Why was the world upside down?
My brain needed a minute to understand I was the one who wasn’t the right way up and that I was going to die. Cold, body numbed, and in shock, I took little short gasps of air, eyes roamed in the dark as I tried to grasp the reality.
The smell of fuel and metal filled my nostrils. Nothing withstood the impact; everything I saw appeared shattered, crushed, or smashed. In front of me, everything shone in yellow and red, massive flames bellowed in the wind. The smoke came my way, making me cough violently; I choked and screamed, at least it’s what I assumed I did, but my mouth remained shut, and my eyes wide open as the other car burnt.
They burnt, right in front of me. I watched them perish, hopeless. Unable to move, I witnessed their end.
Who got me out of the car?
When did the ambulance arrive?
Everything I know is what others told me.
My eyes fluttered open hours later to a hospital room’s beige ceiling.
I laid paralyzed by the neck brace and the bandages around my chest down to my waist. I could only let my gaze travel around the room. My right leg and arm were in casts; I was an official casualty of my stupidity.
The smell of smoke, plastic, and the stench of melting flesh still present strolled within the walls of my swollen nose before gliding down my lungs. Even the hospital’s aseptic scent could not compete with it. An automatic cough for survival followed to expulse the odor, which stagnated in my mouth.
I felt like a cannibal; an overpowering desire to puke filled my stomach, making me mentally lurch forward when I could not psychically. The accident signified the end of my relationship with meat.
“Jane, Jane, can you hear me? Listen, Honey; your dad booked a flight; we’re sending you to Abby’s.”
Rebbecca spoke fast; her voice reverberated in my ears like echoes. All I understood was they were sending me into exile to my older sister Abby, and my dad, as usual, took care of everything.
“Mom, the car, the people,” I muttered.
“Listen, Jane, you- they-they’re dead.”
“Mom, no, no.”
The tears stabbed my cheeks, drying instantly and mummifying me in stillness; my cries were mumbles as though someone came and cut my vocal cords. Bruised face, I barely could mimic the expression of a whimper.
My heart halted and then shifted gears, speeding up as I realized what happened and what I had become.
“Honey, don’t say a word to anyone. Whatever happens, even if it’s a nurse who asks, you don’t recall a thing, okay. Okay?”
Rebecca is a strong woman, but for the first time, I read fear in her bloodshot eyes, the tiny wrinkles around her left eye seemed to throb, and it scared me, but at that instant, fright was everywhere.
I nodded as I replied, “Okay.”
Rebecca’s request wasn’t complicated; there was no memory. All I recalled was leaving the party, arguing with Brad, and taking the car.
Brad tried to seize the keys from me, but I insisted despite the liquor and the NB in my system. Stubborn like a bull, I took my keys and drove.
In a diplomatic license plated car, Korean forces could only stop me in their dreams. South Korea is one of the rare countries which delivers IDP [International Driving Licence] to 16-year-olds, I was 17 years old, and the world was my playground.
So I drove careless like most privileged beings in the world would while I tried to post a few snaps. And as everyone has probably heard at least once in your life, I didn’t see the car with my still hazy mind, but one thing is sure the culprit of the accident was me.
We all assume we know it all when they show you those crash test dummy videos in high school. Or when you have all those drugs and alcohol awareness courses, you have to assist.
Yeah, we think we know every bloody thing, and it will never happen to us because we’re the smart ass who will never get caught up in such shit.
That day realized what an insignificant human being I was.
A worthless being with too much pride to give Brad the keys, a person who caused the world’s most considerable prejudice; you would expect me to get punished and go to jail, right?
No, instead, five days later, my parents smuggled me out of the country to London.
Do you want to learn how to get away with murder?
In my case, it was simple, I was rich and the daughter of the American ambassador in South Korea, and naturally, I got away with murder without any punishment. I barely got scolded.
The world’s new villains don’t have superpowers. They possess super-bank accounts and connections. No, we are not all born equal; some of us come with additional assets. Some people can assume their criminal traits, but I can’t, though it’s there in my veins, this evil that pushes me to every extreme. The wickedness which always leaves me empty, wondering what was the purpose of my actions.
What was so worthwhile about it all, the parties, the drugs, and the alcohol, I mean?
What did I search and hope for when I possessed everything?
Perhaps it’s because of this, having it all made me hollow. Does it make sense?
No one ever spoke about the incident, and my life flipped upside down.
A person conscious is a marvelous thing; it has all these switches, which, when activated, they can slowly slip you into insanity. So, I started losing my shit because the buttons were set on punishment since nobody desired to do it.
I begged for the pain, I prayed to God to inflict me my judgment, and God didn’t make me wait.
As a result, sleep never comes; when it does, the crash repeatedly, the flames, the smoke, everything replays in the most macabre of scenes.
What’s worse is my entire family regards me as a victim. How to make one hate themselves a little more? Since I am withering in and out, cumulating pathologies, bulimia, depression, and other unhealthy cocktails.
Hospitals and I have a long history together where we break up and makeup. No one gets what’s wrong with me, but I know the name of my illness. There is no cure, not even therapy.
The emotion devours me; I tried to kill myself twice. I failed because I’m a coward, the worst piece of trash the world can carry, garbage mimicking human life, afraid to have someone point the finger at my pretend game, yet hoping someone stops me.
My thoughts reflect how twisted and controversial I am and the constant conflict of my indecision, which lets fear prime over any morales.
Lately, an absurd idea has swarmed in my head. Okay, here’s the pitch:
I must go back to that country, and that same track where they died.
Something is calling me. No, I do not hear voices. It’s as though I have a mission. If I don’t proceed to accomplish it, God will never grant me peace.
What is horrible is the belief has become a humming sound so persistent that I booked a ticket. Right now, I’m sitting in British Airways first class-bound for Seoul.
My name is Jane Austen, I’m 20 years old, I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m doing it.