The day of December 1, 2000 is a day I will never forget. It was a Friday. I was involved in a car accident that changed my view on life. The accident was the scariest experience I had ever had in my life. The day had started out too good to end the same. It was something about the day that didn’t sit right in my stomach. The day started out good, everyone woke up on the right side of the bed. Our daily routine wasn’t hectic like usual, there was usually an argument over the shower, comb, brush or something. The weather was even nice, not too cold but just cool enough for a light jacket.
We all had a good day at school. But through all of that I had a bad feeling in my stomach and was wondering why it wouldn’t go away. We all continued our afternoon like a usual Friday, try to get out of the house and have fun. My younger sister and brother had already had plans to go roller skating, they just needed permission. I had usually let my oldest cousin make the plans for our weekend, but that day I wanted to stay home because the bad feeling wouldn’t go away. As the afternoon turned into the evening my sister and brother caught a ride to the skating rink.
I stayed at home taking my hair down in the bathroom mirror and picturing the next style I was going to do when my cousin had arrived. She entered the bathroom and asked me if I’d wanted to ride to Beggs with her to pick up a friend and her children. I told her just to come pick me up when she had gotten back. She begged me to go; I kept giving her excuses on why I didn’t want to ride. She finally talked me into saying yes, I sent her to my mom to get permission for me to go. My mom had come to us and said that we had to pick the kids up by 9 and bring them home then she told us we better be where we said we were going.
My cousin replied “we will, let’s go Steph. ” It was something about that conversation that upset my stomach. We got on our way to Beggs, my stomach began knotting up the closer we got to our destination. Even though the music was playing, there was an awkward silence that seemed to get louder to me. As we entered into Beggs my heart began racing, that was the longest trip to Beggs that I had ever taken. We pulled up to her friend’s house; she honked to them to come out. Her friend has three children, I didn’t know that until then. I told my cousin that she should have just left me at home.
She said that it would be ok and just to put the two smallest in the middle of me and the oldest. Everyone climbed in and I told them to buckle up. Their mom then said that I was okay because we were just going to Okmulgee. At that point the bad feelings overwhelmed me, I put my seatbelt on. After leaving her friends house we went to the filing station. My cousin pulled up to a gas pump and asked me to go in and pay after she filled the tank. My heart began pounding hard and slow I could hear it beating in my ears like I had a stethoscope in them.
My cousin got out then I climbed out of the back behind her. While we were standing outside the car I told her to take the faster highway back to Okmulgee. I was so adamant on us taking the faster highway that she finally agreed to go that way. My bad feelings eased up because she told me she would. I went in to pay and as I approached the car the wind seemed to pick up a bit and things seemed to be in slow motion. As we pulled out of the filing station I began feeling better until she made a right turn. I demanded that she turn around and go the way I told her.
She replied “this way is going to take us right where we need to take her. ” At that point I couldn’t do anything but begin praying to myself for a safe trip home. Before I could get to Amen, she lost control of the car. The car began swerving left then right, the next thing I knew we were in the air. I began praying even harder thinking about the full tank of gas in the car. My heart skipped a few beats, as we were airborne. We flew over a fence that was about four and a half feet tall and landed upright on top of a hill the impact caused us to begin to roll.
As we were rolling I began sliding out of my seatbelt when we were upside down I shattered the back windshield with my right side. I had to pull myself back in while still rolling and at the same time I kept the children from flying out of the back windshield. The children were screaming and crying and my cousin and friend had fallen unconscious in the front seat. We rolled at least six times before coming to a stop upright at the bottom of the hill. I was frightened and panicking because the children were shook up and still screaming and I couldn’t get my cousin and her friend to wake up.
After getting my cousin to finally wake up she got out and began running toward the lights behind us. The lights were coming from someone’s house. I began running behind her after realizing how bad I was bleeding on my side and out of my right hand. When we reached the house my cousin had called 911 then called my mom. I heard my mom yelling at her “what the hell are you doing coming from Beggs?! ” that’s when I realized she had lied about where we going. When she got the phone with my mom I asked her if she had lied and where were we supposed to really be.
She told me we were supposed to be at another friend of hers house which stayed four blocks up the street from my mom’s house. I got so upset that if I were a teapot I would have been squealing. My cousin had never lied before. When family arrived they were all a bit upset. We had no business in Beggs. My mom was the most upset because she had just told us less than thirty minutes before she had gotten the call that we better be where she had asked to go. I ended up with the most injuries and almost lost the middle finger on my right hand.
My cousin just ended up with a totaled car and a little sore. Everyone else was just pretty much shook up. The accident taught me three valuable lessons about lying to people. The first lesson is to never lie. From that day on I vowed to never lie because something as tragic as the car accident could happen. The second lesson is to listen to my gut instinct. I wasn’t feeling like that for no reason. The third lesson is to keep God in everything I do. I thank God that the accident didn’t turn out worse than what it did.