Summer ’92

     His deep, visceral request pierced the darkness like a beacon,

      “Where’s MY sister?!!”

     Instinctively, I moved in response to the concern and angst in his voice. Curled in the fetal position in the rectangular window behind the rear seats, I shimmied myself free from the tight quarters. It felt as if I was hanging upside down from the ceiling. 

      Disoriented, my feet reached out first, followed by my torso and my head. I slid out the backseat window feet first. 

     It was him that grabbed my feet and then carefully my hands,  steadying me upright from this awkward position.  I felt moisture on my feet, heard a hissing sound, and felt a subtle burning sensation on my back. I was the last one out; the others already running up the small gravel incline to the main road.  The brown station wagon now lying on its hood.

It’s gonna blow!!!”,  another voice warned. 

     I recognized the hissing sound as not natural and I too hurried towards the main road. Pacing on the side of the highway and in a bit of shock, we were quietly able to assure everyone was OK. The lights of an ambulance signaled in the distance; few words were spoken and we waited. 

      It was mere moments before we were singing along to the radio, relishing in the sweetness of summer as teenagers. Our driver sober but surely distracted by the chaos of the five other carefree teenagers that squeezed along for the ride. I sat in the backseat, behind the passenger seat, on my twin brother’s lap. 

    The screech came unexpectedly first, followed by an abrupt shift to our right. We all became immediately silent. My eyes could not adjust to the sudden and intrusive spinning, but the sound of metal being assaulted by hard pavement pierced my senses. Our bodies, six pairs of arms and of legs, cushioning each of us from injury. At least that is the only other reason we could deduce we were all safe. 

     It would be an hour or so later that I would discover a cut that ran the length of my lower back. Small pieces of glass, either from the rear window in which I was tossed or from the side window of my fortunate escape,  embedded within it. I was incrediblely lucky. We all were incredibly lucky. Minor cuts, scraps and bruises. No seatbelts, my lord! 

     A week later, the news. Another jeep full of teens, rollover. Ejected passengers who were not as lucky.

      Every time I see that scar on my lower back, above my silly purple flower tattoo, I count my blessings. 



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