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" Please, God, I'm only 17! "


The day I died was an ordinary school day.
How I wish I had taken the bus. But I was
too cool for the bus.
I remember how I pleaded the car out of Mom.
"Special favor," I pleaded. "All the kids drive."
When the 2:50 bell rang, I threw all my books
in the locker. I was free until 8:40
tomorrow morning! I ran to the parking
lot, excited at the thought of driving a car
and being my own boss. Free!
It doesn't matter how the accident happened.
I was goofing off and going too fast.
Taking crazy chances. But I was enjoying
my freedom and having fun.
The last thing I remember, I was passing
an old lady who seemed to be going awfully
slow. I heard the deafening crash
and felt a terrible jolt. Glass and steel flew
everywhere. My whole body seemed to be turning
inside out. I heard myself scream.
Suddenly it was quiet. A police officer
was standing over me. There was a doctor,
and my body was mangled. I was saturated
with blood. Pieces of jagged glass were
sticking out all over. Strange that I
couldn't feel anything.
Hey, don't pull that sheet over my head!
I can't be dead. I'm only 17.
I've got a date tonight. I'm supposed to
grow up and have a wonderful life.
I haven't even lived yet, I can't be dead.
Later I was placed in a drawer.
My folks had to identify me.
Why did they have to see me like this?
Why did my mother have to face the most terrible
ordeal of her life? Why did Dad suddenly
look like an old man? He told the man in charge,
"Yes, that is my child."
The funeral was a weird experience.
All my relatives and friends walked toward
the casket. They passed by, one by one,
and looked at me with the saddest eyes.
Some of the boys were crying. A few of
the girls touched my hand and sobbed
as they walked away.
I wish someone could wake me up and
get me out of this casket!
My mom and dad are so broken up.
My grandparents are so racked with
grief that they can barely walk.
My brothers and sisters stare ahead
like zombies, and move like robots.
No one can believe that this happened to me.
Please don't bury me! I have lots of
living to do! I want to run and jump again.
I want to laugh and sing. Please don't
put me in the ground.
I promise if you give me one more chance,
I'll be the most careful driver in
the whole world!
Please, God, I'm only 17!


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