Do you remember the last time you had a life scare? With my semi-fear of driving (I live in Massachusetts — it’s a well-founded fear, people) I do often get scared for my life. There are a lot of reckless drivers on the highway I use for my commute to work, many of whom don’t even realize what they’re doing is wrong. It’s a bad habit, I’ll admit, but I imagine my death on the way to and from work way too often. I like to think I’m just protecting myself by being aware of the worst that could happen so I’m less likely to make driving mistakes. It’s probably an unfounded justification though because I imagine my husbands’ death in a similar fashion almost as often. Calm down, Hannah.
Do you have any life scares, car-related or not? Here’s today’s prompt:
Share the last time (or anytime) you had a life scare.
First I’d like to say it wasn’t my idea. A group of my friends were having a “sleepover” of sorts (do you still call it that when you’re college age?) down in PA. The following day we’d all be starting our second year as counselors at the camp I’ve mentioned in one of my previous posts. The last time we’d seen each other the summer prior, one of these friends had a thing going on with a guy who worked with us. It was super minimal — just talking and some letter exchanging over the school year. I mean really….it was basic, basic. BUT. We were all girls and talking love life is always exciting!
I think she really had a thing for this guy because her eyes lit up while talking about him the way mine do when someone offers to buy me ice cream, no strings attached. She told us there was a letter from him waiting back at her parents’ house that she hadn’t been able to get, between finishing up classes and coming down to camp. This was an important letter if I remember correctly, like she thought he was going to tell her how he felt in it. At least I hope it was that important because everyone decided WE MUST GO GET THIS LETTER.
It was already getting late (read, like, 11 pm — way past my college bedtime) and she lived one state over….it’d be about an hour and a half drive, one way. I’m usually one for sleep over anything else, but spontaneity is one of my weaknesses. There were six of us and she had a five-seat car. No problemo. We were able to seat all six of us pretty comfortably with one person folded on the floor behind the passenger seat. All that required was for the person in the passenger seat to move up all the way forward and to keep her feet up on the dash. Easy peasy.
No, it’s peasy; I just looked it up.
Though the drivers in PA are less “Mass-holish” if you will, some of the roads can be pretty dangerous. There are winding roads that are pretty hazardous at night if the driver isn’t familiar with that route (which, she wasn’t…one state over, remember?). We were literally about 10, MAYBE 15 minutes into our trip when we started approaching a sharp turn. The one person in the car who was a resident of the area (she was my bestie actually ❤ 🙂 ) warned our driver friend about it and we slowed down some to accommodate. What wasn’t so accommodating was the gravel littering the road right on the curve.
We started skidding as soon as the car hit that gravel. If there weren’t a guardrail in our way, the whole car would have flipped. It was my side that hit the guardrail. Is it odd that I don’t remember being scared? What I remember is worrying that my friends talking to the police officer who eventually came would lie about why there were six of us in a five-seater. Odd the things you worry about in situations like that. But we were still kind of new at being friends and I didn’t want to think less of them. I guess you can say I have (had?) a problem judging people for doing things I would be uncomfortable doing.
After getting checked by some EMTs who happened to be driving by when it happened (“you won’t be billed since you didn’t call us, we promise”…. we were billed 😐 ), we made the 10 minute drive back to our friend’s house to continue the sleepover.
We sat on the floor of her mom’s little carpeted kitchen to talk about how much we appreciated being alive. Actually I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I wasn’t participating much in this conversation. It’s not that I didn’t appreciate still being alive….it’s more that I had a hard time grasping any other reality. I was thinking about how I wanted to go to sleep, but I didn’t want to be the unfeeling one who didn’t care enough to stay until everyone was done expressing their gratitude.
You know how they say young people think they’re going to live forever? I guess I really was one of those people.
What was a life scare you have had? Link your post below in my comments! You can listen to the same tunes I did while writing — Wishlight | One Hour Indie/Folk/Alternative Mix
If you enjoy this kind of story-sharing/writing-prompt type content, please share it with your writing friends (or any friends and family — this isn’t just for writers!) It will be more fun if you know the people you’ll be sharing stories with ❤