I can't be blamed. It really wasn't my fault. Honestly.

I remember it all too clearly. My very first accident. It was 2am. A cool night in May. The release of The Phantom Menace was looming on the horizon. Some friends and I were camping out at our favorite theatre. We'd managed to nab the second spot in line, just before about 500 other people showed up behind us. We were going to buy an insane number of tickets for the first showing of what was destined to be the best movie of all time (ha ha).

So, at 2am, people were getting chilly. I volunteered to go home and get some blankets, since I lived fairly close. I hopped in my Mazda Protege and zipped off down a backroad -- a small, hilly, windy road that cut through the countryside and usually made the journey to my house five minutes shorter.

It was a dark, moonless night. I topped a hill going about 50mph. I was immediately blinded by the high-beams of an oncoming car. They eventually switched to their low-beams, but not before my eyes had been rendered useless. Not being an idiot, however, I managed to stay in my lane and not swerve or do anything stupid. Suddenly, in the road ahead, I spotted something. A mere fifteen feet or so in front of me was a huge rock. And I was going straight towards it at 50mph.

I made a split-second decision. There was an oncoming car on my left, a deep, rocky ditch on my right, and a big rock in front of me. I kept the car pointed straight ahead and slammed on the brakes. That did nothing to save me, of course. I hit the rock. HARD.

The rock went under the front of the car, propping it up in the air. Momentum carried the car forward still, and the rock smashed the transmission pan. Automatic transmission fluid began to spew all over the road. As the front end began to drop back to the ground, the rock pummeled the gas tank, leaving an enormous dent but luckily not puncturing it. The rear end hopped into the air.

Finally, all four wheels returned to the ground. The car was still running. I had managed to keep it going straight ahead, despite becoming airborne. I hadn't hit the other car or fallen into the ditch. I drove the car, in a limping, terribly slow sort of way, back to the theatre. It was randomly shifting through all the gears as I drove, and I was sure of the fact that the transmission was dead.

In the end, my insurance company paid to fix the car. The mechanic said I was very lucky that the gas tank hadn't been punctured, or sparks from the rock could have produced an explosion, turning me into dust. *

* SharQ points out that the chances of a gas tank actually blowing up are slim, and mentions that I should probably find a new mechanic. In the mechanic's defense, I didn't hear this from him directly, so it's possible that the person who relayed the information to me either misunderstood or exaggerated in the retelling.

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