Reborn to Die Again

Amanda Pedersen

© Copyright 2019 by Amanda Pedersen

Photo of a wrecked white car.

The engine of my white Mini Cooper sputtered. The winter’s weather was harsh, and the roads weren’t any better. They were slippery, ice strewn. The temperature gage shows fourteen degrees below zero. Wrapped up in my wool coat, the cold didn’t faze me.

I continued driving along the winding roads, heading towards my monotonous office where I’d worked for three months. I didn’t enjoy work, never had, but it is a necessity for my survival in the adult world. Working an office job, even worse. When I was young, I never dreamed to be working as an administrative assistant at a soap company, who would? Sadly, this is all my future had entailed as I got kicked out of college after one semester. I’d always dreamed of being a singer, but my parents never encouraged me to pursue it.

I’m the kind of person who doesn’t enjoy being surrounded by people. In my opinion, people are just there to make life less boring. I’m not a loner or anything but I really do know how it feels to get screwed over. My family and I have never been close. I used to be a pretty fucked up kid. My friends and I are, “close,” but I really try not to spend much time with them. Some people may call me selfish, but I prefer to think of it as smarts and self defense.

After work I met with two of my somewhat friends, Tiana and Cali, at the Opal bar. Karaoke night and we hadn’t gone in a while. We drank shots of our favorite whisky, ate big plates of appetizers and sang all night long. I hadn’t had fun like that in a long time. I missed it. Since I had been drinking, I knew it was a bad idea to drive home, but I sure as hell didn’t want to leave my car. I’d have to cab all the way home and then cab back there in the morning and grab my car. What a waste of money.

I hopped in the leather front seat of my car and cranked up the heat. I drove along the endless roads, slowly and carefully, but I couldn’t help that the road was slippery.

My tires rotated, and the steering wheel spun out uncontrollably. The car skidded across the ice. My heart sunk. I could feel a legitimate lump in my stomach. It all happened too fast to even remember. The car flipped onto its side. The glass shattered, and I could feel it lodge itself into my fragile skin.

My head smashed the cement.

When I opened my eyes, I was lying motionless on the street. All citizens and cars surrounded me. The flashing lights of the ambulance were just blurry colors I could see from the corners of my eyes. I lay on the street, motionless. It’s not like I didn’t try to move, I did. I couldn’t feel my body. It felt like it wasn’t me lying on the street.

I’d never known what it was like to experience life in third person until then. It felt like I watched the whole thing happen. It couldn’t be real, no chance. Seeing myself get carried into the ambulance. Seeing my car completely destroyed and sideways on the side of the street. Seeing the citizens around with looks of shock on their face. It was unreal, seriously unreal.

I knew I was in the hospital bed. I could hear the doctors talking around me. I knew I was in an insane amount of pain, but I couldn’t open my eyes. I couldn’t bring myself to move or wake up.

I was stuck inside my own head.

My friends visited me, I heard their voices. My family, my coworkers, even some of my old high school buddies came. I felt loved. That’s the only thing I could feel. My toes, fingers, legs arms body, eyes, I couldn’t move a thing. I couldn’t feel a thing.

Was I paralyzed? Did I break my legs? Why couldn’t I wake up?

I could feel the tears of my mother pouring and the muffled sound of her voice. “She never came home for the holidays…. Never see her…. Never wake up…” I could feel her grab my hand and squeeze it. I tried my hardest to squeeze back but nothing.

More tears dropped on my bare arm and I heard clearly what she whispered to me this time. “Sweetheart, wakeup. We love you, your dad and me. We may not have been there for you much. Maybe we let you out into the adult world too soon.” My mother wiped her under-eyes and caught her breath again. “You should have never given up on your dream, to be singer. You have a beautiful voice, its angelic. You should’ve gone to a music school. You deserve the world and if you wake up, your moving back in with us. You are spending the next few years of your life with us.” My father grabbed her arm trying to calm her down. She seemed out of breath and it seemed a struggle for her to finish talking. “We may not have been there for you before, but we are here now. Forever and always. I love you Rebecca, I’m sorry I haven’t told you that enough.”

I tried to open my eyes. I tried to react. I tried to cry. I needed to cry. I needed to feel something.

I couldn’t.

As the days went by new visitors came and the more that did, the more I wanted to be free. It almost drove me crazy. I never treated people like they meant anything to me. I never felt loved like I did at that moment. I never felt anything like I felt then.

My whole life I had taken everything for granted. My family, I never visited, and rarely would I say I love you. My friends, I never treated them like friends, I just hung with them when I had nothing better to do. At that moment I had realized how bad of a person I had become. I am.

I had no idea how long it had been. I had no idea if it had been weeks years or months. I had no idea if I was even alive anymore. I felt hopeless and like I wanted to die. If only I had any control.

My parents came in almost every day, or at least what seemed every day. None of us in our family were religious but I could always hear them praying for me. Praying for me to open my eyes. I could always feel them holding my hand and all I wanted to do was squeeze it back, but it never worked, until today. As I squeezed my parents hands I could hear them both shout in excitement. I was excited. I opened my eyes and was free of my brain.

After that I vowed that I would take nothing in life for granted. I never knew what a blessing life was until I almost lost it.

The doctors rushed in. They explained that I’d been in a coma for more than two months. They had almost given up. Everyone thought I wasn’t ever going to wake up. I did. I was some sort of miracle.

The hospital room, usually dreary, was bright and cheerful. Surrounded in bright arrangements of flowers, different stuffed animals, and Belgian chocolates in fancy packaging, I felt so loved. I looked up at my mom who had tears in her eyes. “Mom, dad, I’m sorry. I took you for granted I never got to say I love you, at least not enough. I love you both so much and thank you for visiting me so much.”

You could hear us?” my mom questioned. “We love you too Becca. We were so scared you weren’t going to make it. You broke your rib and had multiple close calls, but the doctors resuscitated you each time and you survived like the little fighter you are. They said they will discharge you later today and you can come home with us. We will stay with you until then.” She looked at me with the biggest smile om her face and I felt all warm and fuzzy inside.

The feeling of love, being loved and loving is the most satisfactory feeling in the world. The feeling of utter and endless joy. Love is a gift that keeps on giving. My parents were the piece of the puzzle that I was missing. Having their approval and their encouragement really enlightened me.

Later in the day, I was rolled out of the hospital in a wheel chair and taken to my parents' car. The amazing sniff of fresh air, I hadn’t felt that in a while. The cold wind against my long and curly brown hair felt amazing, exhilarating. I got strapped into the back seat of my parent’s car. I felt a sharp pain rush across my rib as the seat belt pressed against it, but I didn’t care. I was alive, and I survived a crazy car accident.

I’m a survivor.

As my mom is currently driving home I can’t help but be happy. I can’t keep the smile off my cheeks to the point that they ache. The sun is shining and the snow on the roads has begun to melt. I feel free, reborn. My ribs hurt, my head hurts and I’m in so much pain.. None of that can change the way I feel in this moment.

We approach a sharp turn on the windy and icy roads. My dad’s tires rotate, and the steering wheel spins out of control. The car skids across the ice uncontrollably. My heart sinks. I fly out the window and lie on the street, motionless once again but this time I see the bright, white light. 

My name is Amanda Pedersen and the story I have attached is a personal story very close to me about a family member. It is both fictional and nonfictional. It is very sentimental to me and in loving memory. 

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