Don't Worry, I'm Fine..

 Donít worry; Iím Fine.

It was the summer of 1992. A typical Friday night and we had just stepped out of a dimly lit bar and climbed on our motorcycles, I had a sleek black 920cc Virago that I cherished. The evening air had just been cooled from a light rain. I had decided to make a quick run to the nearest ATM with my friend Richard, so we could stay a bit longer and party with some new found friends. There were those who tried to warn us that we have had too much to drink to be driving, but when youíre drunk, you just donít realize it.
Richard started up his 1100cc gold wing. It was fast and fully dressed, with most of the extras. †Neither of us wore helmetsí, it didnít look cool and it sort of took away from the spirit of having the wind in our faces. As we took off, we were laughing and having a great time. We stopped at a traffic light, across from a police station and we looked at each other. I grinned then he smiled as we revved up our engines, the light turned green and we sped off as fast as we could, not slowing down for anything. Red lights, yellow lights, didnít matter, we ran everyone of them, 80, 95, 115, whoa 140mph; the road was a blur as we approached a sharp curve in the road.
It was too late to slow down, but we tried, as we turned and I believe it was at this point where we bumped into each other and then crashed. I brushed against a tree and struck a fire hydrant, while Richard drove head on into a light post, moving a nearby park bench two inches. I donít recall losing conciseness, only striking something hard and being tossed across the parking lot and landing hard on my back. My body filled with pain, I slowly rolled onto my left side and began to look around for Richard, who I found near the bench and not moving. I had been trained in CPR and first aid, while in the military, but never thought I would ever use it on a friend, until now. I half crawled over to where Richard laid and started to shake him to see if he would respond, but he didnít move. There was blood everywhere, he was covered in it, his head was split open and what was left of his face looked like ground hamburger meat. The t-shirt I had lent him earlier that day was ripped to shreds and soaked in blood. I could tell from my training that he had a collapsed lung, due to the air bubbles coming from his chest wound and would drown on his own blood if I didnít act quickly.
I immediately began to apply pressure to the wound, and was shouting at him to stay with me, as the blood flowed pass my fingers. He coughed twice as blood spurted from his mouth, and then expired in my arms. I can only imagine that his last thoughts were of his wife and two children as he lay there dying. Before I knew it there were two paramedics who seemed to appear out of thin air. The first knelt down and sat a red bag on the ground next to Richard and began to look him over as a second paramedic moved me to the bench to evaluate my injuries. After a few moments the first medic shouted, Ďwe need to move now!í It was at this point I began notice the lights and sirens, where just a moment ago it was just me, and Richard. We had apparently crashed behind two city police officers waiting on a traffic light. It was they who called for the ambulance.
We were both transported to the ER in separate ambulances. Although I had quite a bit of road rash (deposits of glass, gravel, dirt and oil) embedded in my hand and forearm, I was in stable condition and later moved to a room where I was left alone with the light out and breathing some nitrous oxide, to ease the pain for when the nurse begins the cleaning process of removing the debris. I received word that our families arrived and after several attempts, the doctors were able to revive Richard, although he would remain in ICU (intensive care unit) for the next several weeks, the next 72 hours would be the hardest.
As I lay alone in a dark room, I can hear announcements being made over the intercom, a woman crying in the distance, and several people walking along the corridor outside my room. From the corner of my eye, I saw my father holding my mother, who was sobbing. I turned my head toward them and told my mom that I was ok and not to cry. My heart sank; for I couldnít bear the pain that I was putting them through seeing me like this. I was ashamed of what I had done and wished that I had died in the accident so that I wouldnít have to face the disappointment in my familyís eyes. Richard lay dying from multiple wounds a few rooms down from me, while I walked away with only a scratch on my finger, still scarred to this day, a reminder of when I thought I was fine.
After I left the hospital with my parents we drove by and stopped where Richard and I had crashed. A homeless person on the street recognized me and approached us. He appeared to be in his mid to late fifties, his un-kept hair and soiled clothes seemed to suggest that he hadnít bathed in weeks, however to despite his appearance he seemed to be in good spirits. As the old man laughed with what few teeth he had, as he exclaimed ďThatís the best accident Iíve ever sawĒ. I stood there for a few moments with my pants cut from the cuffs to the groin by the medics, thinking of how stupid I was, and here was this stranger laughing at my pain. I wanted to knock him silly, but having already made one mistake I didnít feel the need to make another. The rest of that day, much like the ones to follow were filled with stress, what with the cost of courts, programs, fines, lawyer fees, and medical expenses just to name a few.
I returned to work the following Monday, my hand was still throbbing and the medication seemed to only make the day last longer, but the majority of my thoughts were on the well being of my friend Richard, who was still in I.C.U. and clinging to life. It took several weeks and three operations before Richard was able to listed in stable condition, and additional two months before he was released to go home; due to the extent of his injuries, Richard never returned to work and with the years to follow he was able to adjust and move on with his life, whereas I still dwell upon the past, blaming myself for what had happened and hoping that one day I too can find some sort of peace of mind and absolution.

I wrote this many years ago as an English assignment, it is a true story and un-edited. To my sorrow, I learned much that night.
Written by truprophet (Earl Lee)
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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