I remember being 12.
I was hit by a car.
I was riding my bike down a quiet, residential street. When I got to the quiet intersection of the quiet street, things were no longer quiet.
The screeching brakes, flipping through the air, bouncing off the windshield, landing on the cement, I remember all of it. Most people say they black out during a traumatic event and don’t recall a thing. I remember every spine-tingling flip.
I was 12. 12 was a very bad age for me.
I recall catching myself with my hands and knees. I remember looking at my hands after hitting the ground - a bloody, pulpy mess.
I remember the female driver. Her screaming and sobbing was like something I have never heard; something from another planet. Lying on the ground, I could see people holding her back from me. Her mind was a mess.
Every part of my body hurt. My legs were covered in blood, my face scraped and bruised.
I tried to get up, but was too dizzy and the grown ups made me lie down. I was confused. I was looking around for my bike. I wanted to go home.
I kept hearing the voices of my friends that were behind me. “Are you okay Abe?” “Are you hurt?”
The screams from the driver never stopped. I can still hear them.
Blurs of people I knew entered my peripheral vision; the Snarrs, who lived across the street from where I was hit, my brother, others.
Soon there were blurs of people I did not know and sounds of sirens; lots of sirens. People with masks and boards and leather cases surrounded me. More high pitched screaming from the same woman.
They would not allow me to get up, would not allow me to move my head. I was lifted and strapped to a wooden plank. My hands felt as though they were on fire. My knees felt like they had been rubbed completely off. My head throbbed in agony.
While being lifted into what would be the first of two ambulances that year, I caught a glimpse of the windshield that I had broke with my back and head. It had been shattered into thousands of pieces.
I rode to the hospital, wondering why I had straps on my arms, wondering why there was a mask on my face, wondering if I was going to die. It was a long five minutes.
Upon reaching the hospital, I was lifted into the ER. I was poked and prodded. My shirt and pants cut clean off of me. Every part of my body was examined.
It was determined that I was bloody. My hands, legs and head were becoming a giant scab. They gave me some Advil. Advil! I needed morphine.
It was also determined, amazingly enough, that I had no internal injuries, no need for stitches, no broken bones. The doctor told me I was the luckiest boy he had met that year.
I was a walking miracle.
I spent the next three hours in side room having the nurse pull little chunks of glass out of my hair and head.
I remember being 12. That was a tough year.