Thirteen Minutes by BloodySpaghetti
“I couldn’t stop at the red light, stop at the red light, I couldn’t stop red light, you’re a car crash and I can’t look away.” These are lyrics from Three Days Grace’s song “Car Crash”. The song has a dual meaning, an actual description of a car crash due to reckless driving, but also this song speaks about being self-destructive. For me, personally, this song symbolizes a painful memory, and a learning experience. Hello, my name is Andy Ionesco, I’m 23 of Romanian descent and I’ve a younger biological brother as well as an adopted younger sister by the name of Sascha.
Much like the song I’ve mentioned earlier this story is going to deal with a car crash, I’m pretty sure anyone who is about to read this had already guessed so, well, this time, I’m not trying to share a certain hidden meaning with you, my readers, not at all. This time is different; I’m sharing a blunt, honest, naked personal story. You see, my adoptive sister became my adopted sister because her parents died in front of her three-year-old eyes, in a car crash. I had no idea of this whatsoever until she decided to “come out to me” as to being “parentless” when she was 13. I had never even asked before, I mean since the age of six I was taught to love, cherish and respect this girl, and I did, hell I still do, more than ever. Sascha hates cars; obviously, she hates them so much she’d avoid any kind of motorized transport she could no matter the cost. She just couldn’t handle getting into a sardine boxed shaped death trap according to her own words. On top of it all, she has Vehophobia, fear of driving, I was pretty sure I knew what it’s like based on what she had explained and how she behaved but boy, oh boy, how wrong I was.
You see, I wanted to help her get over her fear of cars, so I tried my best to convince her to travel with me, in my car, while I drive as safely as is humanly possible, this never worked.
However, once I got my dream car, the Nissan Pathfinder, yeah I know, it’s just a common man’s crossover but that’s my taste in cars, I like em’ big, I like em’ steady and I like em’ fine on the road and off it. Sascha offered to take a ride in it with me, she also offered we celebrate me getting this car over a bottle of Coke, we do drink alcohol, but driving and drinking is shit, so I wouldn’t do that.
Anyhow, I was overjoyed my sister actually overcame her fear just to share moment with me; it meant so much to me. The moment she had finished her proposal I bear hugged her as I have never hugged anyone before or since.
The ride began fine and dandy, we had some music playing in the background, ironically, it was the Transit to Venus album by Three Days Grace, I was showing off my knowledge of the vehicle to my younger sibling enthusiastically and she genuinely seemed interested. Simply put, it was one of the best times I’ve ever had. As the world has it however, everything had to turn sideways, literally. I was nearing a junction around the town’s center, there was a red light in front of me and no cars in sight, I was about to hit the brakes but then a silhouette appeared in my right side mirror. It all happened so fast, I heard Sascha screaming, a loud bang, vertigo set in, my world it all started spinning, so much pain hit me at once, it hurt so much.
One moment I’m on the road and the next I’m tilted sideways, sharp pain shooting through my upper right side, my head is throbbing I can’t move it to the right because there are pieces of glass and metal pressed to me on that side, I turn my head to the left and stare up.
My sister is stuck in her seat, above me, her head is tilted in an almost sickening way downwards, her eyes are closed and she seems to be not breathing. I call out to her, no response, I scream to her, no response. I try to reach out to her with my left arm, but I can’t lift it up, I can’t move it. A large piece of glass is stuck in my forearm; any attempt to as much as budge it sends excruciating pain through my central nervous system. I damaged a nerve in my arm - shit hurts like hell.
Fear sets in, I thought I knew what it’s like to feel fear before that, but, in this particular moment I’ve realized that all my life up until this point I’ve been living in an ignorant blissful state in regards to the matter. Do you know how your heart starts beating faster and your breath before quicker and shallower whenever you are excited or afraid? Well add to that the feeling of your perception becoming unbearably sharp and your mind racing at 300mph between all possible apocalyptic thoughts and then you get how I’ve felt after realizing my sister might be dead and I’m likely to follow her into realm of Hades.
