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Personal Research Essay

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When I saw the light

Immediately, when I turned sixteen I woke up in the morning and saw a pair of shinny silver keys sitting on my desk. I jumped up with excitement and rushed out the door wearing only my boxers, with the keys dangling in my hand. There it was: my brand new GMC Envoy, dark hunter green with a wax that could blind you. I stared at the car with excitement and admiration; it was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, and it was mine. I took it for a test drive around the block and opened it up on the highway only three blocks from my house. It had a V8 under the hood, black leather seats, a Bose sound system and enough horsepower to tow anything I desired. After my first test drive around the neighborhood, I picked up the phone and called my friends. I couldn't wait to show off my new car. With a quick thank you and a hug for my parents, I sprinted out the door. Hearing a faint be careful from my mom in the background, I slammed the front door and raced to my car.

I felt unstoppable as I jumped into the drivers' seat of my Envoy. I turned the key clockwise and started the ignition, immediately putting the pedal to the medal I sped off to Brandon's house, where I would meet all my friends. After showing off my car I decided to let my friends test drive it once around the neighborhood. It wasn't as if I let them, Craig stole the keys out of my hands and raced to my car locking me out and drove down the road along with Brandon and Scott. I was the oldest in my small group of friends and was the only one with a car. My friends were still only fifteen at the time and it was illegal for them to drive without a parent. So of course we had to go somewhere; pretend that we were hot shit just because we had a car, let alone an Envoy, that was twenty eight thousand dollars and could reach high speeds in a split second. We all talked for a while and decided that we where going to drive an hour to St. Pete Beach, which always had the hottest girls and was the nicest beach around. We would always bring our lacrosse sticks and play nonstop till sunset. This was good for me, the beach was far away, and I would finally be able to exceed the speed limit without my mom freaking out holding onto the Jesus bar screaming at me saying every four letter word you could think of.

Off we went to the beach with windows down, wind blowing in our faces, and music blaring in our ears. As I sped through the interstate and merged onto the causeway I nearly side swiped a yellow corvette. I wasn't able to see it because I'm not used to driving anything higher than my moms Acura TL. We survived and my friends started laughing profusely at the fact that I sucked at driving. Finally we were on the causeway, zipping in and out of cars with ease as we exceeded speeds of one hundred miles per hour. You couldn't stop us now; we were having too much fun, singing, "Paradise City" by Guns and Roses and mooning oncoming traffic. After Scott zipped up his pants and pulled his white ass out of the window. I suddenly saw an opening out of the corner of my eye, it was a perfect diagonal line, but I would have to change three lanes to get there. Without thinking, I slammed the gas pedal to the floor and screamed across the causeway reaching speeds of one hundred twenty miles per hour.

Suddenly, without warning we were on two wheels and began flipping over and over again and smashed with head on steam into the guard rails that surrounded the highway. One hundred feet down was Tampa bay. The windows of my brand new Envoy shattered upon impact. I was immediately knocked unconscious. When I awoke my head was dripping in blood and I had thousands of small pieces of glass stuck in the back of my neck and head. Scott's head was brutally smashed into the airbag where he laid powerless until help arrived. Scott's blood was splattered all over the windshield and his crippled body was entangled in his seat belt. Craig was cut badly on his face and shattered his right shoulder from the crushed door. The car was completely totaled the ambulance and firemen had to saw off the doors, just to get to us. The car was completely compressed so we weren't able to move on our own free will. The police had to shut down all four lanes of the causeway. Barricades were put up on both ends and no one was allowed near my car besides authorized personnel. While the fireman sawed off every door of my Envoy, three ambulances awaited us. Brandon on the other hand was in such bad condition that he had a fifty percent chance of living. I looked back at him and his neck was snapped forward and his mouth dripped in blood his face looked completely lifeless. His face was turning blue from suffocating from the seat belt that entangled his neck. They immediately sent Brandon on his way to the hospital on a Helicopter. You could hear the propellers of the helicopter wailing over everything else that was going on, even the sawing of the doors. One by one each of us were put onto a stretcher. Everyone soaked in blood not saying a word to one another and in a state that none of us were able to move. All I could hear were the moans of pain from my friends and the horns in the distance from the impatient onlookers.

I remember lying there while lights were flashing all around me and the ambulance crew were shinning a light in my eye just to keep me conscious. Craig, Scott, and I where all sent to Hillsborough Community Hospital in separate ambulances. With sirens blaring and lights reflecting off cars as we passed at amazing speeds, I just stared at the ceiling of the ambulance wondering how my friends were doing and how could I be so stupid. I had to wait in the emergency room with Scott and Craig. I have never felt so shitty in my life. With tears covering my bruised face I looked at the ground in shame never looking up at my friends sitting directly across from me. The thoughts flowing through my head kept repeating over and over that my best friend could be dead at any second. My best



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