Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"That was totally my fault!"

--This is broken into parts because it's a long story and I don't have the time or mental energy to sit down and write it all together. So.. here is Part 1.--

I have no class on Fridays. For the first time in my college career, I get a three day weekend every week. It's a pretty sweet gig, but with this free time, I am supposed to be working this semester and making money to keep me at this awesome university. Since last Friday was my first one off, I decided to go out and apply as many places as possible. I thought Hobby Lobby up at 183 and Lamar might be a good place to start since it is reasonably close to my apartment, the hours are not ridiculous, and it's supposedly a very employee-friendly place. So I headed north on Lamar, realized it was January 22, and called my grandmother to wish her a happy birthday. Because I could not think of an alternate way to get to Hobby Lobby, I planned to go underneath the 183 bridge, turn left, and make a u-turn under the next available spot to get to it on the right side of the highway. The first light before going under the bridge was green, so me and the 8 cars in front of me continued through the intersection. At this point, my grandma and I had shifted our conversation to other things like school and the bi-polarity of the weather the past few weeks. As soon as I got into the intersection (with my green light still present), I saw a streak of what I remember to be blue flying at me very quickly. I did not see it through the windshield, I saw it peripherally through my window when it was about one inch from my car door. It was in that split of a split second, that I honestly thought my life was over.

I don't remember if I screamed in my grandma's ear, but I do remember hearing that unmistakable sound of cars colliding, feeling a force that I've never felt before in my life, and my vision being limited to a sea of blue-green (which turned out to be the air bag). My car kept moving, but I could feel that something was wrong and that I was slowing down. When it went up on a curb and finally stopped, I opened my eyes to see my windshield completely spider-webbed, and took a breath of the smell of airbag. With both hands close to my face (I guess I had moved them there for instinctual protection?), I looked around and said aloud, "I can't pay for this!" What a college kid, right? But I had apparently drifted onto the median that holds the supporting poles underneath the bridge, which means I crossed two lanes of traffic without getting hit again. Incredible. A car had pulled over next to me, and the couple inside rolled down their window to ask if I was okay. Since I could hear them, I noticed my window was completely gone, shattered on my lap, chair, and the floor beneath my feet. I don't think I replied back to them, mainly because I was shaking, in shock, and trying to look around to see what the heck had just happened. After about 20 seconds, an older lady runs over to me and says, "Oh my gosh, are you okay?!"
Me: "... I... I don't know."
Guilty Lady: "I'm so sorry! That was completely my fault! I just wasn't paying attention!"
Me: (still shaking) "... Okay...?"
She ran back over to what was apparently her vehicle, which was still back in the intersection.

At this point, the couple got out and told me that I was bleeding. I looked in the rear view mirror, saw the blood all over my chin, and simply said, "SonuvaBITCH!" The guy asked once again if I was generally okay, to which I replied, "I think so, yeah." As I heard him calling 911 and reporting where the accident was and what had happened, the lady asked if I had any family in town that she could call.
Me: (Keep in mind, this is amidst tears of shock, a VERY shaky voice, and quick and shallow breaths) "No, I'm not from here. I'm a student."
Lady: "Okay, any friends to come pick you up?"
Me: "They're all in class. But we should call my dad. His name is Terry."
I told her his cell number, which I was apparently thinking clearly enough to give, and she called him on her phone. When I looked around and saw my phone and battery separated and mixed with glass on the floor, and the back cover in the dashboard, I thought I was screwed. I HAD to have my phone... I literally knew no one's numbers, and I did not want to go through whatever I was about to go through by myself. As I picked the parts up, the lady handed me her phone so I could talk to my dad. I don't remember what I said or if he could even understand me, but I guess he got the basic gist of what happened.

