I remember hearing the stories. I remember listening to them discuss how in the final moments, while they knew that they were terrified, angry, depressed, and
shocked, all they could register was peace of mind. I never understood how, in the midst of such an intense encounter, nothing could be triggered but peace of mind.Any
time I tuned in to someone telling his or her story, all I could feel was fear. I feared the story in itself, I feared for that person, and I feared that one day I might find myself
facing an equally terrible situation. However, despite that fear, I never imagined that I actually would. Even though it occurred quite recently, I know I'll never forget the
words he said to me as I slid into the passenger seat-"Don't worry Raeanna, I'm a good driver."
Before that night, I had the mindset that almost every teenager had. I felt as though I had an invisible force field around me, like nothing bad could touch me. Not to
say that I was naïve, per say. I'd dealt with more stressful situations in my 17 years than most people do in their entire lives. I knew that I was just as vulnerable to a
traumatic experience as anyone else, and yet, I remained fairly careless in a number of aspects in my daily life. When I drove, for example, I sped, I got aggressive, and it
was rare that anyone would find me wearing a seatbelt. It's surprising how easy it is to adopt the 'I'm invincible' mindset. What is even more confounding is how quickly
that illusion can be shattered.
That night started out just as the majority of my summer nights had. I was spending time with a group of people who made me happy, and we were relaxing by a
bonfire relishing in our freedom from school. It grew late, and at around 3:30 a.m., a couple of us started feeling restless. To fix that, we decided to drive down to the gas
station and pick up some food, while my best friend and her boyfriend stayed behind at his house. We piled into Charlie's stick-shift Mazda 3,...