You never really think you could die, but really, it happens to everyone. I didn’t I think I would die anytime soon in my short 13 year old life until it crept up with quiet footsteps, and gave me a big slap in the face. It was one of those really hard ones that leaves a mocking red outline on your cheek.
Chills ran up my spine as I sat in the back seat of our Jeep. A shivering winter morning, on the way to church.
Carson, my little brother, was sitting next to me breezing his glove covered hand across my arm chanting, “I’m not touching you, I’m not touching you!”
I had annoyed written all of my face. Even in my freckles. I was about to burst and scream “SHUT UP CARSON!”, when my Mom twisted around and gave me a stern look to keep my mouth shut.
I sighed, as I tried to ignore him. I stared out the window. I didn’t realize how pretty it was outside this morning. The huge blizzard last night had left a sparkling dusting of snow over all the bare trees. But also caused extremely icy roads that is making Dad drive like a sloth.
Our shiny black car stopped when the traffic light blazed red. Minutes from being late to church. But we always ended up being late, somehow. The reason usually involved Carson.
Our light flashed green now, the other one red. In case you didn’t know you are supposed to stop at a red light of an intersection. But apparently the red Chevy pickup truck, with a coating of which looked like mud over it, did not seem to be aware of that.
“DAD WATCH OUT!” I screamed with choppy gasps of breath. The Chevy ran like a bull into the right back end of our Jeep. Where someone named Avery is sitting. That Avery is me. I saw the exact moment he collided into us. He was wearing a drunk face that only half realized what was about to happen.
I shut my eyes really tight hoping I might wake up for a horrible dream. It worked for what felt like forever, but could have just been a fraction of a second. Millions shards of glass shredded my skin with no mercy. My body got crushed into Carson’s as our car tipped over and skidded on those dreadful icy roads. A sharp pain ripped up my stomach. I heard terrorizing screams but they suddenly went distant. I used all my might to open my eyes. The once beautiful white snow was now blazing shiny red next to me. Then everything went B L A C K.
I heard moaning in the distance. I couldn’t lift my head to see who was making the horrible noise. That’s when I realized that horrible moaning was me.
Suddenly, I was at home with my grandma waiting to see my new baby brother. I was 6 years old, and not sure what to new make of a sibling. But when I saw Caron’s cute, little chubby face I became inseparable from him. My parents had to move his crib into my room for a couple months, because I would whine when I wasn’t with him. I knew I never could not love him.
Then, I was at my old elementary school in first grade. I was in gym glass. The first time I ever kicked a soccer ball, at six years old. I knew right then and there that soccer was my passion. If you are six when you realize something it has to be important. I love the thrill of kicking a ball that sprints past the goalies head, and the wind whipping through my long honey blond hair as I run. I knew it would be almost life threatening to live without soccer.
Next, I was at my best friend Alex’s old house. Right after she hopped into her car last summer. She was moving from St. Paul Minnesota to New York. One thousand long miles away. We were those kind of friends who had each other’s back no matter what. We met in first grade and we both love soccer. It was an automatic friendship really. We cried our eyes out together when we found out she had to move for her Dad’s job. I knew Alex is the best friend I will ever have
Next I was sitting on our comfy leather couch in my living room with Mom and Dad. It was my 13th birthday eve. We watched my “first” PG-13 movie so I could say I watched a “grown up movie” before I turned 13. But I didn’t tell them that Alex and I have watched “She’s The Man”, almost one thousand times before. Because, right then I felt so much love for them. I knew then, that I may get irritated at them, but they are but they are most irreplaceable parents I could ever ask for.
What felt like a hundred bricks fell on me as I realized what was happening. At school we watched a documentary about what different people think happens when you die. It was to show an example of opinions. One person in the video thought that important memories run through your head, about things that make up who you are. When… you’re dying.
So I finally figured it out. I am dying.
My eyes opened for the briefest moment and there was a man with sad chocolate brown eyes staring down at me. Under my blurry eyes he seemed to be wearing firefighter uniform. He picked me up from under a car door like I was feather. Then his face showed a hint of hope when I opened my eyes. But then it felt like my body turned off.
My blue eyes fluttered up and down to a beeping sound. When they were at least open enough to hopefully see what heaven looks like. I saw lots of white. Almost everywhere. I tried to sit up from this uncomfortable white twin bed. Then I noticed I had a thick layer of gauze around my stomach and back, a hard pink cast on my left arm and leg, a brace covering my neck, and little tube that is connected into my arm.
I thought I would be fixed in heaven. I also thought I would be crying big gulping tears. But I feel oddly calm.
I looked around the room and saw people spread over small white cushioned chairs. They were sleeping. Other dead people?
But as the blurriness left my eyes I realized I knew these people. It was Grandma, Grandpa, Alex, and Alex’s parents. They can’t be dead though.
That’s when the big gulping tears came. A new wave of hope passed over me that I may not be dead. It seemed too unreal too believe.
Through my crying eyes I saw my best friend starting to wake up in the chair across from my bed. Alex stretched out her arms as she yawned. She looked straight at me, while taking slow blinks. With silent tears running down her cheeks, I heard her gasp.
“Oh. My. Gosh.” Alex whispered. “You’re not dead. You’re not dead! AVERY IS AWAKE!” Her voice escalated from a whisper to a full on scream in quite a dazed voice as she started sobbing. She sounded like she had already given up hope of me living. Grandma and Grandpa, and Alex’s parents had now woken up too, they were staring at me as shocked as Alex. Then started crying as much as me.
“I’m not dead” I whispered with a raspy voice not really believing it myself either.
Doctors came running into my room. They were screaming that I am a living miracle.
They stared at the monitor with big saucer eyes, where the beeping came from. They all had amazed expressions on their faces.
“You are one heck of a girl Avery Johnson.” One of the 3 doctors, this one with the name tag “John”, said to me. The doctors finally looked away from the beeping monitor.
“I didn’t do anything though” I whispered in a raspy voice again because nothing louder would come out of my chapped lips.
“But you did. You lived”
A doctor with blazing green eyes said to a nurse, “go tell her family, after 2 days of being in a coma, Avery Johnson is going to live.” The nurse nodded, then disappeared down the hall. Is my family okay? I thought,Right as I was going to ask one of the doctors, Alex read my mind.
“Your-family-is-okay-Avery-they-only-have-minor-injuries-and-I-can-not-believe-I-am-even-talking-to-you-right-now-I-thought-you-would-never-wake-up-I-love-you-Avery.” Alex talked in her “I have to get all this out or I will blow up tone”, where everything she says sounds like one long word.
I smiled that my family was all right. I love them too much to not have them with me.
“I love you too Lex”
The other doctor started talking about what happened to me.
“Avery Johnson, it is honestly a miracle you lived. You had a laceration in your abdomen that caused excessive blood lose. We put you into immediate surgery. You also have a severely broken arm and leg from the car tipping over and whiplash,” he explained in a calm, British accent. “This one honey, is going in the books, because I had no reason to think you were going to live.” He went on with his fancy doctor tone.
“Did you think you were going to live?” Green Eyes questioned me.
“No, I thought I was in heaven. But I know why I’m alive.”
“Why?” they all asked in unison. Staring at me with big saucer eyes.
“Love. That’s what kept me going. Because without the love of family, friends, and soccer, I felt in those minutes… I would be, well… not here right now. Not alive.” I answered with perfect confidence. In those minutes, I thought to myself.