My friends and I always planned to go to junior prom, with or without dates. I was going to keep it a secret from my mom, who didn’t think I should go. I even bought my dress and ticket before she found out. She still refused and we got into a huge argument until I called Jenna crying about it and she had her aunt, who she lived with, talk to and convince my mom to let me go.
Obviously, I’d be going with a date. Jenna and Gabe went together, Melanie took an older guy she was dating, and pretty much everyone else went stag.
We rented a limo. It was the first, and probably the last time I’ve ever been in one for a happy occasion. The night was pretty uneventful. Jenna and I got mad at Melanie because she grinded up on both our dates, while practically ignoring her boyfriend. I think I ate more food than I danced. There was an awesome nacho bar.
We all got pictures, we wanted to remember the night forever. I actually still have my copy. I got one group picture with my friends, and a couple-y picture of me and Caleb. I “accidentally” lost the one of me and Caleb after I left him that last time.
After prom, there was a “Post Prom” at the school that we’d decided to go to. We weren’t the type of hotel-after-prom teenagers. Towards the end of prom, Caleb told me he didn’t want to go to post prom and tried to get me to go to a hotel with him anyways. I refused and told him I didn’t care if he went to post prom or not, I wasn’t gonna let him ruin my night with my friends. But, of course I was upset until he finally showed up at post prom.
We decided to go swimming, one of the activities they offered that night. Caleb got mad for something I said and refused to get in the pool. I tried getting out to go talk to him and find out what was wrong, but he pushed me. I almost hit my head on the bottom since it was the shallow end. The teacher who was supervising saw and he got kicked out for the night. They wouldn’t let me leave to go with him. He broke up with me, saying I didn’t want to leave. He turned off his phone and told me he didn’t want to talk anymore. He said if I ever called him again, he’d kill me.
Monday morning following prom, he acted like nothing had happened and we were still together. I didn’t complain, I just went along with it. My friends were mad that I’d gotten back together with him, they saw the way he shoved me into the pool. I told them I loved him and they gradually dropped the subject.
Caleb just got his licence and car, and right away my mom enlisted in his help to get me too and from to work that summer. I’d just found that I love Taco Bell, a food that I refused to try until recently. So we made it a habit to stopping there for food before he’d drop me off for my shift.
The car he’d bought was a piece of crap and I hated it. It was a nasty shade of green. I was cautious of even riding in it because I’d heard nothing but negative things about green cars. There was something wrong with it since it didn’t want to start and stay running half the time. It decided to act up in the Taco Bell parking lot that day. It was July 17th and I was scheduled for the 4-8 shift that night.
I was already cutting it close so I told him I’d walk over to work since it was only 2 blocks behind us. I was afraid though because the intersections I’d have to cross were 2 of the busiest in the area.
Halfway across the parking lot, I heard him screaming. I thought it was at me so I turned and headed back. He had somehow managed to crack the windshield. He punched it because he’d been so mad it wouldn’t start, which it ironically did start after that. I said bye to him and said I’d see him later but he told me to just get in and he’d take me over to work. I got in, but voiced my concern about the windshield. He said it was nothing.
We had to cross 3 lanes to get over to the turning lane for the next street where my work building was. He was so upset he was shaking and not paying attention. A car had to slam on the breaks, otherwise it would have taken out the back bumper. I put my seat belt on, work wasn’t even a minute away but I was terrified.
He maneuvered the car into the turning lane. The light was red, but green for the straight lanes. He didn’t look like he should have. He didn’t even stop. He just went ahead to make the turn, and I saw a car coming at us. I put my left arm out to grab the wheel and moved my right one from the window, to across my lap.
I didn’t even hear the crash, I blacked out from fear rather than impact. It was only for a few seconds though. I woke up screaming without even comprehending what had happened. Caleb was screaming at someone and trying to rip off the door on my side. The front end of the other car had hit directly on the passenger side where I was. I kept screaming while he tried talking to me, telling me to calm down. He found my glasses, they’d been knocked off on impact, and put them back on, but it did nothing to help my vision. My eyes had boggled around on impact.
I remember a woman asking if I was pregnant, I think it was the other driver. She later called me in the hospital to tell me she was glad I was okay.
