The tree gets closer and closer.
Stop Chad I want out!
Nothing stops, Chad keeps laughing.
I wonder if I am going to make it, If I am going to die when the car slams into the old oak tree.
Fear, overwhelming fear.
Please God forgive me for my foolishness.
“Wake up Shana, you’re having a bad dream!”
It was a dream, well a memory really of what had happened before.
“You were crying out honey, I wanted to make sure you were okay. You weren’t hurting or sick, or anything.”
“I’m okay Mom, I was just having a bad dream.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah I’m sure! Why don’t you go back to bed for awhile?”
“Because we have to get up in a short time anyway. It’s almost time to get you up and ready for school.”
I hated that I had interrupted Mom’s sleep. I shouldn’t have cried out, but how could I stop myself? I had been dreaming, dreaming about the crash. Sometimes the dreams were so vivid it seemed like I was going through all of it over again, and I did not like doing that. When I did I felt like I was living in the past.
“Shana you know if you need to talk you can talk to me.” Mom assures me.
“I know Mom.” I don’t tell her I have worried her enough that I don’t want to upset her anymore than she already is. She’s gone through so much already, and I hate to
see her hurting like that.
Mom lifts me out of bed, which I know is no easy task for her. She’s not a very big woman, but what Mom lacks in size, she makes up for in her strength and determination. I look at Mom lovingly, as she gets me bathed and ready for classes. I hate her having to do this for me, but she never complains, she just does it out of love, and that love makes her more beautiful than she is. When I am in my forties I hope I look as good as Mom and can pass for someone a decade younger than I. Mom tells people she’s forty one and everyone thinks she’s fooling them, but Mom really is forty one only she looks about thirty, especially when she wears her honey colored hair down.
I feel like I am aging her though, that the way she has to care for me is exhausting her. I worry about her, and wonder how much she can take. I wonder how much I can take for that matter. I try to remain strong on the outside, but sometimes on the inside I am dealing with such a mix of emotions that I can’t even begin to know how to deal with them.
Sometimes I talk to Chandra about my emotions. She had so openly talked to me when she was battling cancer, we were only little girls then but sometimes I still feel like a little girl, a little girl who is trying to face a life changing situation, a situation I did not even know how to begin to deal with.
“Shana maybe you should talk to a counselor or somebody from our church about what you are feeling. I think it would help. I know they sent counselors to you in the
hospital, but I think you should see someone you are comfortable with.”
I tend to agree with Chandra. I do need to talk to someone, but I don’t want Mom to go with me. I feel like it would upset her more.
“Will you go with me if I make an appointment at our church?” I ask Chandra. Our Church is close enough that Chandra won’t have to worry about getting me in and out of the car, I can make it there with my chair and Chandra can walk.
“Of course I will Shana, you know you don’t even have to ask.”
“You look tired today.” Chandra tells me.
“I dreamt about the crash again last night, and when I screamed out Mom came running in. Lately I have been dreaming about the crash a lot, and I am tired of it, because I wake up feeling like I haven’t slept.”
“Chandra it’s not your fault and you know that.”
We ended our conversation just as the first bell rang for us to go to class. We both had history with Mr. Meyers first period, it was a hard class, and he didn’t take any
slacking, but I liked history. Mr. Meyers wasn’t one of the friendliest teachers in school, but he was not one of the rudest either, and like most of my teachers he was understanding of what had happened to me, and gave me the extra time I needed to complete the assignments.
Chandra sat next to me in all the classes we shared, because she helped me with the things I could not do myself. I was glad to have her in most of my classes, and that I was able to lean on Chandra when I needed her. I knew my best friend would do anything in her power to help me, and she understood that sometimes that meant saying no, and although I knew she hated to do that, sometimes she did because it was not in my best interest.
“Are you going to be okay?” Chandra asks before we enter the classroom. “Maybe you should have stayed home because you did not sleep well.”
“Chandra don’t worry, I’ll be okay. I made it through the accident I think I can make it after a night of little sleep.”
“It’s been more than a night though Shana.”
“I know and that’s why I agreed to talk to someone at the church.”
Chandra held open the door for me as we entered the classroom. I was exhausted but I was going to make it through this day, and I was going to be alright. Hopefully I would sleep well that night, I didn’t know how many more restless nights I could take, but I did not want to admit that to my best friend or my Mother.