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I Hate Left Turns

by Shelby Larsen 9 months ago in feature
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My one and only serious car accident

Photo by Artyom Kulakov from Pexels

Monday. Halloween 2016.

It was a really basic day, which is why we didn’t see it coming.

I had on my favorite jeans, my favorite earrings. I got out of class at 11:15 and called my “friend” to let him know I was ready for our lunch “date.” (He was essentially my boyfriend, but we were on a “break” that didn’t extend past this day.)

When I look back on that day, I always try to find the moment I knew something was going to go wrong. Many of the terrible days in my life started with an “off” feeling. Part of me believes those feelings, every other part of me thinks I’m just paranoid.

Either way, on this day, I didn’t have that feeling.

Every moment of this day matters when I look back. Our discussion over who was driving. Him forgetting his keys and returning to the house. Every stop sign, stop light on the way.

We were driving South on Second Avenue. We were almost to Old Chicago; in fact, we were turning left off of Second right next to Old Chicago when it happened.

I remember screaming. That’s it. Next thing we know, the car is facing North. The airbags have gone off. There’s glass, pieces of car everywhere. My ears were ringing.

I tried to open my door unsuccessfully. He had to help me across the front seat. As I stepped out of car, I remember spitting out a piece of tooth.

Some lady stopped to check on us. She borrowed my phone to call 911 because I was too shaken to do anything. She sat me down, checked me over, and got my boyfriend’s jacket out of the back seat for me. Pulling the back of an earring off my ear, she made a comment that the earring must have fallen out. She left to go to work at Panda Express; I wish I could remember her name.

I remember checking to make sure I hadn’t peed my pants, going through my purse to see if anything had been damaged. My purse took a lot of the force that my leg could’ve taken. I have a mangled journal and a dented can of pepper spray to prove it.

I don’t know how much time passed before the cops and ambulance arrived. The EMT checked me over. He congratulated me on wearing my seat belt; the giant rash on my neck had already formed. He warned me of how sore I was going to be, and I signed a waiver for not going in the ambulance.

My boyfriend was ticketed.

Tow trucks came to get both cars.

I had to make the call — the mom call.

I had to leave a voicemail, letting her know what happened. I cried. I can’t imagine how she felt listening to that. She called back right away; she was already in her car, ready to head to me.

The next few hours were a blur: the terrifying ride home, hair and glass falling off my boyfriend’s head, the giant knot on the back of my head forming. When my mom took me home, I showered, and she combed my hair like she had when I was a child.

The next week or so was filled with a lot of pain and quite a bit of Advil. In total, I missed three classes and two days of work — an unprecedented amount of time off for me.

And now?

I only have one of my favorite earrings, finding it a few days later in the wreckage.

I have a chip in one my back teeth; my dentist isn’t concerned with fixing it apparently.

And I really hate left turns.

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About the author

Shelby Larsen

Warning: I love messing with your favorite fairy tales.

I've loved writing most of my life. In college I made it my passion, but once I reached the "real" world, I stopped. I'm here to find my creativity and get back to my passion.

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