiting out his back. He attempted to turn and look to the left when he heard an unfamiliar voice call out his name. This attempt proved to be futile due to the large and heavy brace around his neck. He then realized that not one cell in his body had the desire to move and his entire body felt much heavier than ever thought possible. Just then Annabelle burst into the room. She ran straight to his bed and looked down at Nate’s swollen face. She again had tears in her eyes but instead of them being tears of sorrow and grief, her tears appeared to be of joy; as described by the ever present smile that took over her entire face. He couldn’t understand all the words but he thought she said, “I am so happy you are awake!” His whole face felt like lead, so all he could manage was a small smile in return that
was barely recognizable due to the heavy amounts of gauze and the jagged cuts on his cheeks. Annabelle quickly turned towards the door, looked back and flashed him a big smile, then disappeared into the hallway corridor, yelling, “Come quick, Nate has opened his eyes, he’s awake!” Nate looks back up at the ceiling, takes a deep breath, while his heavy eyelids close as he slowly drifts off.