If you’re thinking this is the end of it, you are gravely mistaken, my friends, moments after my panic attack had begun, I’ve come to notice I can’t seem to grasp enough oxygen and not in the way of having a frantic breath but in the way of drowning. It is like this feeling you get when you jump too deep, too fast into the ocean for a few moments due to the pressure of the layers upon layers of water on your body. I tried to grasp for air harder with each passing moment, my perception had gotten sharper with each passing nanosecond. There was a bright light above me, but it wasn’t some heavenly glow, it was the sun. There was some buzzing sound in my ears, like static – my blood pressure had clearly risen much higher than it should ever be allowed to.
I tried thrashing myself out of my seat belt to no avail. Every movement I’ve made caused me to simply lose air, I’ve begun to feel like a fish out of water. That is terrifying. Have you ever experienced a sleep paralysis or had been put under? Well, it feels like you’re physically numb, now imagine feeling every inch of your body, but being completely unable to move it. Can you imagine yourself like a helpless ragdoll stuck at the mercy of another however instead of being completely numb you feel every last inch of your body throb with sharp, shooting, stinging and almost burning pain? I’ve been there.
True fear is complete and utter hopelessness.
Once I’ve exhausted pretty much all of my oxygen reserves, I noticed how slight the angle in which Sascha’s neck was bent, it wasn’t much of an angle and yet it looked so unnatural, so revolting, I felt my heart crush under the weight of the images my brain was receiving from my eyes. I could feel tears running down my face, my whole life, with her, began flashing before my eyes.
Time stood still, it felt like the whole world including my own skin began smothering me, suddenly everything became dim and lost its color, everything felt so meaningless and distant, everything felt so worthless, an irritating need to sleep dawned upon me, not like I was fading out of consciousness but like the one you’ve got when you’re depressed. I had never been depressed but my ex, she has chronic depression and she explained to me once that depression is simply the loss of will for everything. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I most certainly lost all will at that point.
I guess I was passing out but then I heard a ghastly whiz coming out of Sascha’s mouth, it sounded like a ghost moaning at me. It sent chills down my spine.
Everything went bright again.
Red and blue lights surrounded me.
I remember one of the people who pulled me out of my wreck of a car saying that I’m not in hell. I suppose I uttered something about being in hell. I don’t really remember anything about those few moments between being stuck in my car and being placed in an ambulance. Somewhat a shame really, you know, it takes mere moments to destroy a man, to crumple down whole worlds, and it takes mere moments.
I’ve never believed in Hell as a physical place, I think Hell is a kind of experience, and I’ve been through Hell. I’ve been there just thirteen minutes, but it felt like years had gone by when I was in this sardine can shaped death trap on wheels. It took them just thirteen minutes to realize we were thrown off the road, to call help and for help to arrive.
It’s about as quick as it gets ay? No, during these thirteen minutes I’ve experienced so much mental torture that Hell shall always follow me.
Before knowing exactly what it’s like to be traumatized I thought it’s all about having a switch flipped in reaction to a certain something, but now I know it fucks you up, it changes your personality, it throws you off balance and carves itself into you, really deep.
Sascha’s fine now, well she can’t really use one of her thumbs now, but that’s a small price to pay for visiting the rough streets of “Broken Neck City, Bitch!”. My little sister is about to become an actress and she keeps on going on about how she’s going to teach people to be safe on the road through single actress plays and such. The guy who ran into us, well he was sure for whatever reason that he had killed either both of us or just Sascha and so he ended up hanging himself, with a seat belt, after he served his time, it’s almost too perfect to be possible, huh? Before the accident I’d probably run circles around his grave joyfully, right now, I’d rather drink my Jack Daniels to the irony that comes with karma or whatever drove this guy to his stupid conclusions.
It’s not like I’m going to drive or anything tonight, I hate cars, fucking sardine can shaped death traps on wheels…