A scream pierces the air never heard before. A sharp turn of the neck reveals a silver object hurtling toward you in close proximity. Your eyes blink and your body is rocketed sideways.
Your ears pick up the sound of glass shattering and metal crushing. Rubber burns into the ground. Your life flashes before your eyes and you don't even know what is happening. The thought that this is the end crosses your mind, so you grab the wheel and turn it with inhuman muscular ability. Searing pain shoots through your entire body and suffocates your brain.
Shutting and reopening your eyes does nothing for your blurred vision. In a daze you look around searching for your loved ones. Nothing is making sense.
Instantly, your shoulders heave forward and your stomach flip-flops. Your lungs yearn for air that doesn't seem to be there. Gasping and rasping that you can't breathe, your muscles relax magically and air slowly makes its way into your body. Vision returns, but your comprehension doesn't. Somebody calls out to you and you reply, not knowing the words they said or your comment afterward.
Fully functioning on autopilot, you force your body to get out of the situation. The light from the setting sun makes you dizzy. In the distance, the silver object sits steaming. The air is rent with tormented sounds and your head fills with searing pain once more.
Carefully, you pick out every step to safety as your legs seem to be Jell-O and shaking violently. Breathing smoothly over the pain in your diaphragm is the most important and only thing you focus on as you survey the scene.
Bystanders line the sidewalk with their hands over their mouths in disbelief. An understanding of what occurred comes to your mind and you remember being grateful that you and your loved ones are all living.
This is my personal memory of a car accident I was in a few months ago in Ogden. I remember my cousin, Audrey Zundel, a senior at Ben Lomond High School, saying right after our car was hit that she was sad that we weren't going to be able to go to dinner as we were planning.
Replay after replay
Our van, filled with six people, was T-boned on Oct. 5. I was driving and my cousin was sitting behind me. Our doors took the brunt of it. The driver's seat moved six inches and both cars were totaled. Luckily, none of us had to be hauled away in an ambulance.
I remember seeing the horrified face of the lady in a little white car that I swerved to avoid after the impact. The accident was a traumatizing experience that plagued my mind for weeks after. It seemed like every time I would get lost in my thoughts, I would see that silver car hood right before the crash, and then my mind would be filled with that deafening sound of metal, glass, rubber and screams. It was a shocking experience that I could not believe happened, even standing on the curb being hugged by concerned strangers.
I've heard of people getting into car accidents and screaming at the other car involved. First of all, that never crossed my mind. I wasn't angry. Second of all, the person driving the other car was so upset I couldn't fathom being angry with him even if I was in my right mind. All I wanted to do was give him a hug and tell him it was all OK. For whatever unknown reason, he ran the stop sign and wasn't able to stop in time.
All of this happened while our male friends and family were at a church meeting, so we couldn't alert them to what had just happened. We found a ride home after watching our van be towed away and once I got home, I drove our truck to Chuck-A-Rama, where we were headed in the beginning.
A real eye-opener
Even though it has been a while now since the accident, I am still paranoid going through intersections. I am so grateful that all of us made it out alive. I am also grateful for the people that comforted us after it happened and the chance to live another day.
It was an eye-opener and made me realize that life is short. Life is worth living and should not be pushed aside or idled through.
So take charge of life and always tell those you care about most that you love them. That is a complete cliche, but you really don't know when death will surprise you. Be grateful for what you have and love those around you, for you know not what tomorrow brings.
Taylor Deem is a senior at Fremont High School. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.