I was 22. Depressed. Had just been dumped on New Years’ Eve, almost ran out of my own house by a strange, scary man from Tinder (that’s another story) and was overall feeling alone, scared, and hopeless. Two of my friends had invited me out for a night of clubbing and drinking, but because of how I was feeling, I decided to stay sober and play the role of the designated driver. I was so exhausted, but I wanted nothing more than to not have to think about my reality.
We went downtown and were out until around 3 A.M., when the last bars closed. They lived on opposite sides of town, so I didn’t start heading home until around 5 A.M. Dropped him off, then her, declined an offer to sleep on her couch, and then there I was, back in my car. My box. My safe space, or it was.
I made it off the highway and was three minutes away from my apartment when I started falling asleep. I turned on the music, rolled down the windows, and thought I was fine. Then, all of a sudden, I was flying, jolted awake, and landing straight into a pole.
My ears were ringing. The door wouldn’t open. Everything felt hot. Police. Ambulance. Fire truck. A random man who asked if he needed to call 9-1-1, why was he even there? It was 5 A.M, in a residential part of town. I was alone. The ringing, I couldn’t hear. My arm hurt. I was so tired. I just wanted to go home. No, I don’t want to go to the hospital. I’ll walk home. Then I thought of the guy from Tinder. I don’t want to wake anyone. My parents live in another city, a few hours away. I don’t want to tell anyone I fell asleep. I fell asleep. I want to go to sleep. I want to sleep. Sleep. Police car, in the back, dropped off at my door. Sleep.
I was tired for two months straight. I was scared and I couldn’t hear. I was still running from my problems, constantly trying to forget, forget, forget.
Then you texted me. I could have not responded. I could have chose to be too caught up in my misery to talk, but I chose to put out my hand to meet yours.
This isn’t going to be about how a car accident changed my life. It did, in a lot of ways. But. This is about how a car accident brought me closer to my soulmate. She texted me asking me how I was, simply checking in, and that was all I needed.
Now we are engaged.
Look, I don’t have all the answers. I don’t claim to be wise. But all I know is I could have died, but instead a car accident led me to you, and if that isn’t some kind of strange, wonderful serendipity that means things can turn out alright, I don’t know what is. Look out for that text, or create your own. Don’t get too caught up in the bullshit. Your version of my ear will heal, and everything will be okay.