Everything Changed in a Moment

Published: Tuesday, 19 July 2011 Written by Bernelle Titre

Everything changed in a moment. I heard myself scream as the massive, white truck collided with my new, black Jaguar. Metal screeched with friction of the vehicles. Glass shattered, shards falling like acid rain onto my lap. I was still shrieking, I realised, as my car over-turned. My vision blurred and I developed a pounding headache. I was wheezing, my lungs felt as if they were about to explode. I could hear nothing but my own resounding heartbeat. My hands shook with fear and uncertainty as I unbuckled my seatbelt and crawled out of the contorted heap; glass and metal piercing my flesh.

My heavy eyelids fluttered open. I was still groggy and struggled to sit up, in what I knew was a hospital bed. The horrific scene of the crash played constantly in my mind, the unwanted memory etched into my brain. I recalled the result of the wreckage, my long, blond hair matted with blood, my designer clothes ruined. My parents were asleep on plastic chairs beside my bed and I decided against waking them. With great effort, I put my face into the pillow and suddenly began to sob. I could not feel my legs.

In the weeks following the crash, I tried to adjust to my new wheelchair, but my half hearted efforts proved futile and frustrating. I considered suicide. Surely now, my life was over. I wished that I had died. I distanced myself from my parents and others, rarely speaking or eating. I became pale and thin, losing my tan complexion, full figure and radiant smile.

One day, after months out of school, I locked myself in my bathroom and chopped off my hair ruthlessly and smeared makeup on my face. I was no longer beautiful, I thought bitterly, lunging out of my wheelchair and crumpling to the floor, bawling.

In the summer, my parents hosted a barbeque. They pasted smiles on their faces for the guests, but I knew that they were as miserable as I was. Their only daughter was crippled for life. Again, I went into the bathroom, my place of solitude. I looked into the mirror. My hair had grown to my shoulders and my mother had done her best to make it shine. She had also put on my makeup flawlessly. I looked immaculate- from the waist up. I grabbed a bottle of pills from the counter, not caring which one and greedily swallowed them all as I choked back tears of anger and self-pity. Abruptly, the pills took effect I was mellow and I felt more peaceful than I had had in the year since the accident. I slumped helplessly in my chair and my eyes slid shut.

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