There were suddenly cops, a fire truck and ambulance there. They tried to pry the door off but it wouldn’t budge. Someone threw a blanket over me and told me not to push it off. They had to rip off the roof of the car to get me out. It’s a sound I’ll never forget, it makes me sick and want to scream just sitting here writing about it. I screamed some more, it’s very traumatizing, to realize that you’ve just been in an accident and that they’re literally having to cut you out of it.
Someone took the blanket and told me that they were going to slide a board on my back and pull me up onto it. They told me not to move. The pain I felt when they moved me was even worse than the pain of childbirth. They strapped me to the board and wheeled me up into the ambulance.
Somehow, at some point, I got my phone out of my pocket and saw I had 3 voicemails. I couldn’t tell you who the first 2 were from, one from my mom I think. But the last was from my work, one of the cooks.
“This is Deb from work. You’re supposed to be here at 4 o’clock. It’s now almost 4:30. You’re supposed to call 2 hours before your shift if you wont make it. Give us a call back.”
Can you believe that I tried to push the emergency people off of me and told them to turn around because I had to go to work and didn’t want them mad at me? They either thought my brain got smashed around inside my skull, but they didn’t say anything, they just kept checking me.
I pushed one of them away and sat up, until I screamed in pain anyways. They told me I had to lay still. I told them I was going to go to sleep but they told me I wasn’t aloud to. They asked why I wanted to sleep and I told them “It’ll take away the pain”. They again told me I couldn’t sleep yet.
I think I passed out anyways because I remember nothing more until we got to the hospital. I knew we were in the E.R. but couldn’t tell anything more than that. I was alone and started asking for my mom and Caleb. No one payed me any attention.
When my mom did get there, I was so scared. I started crying and asked her not to hate me because I loved her and didn’t want to make her mad. She told me not to worry about anything right then and that we’d talk later.
My step-dad, who took the call from Caleb about the accident is the one who called and told my mom. He loaded up his son and daughter in the van he had and headed for the hospital where Caleb said they were taking me. He later told me that when they were almost there, they were stopped at a red light, and watched my mom run a yellow one with a cop behind her, his lights lit up. I’m not sure if the cop part is true, but my mom told me she hit 80 on her way to the hospital.
My mom sat with me while we waited to get x-rays done. I couldn’t move, I was still strapped to the board. They had to insert a catheter since I kept complaining about having to pee.
After they had taken the x-rays, Caleb and his parents showed up and waited with us for a little while. I didn’t want him to leave and made him hold my hand. I’m not sure what my mom said to his parents but they left not long after getting there.
It was determined that I had a fractured tailbone, and fractured right hip. If I wouldn’t have put my seat belt on before the turn, I would have been launched out the driver side window and most likely died. I spent 3 days in the hospital for observation. Caleb came to see me each day, even though my mom didn’t want him there. She filed a Restraining Order against him the very next day. After I found out, I did everything to defy it anyways.
Only one friend bothered to call me in the hospital, Kaylee. She called once every day, each time apologizing for not being able to make it in to see me. She was younger than me and her mom wasn’t much for taking her places. No friends came to see me. I’m not sure if it’s because they didn’t know I’d been in an accident, or they just didn’t care because it had to do with Caleb.
I spent my 17th birthday on bed rest. I had to use a walker to get around, and in the beginning I needed my moms help to use the bathroom and to shower. The walls of my bedroom was all I saw for almost 2 months. They refused to let Caleb see me, but permitted him to call (mostly because they didn’t know he’d bought me a new phone and gave it to me before I left the hospital).
I didn’t really have physical therapy but I do remember having to see some sort of specialist to make sure my fractures were healing on their own. The doctors there told me that I’d be lucky if I ever got pregnant and delivered a baby without any complications. But I think doctors just say that kind of stuff to try and restore your faith in them when you overcome what they say was impossible. (I say this because I am now a married mother of 2 and pregnant with a third.)
I spent nearly another 2 years with Caleb before gaining the sense to leave. I never forgave him for the accident. Oh, and I refuse to get into any green colored cars. I always wear my seat belt and refuse to drive without everyone in my vehicle wearing theirs. I double check my kids’ seat belts before going anywhere.
These were two more chapters of a true story by Bree Houseman on figment.com.