A brisk New England night breeze made the trees dance as spring peaked around the corner. This particular town was ghostly in its solitude while the vast majority of its people lay asleep. A clear night sky revealed the beauty that lay within the heavens as the collage of shimmering stars and a great full moon illuminated the eerie landscape. As he reached the full extent of his third-shift daydream, Officer Johnson was catapulted back into reality as a raggedy Oldsmobile Cutlass pierced the silence with its obnoxiously loud music and belligerent occupants.
“One, four to command, I’m pulling this idiot over please send back up,” Officer Johnson angrily spat through his two way radio. A zippy few moments pass as Officer Johnson receives the response he was waiting for.
“Back up is on its way Officer.”
Jerry, the obviously intoxicated driver of this suspicious vehicle reacts to a muscle bruising punch from his friend Donny. “Ah!” he exclaims. “What the hell was that about?” He had just been removed from his own particular day dream and was not happy about it.
“Turn the music down and stop driving like a jackass, we’re going to get in trouble.” barks Donny, seemingly more flustered than his friend occupying the driver’s seat.
Jerry was the typical teenager who fit the stereotype that he was eight-teen years old and nothing could stop him. He did not give Donny the time of day as he cranked his stereo even louder in his ignorance. An instant later, Donny’s forewarning becomes a premonition as Officer Johnson’s red and blue flashing lights blind Jerry through his rear view mirror. An extreme flit of panic overwhelms Jerry as he forces the throttle of his automobile as far down as it will go.
“Go, go, go!” Donny screams in an exasperated, drunken manner. Jerry’s mind was already made up. A driving under the influence charge would surely cause him to lose his job. Not to mention the stain it would leave on his resume for future employees as he headed into adulthood. His dreams of a successful career and a happy family would surely become compromised.
Instigating the ensuing police chase, Jerry blatantly zooms through a stop sign at the top of the street and heads towards an extremely bad hair-pin turn. His body reaches its maximum heart rate and the release of high amounts of adrenaline help him ignore the dangers of the situation as he hits the corner at a risky 65 miles per hour. Jackal like screams ring out as Jerry’s rear brakes lock up and he flies into a skid. As his car’s rear end slides out, the vehicle slams into a telephone pole which does nothing but make the skid become more uncontrollable. The navy blue death trap then barrels into a rock wall as its engine is pushed through the floorboards and the front end apparently disintegrates. A burst of blinding white light overcomes Jerry as he fades off into blackness. The emptiness in his brain seems to last a lifetime but in actuality, only a few short seconds have passed. Instinctively, with an amazing amount of fluency, Jerry slams his car into park and exits the vehicle. A dead sprint is reached as police units arrive at the scene. Jerry looks ahead and sees the silhouette of Donny vanishing into the night. “Are you okay?” he calls into the night.
“Yeah! Meet me at my house,” Donny’s voice echoes.
As Jerry hits the woods, he begins hysterically laughing as he looks back and sees an overweight police officer begin running after him. Who did this cop think he was? Jerry had grown up in these woods and his capture by this man was not possible. No longer had he stopped laughing was Jerry met full force by an enormous thorn bush. The sharpened thorns dig into his flesh and leave him laying face down in excruciating pain. Lying on the ground, the pain from the thorn bush no longer worries him. As the rush of the situation begins to fade, he feels his face with a bloody hand and notices his nose is displaced and there is blood gushing from it. He also has a horrible pain under his left eye which he could no longer ignore. As he begins understanding the consequences of this event, he hears a booming voice call out from a distance, “This is the police, come out with your hands in the air.” Jerry jokes to himself and thinks to himself how crazy this cop was if he thought he was moving an inch. A bright spotlight then appears from the base of the woods and it passes directly over Jerry’s battered body as he lay in pain. If it wasn’t for this massive thorn bush altering his escape, the police officer’s spot light surely would have revealed Jerry running. He waits for sixty seconds of silence and when he hears the police cruiser leave the scene, he stealthily slithers through the woods towards Donny’s house.
The ensuing walk to safety was an enlightening and somewhat depressing walk for Jerry. Even though he possessed an infinite amount of potential he was always finding himself setting himself back. In the weeks prior to the accident he had fell back into partying and associating himself with people who did nothing but limit his capabilities. He found it hard to remove himself from this environment due to the fact that these people were his lifelong, childhood friends. He now felt differently. Considering all of this, after looking death directly in the eyes, chills spread throughout his body and he receives an unexplainable feeling of self realization.
Finally, his heavy legs get Jerry to his destination. He lets out a long, deep sigh as Donny’s mother screams in horror at the sight of him. “Oh my god Jerry, are you okay? What happened!” She asks.
Jerry hurriedly strides to the bathroom while offering Donny’s mother a subtle response, “I’m fine. Everything is okay.” As he opens the bathroom door and sees the person staring back at him in the mirror, he loses the compression from his lungs and struggles to catch his breath. He realizes that his entire face is scratched and that he has a massive lump on his forehead. Not too mention the fact that his nose is obviously broken as well as the orbital bone on the left side of his face. He spends fifteen minutes washing the blood off of his visage. He decides against Donny’s mothers suggestions and does not receive hospital treatment. With an overwhelming feeling of embarrassment, Jerry walks back into Donny’s living room and notices Donny had finally made it home. Thankfully and to Jerry’s amazement, he is unharmed as result of the accident. They both decide they are exhausted and would like to go to sleep.
As Jerry lies down to go to sleep, he thinks to himself how truly lucky he is. There are hundreds of different scenarios he could be in and he feels thankful for the life he has. This unfortunate event is life changing for Jerry because it has solidified his transition from child to adult. He now knows to treasure every breath he takes and he also knows he must remove the negative influences from his life in order to achieve his dreams. His entire mind frame has flipped upside down in a positive way. He also knows that in the morning he will have to turn himself in to authorities and face the consequences like a man. As his racing mind slows, Jerry drifts off into a deep sleep.