Instances | Teen Ink

Instances MAG

December 7, 2008
By Mabish3 SILVER, Stratford, Connecticut
Mabish3 SILVER, Stratford, Connecticut
5 articles 0 photos 3 comments

It took me 15 years and 364 days to turn 16, three tries to pass my driving test, and several months of nonsense to finally earn the right to drive on my own.

It takes a song and a half to get out of the school’s hellish parking lot at the end of the day, until the second chorus of “Sweet Child O’ Mine” to reach the first traffic light, and more or less half of any album in my collection to get home.

It takes an instant to lose everything.

Not one of those commercial instants either: Lose ten pounds instantly! Regrow a full head of hair in an instant! In an instant, that troublesome fungus will disappear! When those people use the word instant, it means at least a minute, or, if they don’t mind lying to the public, days or more. I don’t imply, and I don’t lie. When I use the word instant, I mean a fraction of a second. I mean less than a heartbeat.

I mean my head through the windshield, my mouth still open from singing along to whatever song I was listening to the instant before.

It wasn’t even my fault, not really. I suppose I could have chosen a safer car, but when deciding between a bunch of safety features I might never even need and CDs I would absolutely want in the next year or two, my judgment was not at its best. I blame the economy, and the constant civil war between heart and head. I blame The Killers for coming out with a new album every five minutes, and statistics that say I would probably never die in a crash anyway.

Come to think of it, the accident wasn’t even the other driver’s fault. I would probably run a red light if I were late for a dentist appointment too. Maybe not one at a busy intersection, but who’s to say it wasn’t a really important appointment? Perhaps he was getting a new filling. Yeah, I’d race across the road with no regard for traffic in my 2004 pickup for that, too, especially if there was nothing in my way except a wimpy ’98 Civic. Because I would be the only person on the road. Every other car would be driven by a robot, a drone that doesn’t matter in my world. The only thing that would matter to me is being on time for my appointment.

Like him, I too would be surprised when, after stepping out of my barely scratched vehicle, I saw the other car scrunched up like an accordion, like a piece of paper balled up and thrown against the side of the street. I would be shocked to see blood on the shards of glass strewn about the pavement because apparently I hadn’t realized running that light meant plowing into the Civic, which would lead to crushing the 17-year-old inside it. The 17-year-old who just wanted to listen to The Smiths while driving home.

Maybe I’m being too bitter about all of it. After all, the other driver did stand by while someone else called 911, waited patiently while the paramedics extricated me from my mangled vehicle, and even went through the trouble of leaving a note of apology beside my bed in the hospital. I, of course, wouldn’t know of his contributions to my well-being until after I woke up from the coma a week and a half later.

I sure hope his dentist was a good sport about rescheduling.

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This article has 99 comments.

on Oct. 11 2017 at 12:45 pm
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
I love how this felt like I was reading a detailed packed nonfiction piece, but became humorous in the end. Very creative!

NatKirov said...
on Apr. 15 2016 at 9:05 pm
NatKirov, Los Angeles , California
0 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
All the graves of the ones remembered in a desert we call home/All the slaves of the cold December find a voice to call their own/ Stand up we are united in the eyes of the greatest storm/ Line up we are ignited, this world will be reborn

I love this story!!

stenova BRONZE said...
on Jul. 11 2015 at 5:22 pm
stenova BRONZE, Trumbull, Connecticut
4 articles 0 photos 15 comments

Favorite Quote:
"'Tis not in mortals to command success, but we'll do more, Sempronius- we'll deserve it."

I absolutely love the story! You wrote it in such a nice way, I really like how you didn't reveal too much at once and how you captured emotion so well. :)

on May. 5 2015 at 9:15 am
HelloHollywoodItsMe SILVER, Grayslake, Illinois
5 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
Always remember, your haters are your biggest fans. Those who criticize you are only begging you to get better.

It's satirical, funny, and very witty. I like it because even though it's a sad plot, you find little bits of humour to cheer the reader up.

adinar SILVER said...
on Nov. 20 2013 at 3:37 pm
adinar SILVER, Old Saybrook, Connecticut
6 articles 0 photos 9 comments
I loved it all, especially the beginning!

J1029 SILVER said...
on Oct. 1 2012 at 9:56 pm
J1029 SILVER, Tampa, Florida
5 articles 0 photos 73 comments

Favorite Quote:
Sing like no one is listening,
Dance like no one is watching,
Love like you've never been hurt and
Live like it's heaven on earth.

