1. The crash

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Whenever I was reading a book and came across the line 'everything happened so fast, life became a blur' I thought it was a stupid cliché. Just a lazy way out for the author so that he or she wouldn't have to describe moments that are too hard to describe. A fall. An attack. A break-up. A life-changing moment. Or, like in my case, an accident.

The day started out like one of those days – everything went wrong. I woke up too late for class because Casey, my roommate, had had her friends over the night before, and they had been making noise way past midnight. I'm one of those people that needs at least eight hours of sleep to function normally the next day, which was the reason I slept through my alarm. When I finally made it to class, through a huge rainstorm, it turned out the professor was sick and I had missed the email where it said class was rescheduled. While I normally would have been happy with a surprise morning off, now I was just annoyed – I had rushed and skipped breakfast for nothing. At least now I had the time to get a head start on my philosophy paper that I would have to hand in later that week, a paper I absolutely dreaded. I thought taking a minor in philosophy would be a great way to broaden my horizon and learn some basics. I mean, it's a cool conversation starter when you can explain to someone what cogito ergo sum actually means, or so I thought. Turns out philosophy is way less about philosophizing and a lot more about old white dudes that had sex with young boys (looking at you, Socrates). Anyway, I decided to write that paper and then go to town to buy a present for a girl in my hallway, who was throwing a birthday party later that night. I had no idea what to get her, since I didn't know her that well – and everyone already always gives a bottle of wine and I didn't want to do that, too. While I drove home from class I was going through my options. I always drive to class as my dorms are in a small town a few miles away from the city, which is a way cheaper area to live. I like taking the quieter roads through the woods instead of driving straight through the city, which would probably be faster. However, the greenery of the forest always seemed to calm me. I loved the sunlight falling through the leaves, shining a mysterious green light on everything.

When I drove home this particular day, a million thoughts were going through my mind. The paper, the gift, ways to tell my shitty roommate that I couldn't handle her partying in our apartment every day. It's not that I wasn't paying attention to the road, but if you'd ask me later what I saw on the way home, I wouldn't have been able to tell you. My mind was just somewhere else. The rainstorm of that morning seemed to have picked up as well, and I could feel the wind tucking at my small car. When I neared a big turn in the road, I gripped my steering wheel a little tighter, so it was easier to steer against the wind. But nothing could have prepared me for what happened. Before I knew it, a huge branch of the tree I was nearing broke off and came down. It was so unexpected, my first reaction was to avoid it and throw my steering wheel to the left to swerve around it. But I hadn't seen the oncoming traffic. The person in the other car, that was now right in front of me, honked in panic, but it was too late. I wasn't able to think anymore, and the cliché came true: everything happened so fast, there was nothing I could do but watch. It was as if I wasn't the person in my body anymore – I was just a helpless spectator watching the scene unfold in front of me. And it was not a pretty one. The rain had made the roads slippery and I could feel the tires of my car losing grip on the asphalt, making my car slide forward at high speed. Before I could even think about what was happening, it already happened. I couldn't even reach my brakes in time. The only thing I remember seeing was the red car in front of me, and then I crashed into it at full force. I shot forward in my chair and my seatbelt tore into my body, cutting of my breath and tearing into my skin. At the same time, the airbags came out and slammed into my face. I heard the sound of shattering glass and felt it being sprinkled all around me. For a moment, the world went white and I couldn't see anything. And then everything went dead quiet, the only sound being the rain slamming into the hood of my car.

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