I'm needing to turn left onto this four-lane street, at 7:02 AM. Going through my mind right now? 'I'm gonna be late. I'm juuuuust going to be late. Maybe a minute, maybe two. But a minute counts. This is high school I'm going to. And we have the late bell.' The car in front of me has his left blinker on, too. We're both at this stop sign, waiting for a break in the traffic. This isn't a stoplight, you know, it's a stop sign. It's a your-call situation. So as soon as I see this guy go, I follow. Raindrops pouring down my driver's side window? I don't care about looking left, I follow this guy. This is my chance. He makes it, but I don't.

Some red Nissan smashes into my back driver's side, going 45 mph. My car 180s for roughly 5 straight minutes, give or take, and then I'm stopped. 

And there's this pause in my train of thought, like my spinal cord's been temporarily disconnected. Total silence. Total stillness.

All the cars around me are stopped. The cars themselves are gasping. The cars are wincing. "Ho. Lee. Shit," the cars are talking. I'm in the middle of this intersection still, and BAM! My brain functions again. I need to get this piece of scrap metal out of this intersection, my brain decides. Luckily, out-of-the-intersection is feet away, so I cruise on out.

Once I'm parked on the side of the street, I'm spilling out of my driver's seat, stumbling onto the sidewalk. The car that hit me had the right of way, and I know this. I'm car #1, cause of the accident, and I know this. And this guy is screaming. "What the fuck were you doing?!"

What the fuck was I doing!? I don't know this.

But I'm gasping and retching on the sidewalk, trying to tell him, "I've got insurance, I've got insurance, I can fix this. I can fix your car." I'm trying, really, really trying, not to vomit. And there's blood running down the side of my face, but I can't feel where it's coming from. I get back in my car, trying to get this old piece of shit glove compartment open (thing always sticks), because I have insurance! And that's all that matters! I can fix this man's car, and all will be well!

The guy comes over, calmed down now because he sees I'm bleeding.

He wouldn't have had sympathy if I was uninjured.

Am I okay? he asks. Yes, yes, I'm okay. I'm so okay that I have insurance. Collision insurance. Your car will be paid for, that's how okay I am.

But I'm bleeding, he insists, let him look.

No, no, no, nonsense, don't look at me, look at this! This, here, is my insurance! Here is my cell phone! I am calling the police to report this accident, as I have been trained to do in defensive driving classes! I can handle this! Please don't kick my ass!

I step out of the car again, and I feel the bile rising seconds before it happens. I vomit. I really, really, tried not to.

"Aww, sweetheart." the man says. Concerned face. Whatever happened to wondering What the fuck I was doing!

He calls the police for me as I retch and retch on an empty stomach. It's only 7AM, I haven't had a chance to eat anything yet.

Then I call my mother. The mother who so lovingly bought me this beautiful 1994 BMW 5-series only months before. My very first car, and I just fucked it up.

She is displeased.

She paid $5,000 for this beautiful hot-rod red 525i, and it'll cost $6,800 to fix. That means TOTALED.

I am displeased. I was so, so, so displeased, in fact, that I ate nothing but smoke for 6 days straight. I still have a gnarly pink scar running down the left side of my face.

Fuck, fuck, fuck.

Fucking teenage drivers.

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