The car ride home was silent. Except for the occasional squeak of the breaks when we stopped, or the sound of my grandma gripping the steering wheel, all was quiet. But I didn’t mind it. Something about the quiet soothed me. It gave me time to think. But it also made me lonely. It brought me right back to the day we crashed.
The screech of the car as it veered off the road. The terrified whisper of my flashcards as they flew out of my hands. The loud shatter of my mom’s mug breaking. The screams of my mom. Those were the worst sounds I have ever heard. And it happened in a car just like this one that I was riding in. It could happen again, and I wouldn’t have anyone to go through it with.
I started feeling claustrophobic in my grandma’s little blue car. It brought me right back there. It could happen again.
I could feel myself breathing faster. My chest was rising like rolling waves in the ocean. Like an animal suffocating in the rolling ocean.
I had to get out of this car. There is no way I could ever ride in a car again without feeling the way I do now.
My grandma very slowly but surely drove into her driveway. She parked the car, and I flew out of it. I needed air.
I tilted my face up at the sun, letting it fill my whole body. We were at my grandma’s house, and she was walking up to the wooden front door. I followed her. We agreed to go back to my house when I was ready, to get some of my stuff. But I don’t think I am ready yet.
Walking through the front door after my grandma, I looked around the room we were in. There was a fringy, ornate rug in the room to our left, which was sitting in front of a gray, stone fireplace. In the room to my right, there was a fridge and a table. That was apparently the kitchen. I stood in the doorway, which was bright because of the sun shining through the glass window on it. It sure wasn't going to be easy living in a new place.
What’s it going to be like when I go back to school? I wonder if any of my friends thought about me when I was in the hospital. Would I even be going back to school? Bill said I couldn’t see shapes or number right, so should I be going to school? I guess the teachers could help me. But I didn't want special attention. I just wanted to be treated like a normal person.
“Kara!” Grandma yelled for me from the other room she was in. I hadn't had a chance to look through the whole house yet.
“Coming!” I yelled back as I ran through the house to find her. Man, her house was huge. Way bigger than my house ever was.“Would you like to see your room?” She looked nervous, probably afraid that I would like it or something. I nodded, and she brought me up a short staircase. She slowly opened a door, which creaked when it was open all the way. I walked in, not knowing what to expect. I slowly turned in a circle, taking it all in.
The walls were a light blue, and the room looked old, like it hadn't been touched in a while. There was a large four-poster bed on one side of the room. On the other side, there was a slim little bookcase, with a few dusty books on its shelf. It sure wasn't what I was used to, but I was lucky my grandma wanted me to stay with her.
I headed outside through the back door. As I walked into the backyard, I lifted my chin, letting my face soak in the sun, my nose be filled with the smell of flowers. I slowly let my head rest back to its normal position, and took in my surroundings.
There was a tool shed in one corner of the yard which was surrounded by a white fence. Pretty cozy. I'll still miss my house, but this is pretty homey.
I sighed, and walked up the 3 little steps that led into the house. Swinging my arms, I asked, “When’s dinner?” My grandma told me about 20 minutes, so for now, I was going to go up into my room and unpack. As I walked up, I felt a strange sense of familiarity. It’s kinda weird how I don't remember ever being here. Maybe that's because of the accident.
I ran my hand along the wall and entered my room. Flopping on the bed, I unzipped my suitcases.
I took out my favorite stuffed animal. It was a bunny named Charlie. He had a heart on his fuzzy chest. My dad gave him to me fora Valentine’s Day one year. He had said, “Be mine,” and I laughed and said yes. Then we danced around the room. I stood on the top of his feet, and he spun me around the room. It was a magical moment. Now, whenever I hug it, I think of him.
Next, I pull out my blanket and my pillow. I don't feel like unpacking my clothes today, so I'll do it tomorrow. But right now, I had to figure out how I was going to adjust to a strange new place. I never knew how welcoming plastic stars that glow in the dark were. It seems you’re all alone, then you open your eyes to a welcoming glow of bright yellow stars. I wonder what it would be like to touch a star? Would it be warm and tingly, or would it be so hot that your hand would melt?
I thought of my mom and dad touching stars where they were. They probably saw the same stars I did.
My pillow felt wet, and I realized that there were tears rolling down my face. That's how I fell asleep. Tears coursing down my face like a silent waterfall.
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