- Mark Twain

I love this piece so much! I hope it wasn't a true story. I really loved the last line, despite the sad emotion going through the story I laughed at that last part. I love when a story can change you emotion in an "instant" 

on Sep. 9 2012 at 9:25 am
speedyboats BRONZE, Owensboro, Kentucky
4 articles 0 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." - Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

This is absolutely astounding(: Love this story! Such an unassuming name for an amazing piece. 

on Sep. 9 2012 at 9:25 am
speedyboats BRONZE, Owensboro, Kentucky
4 articles 0 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." - Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

This is absolutely astounding(: Love this story! Such an unassuming name for an amazing piece. 

GotSoccer19 said...
on Aug. 28 2012 at 7:48 pm
GotSoccer19, Dallas, Texas
0 articles 0 photos 24 comments

Favorite Quote:
"A real athlete knows that there's no off-season."

That was some insane writing. Really fantastic! I loved the perspective and the point of view from the narrator. Awesome job! --C

nicholas77 said...
on Jul. 27 2012 at 5:17 pm
Wow, this was fantastic! I was only checking out this site as a model for a website I'm creating, but the first few lines of your story hooked me, and I couldn't resist clicking on it. I was not dissapointed, in fact I was inspired by you to keep working on my own writing, to aspire to your level. Keep on writing- I want to read more!

on Mar. 17 2012 at 5:41 pm
Wow! I didn't think this was fiction! I could just picture the busy intersection in my own town when this happened. Great story with an end sentence that adds humor to a certainly unhumorous situation.

on Nov. 6 2011 at 7:21 pm
Prometheus PLATINUM, East Aurora, New York
29 articles 0 photos 106 comments
Hahaha that was great! I love the satire.  Also, I enjoyed the omniscient/detached perspective. Actually, it reminds me of my short story "Nobody Cares."  I'd be honored if you would read it.  Nice work.

on Nov. 6 2011 at 1:21 am
Ayushi_austen BRONZE, Kolkata, Other
3 articles 0 photos 54 comments

Favorite Quote:
I love my past. I love my present. I’m not ashamed of what I’ve had, and I’m not sad because I have it no longer...

this was great!! i love the way you can change your perspctive in an "instant"!! 

p.s.: do check out my work too!!

Beef11 BRONZE said...
on Nov. 2 2011 at 2:13 pm
Beef11 BRONZE, Burnsville, Minnesota
2 articles 3 photos 1 comment
I love this!! I once wrote about a car accident I was involved in, but this one seriously blew me out of the water! So great, tragedies can prove to be inspiring some times.

on Oct. 15 2011 at 4:55 pm
Savannalore SILVER, North Branch, South Dakota
9 articles 17 photos 121 comments

Favorite Quote:
Art is all about mistakes and knowing which ones to keep.

I normally don't read pieces in the Realistic Fiction section, but I clicked on it for some reason and read your story and just want to let you know that you've changed my mind. A story doesn't have to contain magic or castles or dungeons to be're story was captivating all on its own.

on Oct. 7 2011 at 10:37 am
This story was wonderful and I enjoyed reading it.

on Sep. 23 2011 at 9:48 pm
austenite77 GOLD, Appleton, Wisconsin
13 articles 0 photos 58 comments

Favorite Quote:
Die my dear? Why that's the last thing I'll do

Amazing! I LOVE this!!!!!!!!

on Sep. 23 2011 at 3:39 pm
JoPepper PLATINUM, Annandale, Virginia
35 articles 0 photos 782 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Freedom is the ability to not care what the other person thinks."

"Not all those who wander are lost" --JRR Tolkien

"When you are listening to music it is better to cover your eyes than your ears." --Jose' Bergamin

The way you wrote this story almost made it kind of funny!!!! :D

on Sep. 1 2011 at 5:42 pm
singinginthegardn GOLD, Cowell, Massachusetts
16 articles 2 photos 158 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say." ~Anaïs Nin

Wow! This was really personal and emotional!! <3 great work!

on Aug. 10 2011 at 11:01 am
meganwagner21 PLATINUM, Old Bridge, New Jersey
42 articles 0 photos 139 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Sometimes good things have to fall apart so better things can fall together." -Marilyn Monroe
"Nobody can go back and make a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending." -Maria Robinson

i love love love the tone of this piece! its great what you did, its almost sarcastic. fantastic job!