I gave the nice lady back her phone, then decided that I wanted to get out of the car. About the time I tried to open my door (which was, of course, impossible), I remember hearing sirens, then being told by the guy to just take it easy and sit and breathe for a bit. Another Hispanic-looking guy had also pulled over and brought over some moist towelettes. He put a few in my hand, then placed the other on my chin so that I knew where I was bleeding from. I thanked him profusely for this small act of kindness, he nodded, and walked off. It had probably been about 10 minutes of waiting, when a cop approached my window to check on me. First, I would like to say that he was freaking hot. He was the perfect distraction to a mind in chaos. He suggested that I get out of the car, but said that I would have to crawl over to the passenger side to get out because there was no way my door was going to open. I made my way across the glass that had gone everywhere, and out the passenger door that had even jammed from the impact.

Once I finally stood up, my knees were shaky, my hands were still shaky, my breathing was still very panicked, and I was still crying tears of shock. He asked if I had called anyone yet to come pick me up, and I said that I didn't really have anyone. At this point, he put his arms around me and simply told me, "You're okay. I know that was scary, but you're gonna be alright." A hug was all that it took... I felt better getting out of the car and having someone there to just hold me for a second. He asked for license, insurance, and my story of what happened. The couple was trying to get out of there, so they told me that the police had their number if I needed anything else. Even though I said thank you like nine times, I hope they realize how awesome they really were. Somehow an ambulance appeared; no idea when it got there. But one EMT came over to the median I was standing on and did a few procedural checks to make sure I was okay. Feeling more calm and collected, I told him that I was alright. Really shaken up, but alright, and that I didn't think I needed to go to the hospital.

Mr. Cute Cop walked back over, returned my license and insurance, and said they could find someone to take me home, but suggested I find a friend to come pick me up.
Cutie Patootie: "Any friends that you can call?"
Me: "I have a roommate."
CP: "Are y'all friends?"
Me: "Yeah. Okay. Hang on."
I gathered the phone parts, pieced it back together, and it STILL worked. Uh-may-zing. So I called Camille, but she didn't answer. Then I called Kristy Moryan. No answer. Rachel Frey. No answer. /sigh/ "Well... I might as well go to the hospital. I'm just gonna go home and cry anyway, right?" I had been talking to my dad off and on throughout this whole thing, but every time I tried, some authority person on the scene wanted to talk to me, which was very frustrating. The EMT finally suggested that I grab some stuff out of my car that I might need. LUCKILYYYY I had a Dillard's bag in the back seat because I bought some jeans with a gift card, so I started throwing in things I did not want to get stolen. I took my CD visor, the flashlight from my glove compartment, my ice scraper, the key chains off of the car keys (couldn't get the key out of the ignition), and my C+ parking permit. My head was working pretty well if I thought to grab the permit, haha.

As I walked around to the other side of the car, I finally saw the damage that had been done. I looked at it only twice because I found that it made me incredibly angry. My front left tire was steaming, it looked like. The was a ginormous indention remarkably close to where I sit. "How am I not bleeding anywhere else?" I thought to myself as I checked my stomach and ribs. There was glass all over the road, and my entire front bumper had been dislodged and was back in the intersection. As I glanced that way, and I saw the other vehicle. Didn't see what it was, the color, or what kind of shape it was in. I just remember seeing that it was way over there and that I was way over here. Kinda weird, huh? I find it weird.

The EMT then told me to get in the ambulance and sit down. I texted my dad Camille's phone number so that he could try to get a hold of her while I did hospital things. I also suggested that he call Grandma, since I had no idea what she had heard. I was worried she was at home freaking out, but thankfully she just assumed the call had dropped. I asked the EMT if we got to use the siren for the ride to the hospital. He said, "No. You're not dying and it costs more money. Do you want it?"
"Any medical problems in your family?"
"My mom has really high blood pressure." (as he wraps around the band to take mine)
He raised his eye brows when he saw it, though he wouldn't tell me what it was.
"I was just t-boned on my side of the car, that's not fair!"

As I argued, we started to pull away from the scene to head for the hospital.

--The next part will be up when I can get around to writing it :)--