It was always drilled into my head, “Don’t ignore the signs.” I always agreed and pretended that when the time came, I would oblige. The sign had blinked on an off for weeks and sure enough I had ignored it. One of the hardest lessons to learn was as a teenager, you don’t know everything.

Receiving my license left me with a new found freedom, the freedom of not having to worry about finding last minute rides. In the beginning, everyone’s overly careful and I was too. Then weeks and month passed and I became a little careless.

I stopped using my blinker during situations I thought to be unnecessary. At intersections that I come to almost everyday, I rarely came to a complete stop as long as I had a pretty good sight of oncoming traffic. I sped a little too fast at times which eventually caught up to me but nothing really deterred me from my semi-reckless driving. I don’t know how many people I annoyed daily driving and talking on my cell phone.

My news flash happened when something negative finally happen to me. No other car was involved, no people, no animals. I had no one to blame but myself. I hadn’t noticed the warnings, the signs my parents had always warned me about. I thought I knew everything, I thought I owned the world.

It had probably been flashing on and off for a couple of weeks and I hadn’t bothered with it, figuring it was a glitch with the cable. The check engine light is a bad sign to ignore.It was almost like the engine knew what it was doing, trying to teach me a lesson when I was the most vulnerable. Being alone at eleven o’clock at night on a country road with an almost dead cell phone was my lesson.

I had left work late,as usual. I took out my phone and got ready to speed dial number five on my phone, just like I did every night on my way home. I knew it would just be another thirty minute fight if I called. I put if off for a few minutes. My phone rang.

“Could you pick you brother up?” asked my mom on the other end of the phone. I sighed. The joy of being the oldest. We said “Goodbye” and I turned around to go the long way home through Greene. I then dialed number five.

Even before I picked up my brother, my car started to slow. I glanced at the display screen on my dash and knew instantly that the engine had given up. It wasn’t just a glitch in the cable.

Slowly, my car started to roll to a complete top. Making sure I had my hazards on and I was on the side of the road, I hung up my aggravating call and quickly dialed home. I was probably four miles on a dark country road from my brother and even further from my house.

“Mom!” I almost screamed into the phone. Panic took over. Suddenly I realized I wasn’t such a know-it-all. “My car died! I barely have any light left and the radio is absolutely gone. I’m on Allen Pond Rd, please come get me!” Even before she said anything, my phone died. If I hadn’t spent the last fifteen minutes wasting my phone’s battery with an argument, I would have been able to correct myself. I wasn’t on Allen Pond, I was on River Road. I got even more nervous.

Twenty minutes had passed and still no parents. I found out later with about sixty dollars gone, that my alternator had drained my battery. The past two weeks that I had seen my battery light blink on and off was telling me my car was slowly dying. My phone had died instantly when I needed it the most but that was my own stupidity. My parents eventually arrived some time later and jump started the car to get it home. Being alone and having it be incredibly dark out just reminds me of a person in a horror flick. A naive teenager takes a risk and looses all. So many things go through your mind when you panic. This experience gave me just enough of a scare to make me realize, I don’t know everything.


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