I have watched all of my friends turn sixteen. Some of them are seventeen now, even eighteen. But, I’m still fifteen. Until Thursday rolls around.
I miss a lot when I blink my eyes. Sometimes when I’m riding shotgun to a parent or one of my brothers, I blink and miss something big. Something life-threatening. I can’t specifically name a happening, but I remember this happening quite a few times. Right when something threatened to take our lives, I blinked and missed it all. I’m terrified of doing this while I’m behind the wheel. I’m terrified of blinking and missing something big.
Other times when I’m riding shotgun, I realize just how easy it could be for the driver to drift away in thought and accidentally swerve the car off the road and into a ditch. One simple movement of the hands can move the gigantic metal contraption to the passengers’ death.
Even more times, I sit in the passenger seat and picture a car heading toward us and hitting us head-on. I picture my death via car accident. I picture myself alive and everyone else in the car dead.
Adding another troubling thought to my mind are the big semi-trucks that roam these rough roads. They scare the hell out of me. Whenever we are on the highway and one of these big trucks drives alongside our car, I picture it toppling over and crushing us. I picture our car being turned into a sardine can with us playing the sardines.
This is all so scary. I find myself not wanting to turn sixteen. If I could, I would stay fifteen forever. If I had an even bigger range of choices, I would go back to seven. That seemed like it was a nice age. I wore hand-me-downs from my brothers, thought boys were icky, didn’t have to wear a bra, coasted on through life with tangled hair, didn’t have any responsibilities and never worried about a thing. So, it’s exciting that you’re here, sixteen, but I like your predecessors much better. Maybe I’ll come to know and love you, but at this moment in time, fifteen is sounding pretty good. Here’s to hoping that in time you’ll sound even better. I blinked and now fifteen’s gone. Hello, sixteen. Hello, great big world with endless possibilities.