On the drive home from San Gabriel after dinner on Sunday night my roommates and I met with an accident.
I was in the backseat so I didn't see what was happening. I only know we were turning out onto the main road one moment and the next there was a loud bang as we smashed into another car, and the air filled itself with chemicals and smoke and the seat belt strapped so hard into my body it hurt and in that instant I was grateful it held me from crashing into the seat in front.
The smoke got worse and for a moment that felt too long, no one moved. I thought we were going to die.
It became painful to breathe, I thought my friends were hurt, or worse dead. I thought the car would go up in flames, I couldn't see through to anything except the cracked windshield. I thought maybe I was going to be trapped inside because it was happening too fast and I would be out before finding the strength and solution to get out.
And then that frozen moment was over. As if in a dream the guys opened their doors, the seat in front of me was pushed forward and I climbed out for air.
The front of the car was a wreck, liquids were streaking towards the sides of the road. The other car had pulled over to the side after the crossing. We went over and in the backseat there was a baby in a carrier wailing.
We hesitantly approached the mother to ask if the child was fine because for all we know something terrible could have happened to such a fragile body. Praise all the gods out there no one was badly injured. I'm so grateful we are all alive.
The moments in the car made me think it almost regrettable for me to be dying then. It made me regret how little I'd done with my life, how sad I'd barely done anything enough, how disappointing I'd started taking the existence of others for granted again.
Sometimes, it feels as if death doesn't want me to forget how easily it can take everything away.