Joined: 1 Apr 2009
I was in the car with my brother. We were on the way to the store to get a gift for our
parents' anniversary. They didn't know where we were; it was supposed to be a surprise. My
brother and I had the radio turned up loud, he was singing along and dancing in the
driver's seat. Neither of us saw the red light. He took one hand off the steering wheel,
holding a fist like there was a microphone in his hand. He closed his eyes for a second,
and I remember thinking without worry, He should be watching the road. In the next
instant, we ran the red light and an oncoming pickup truck crashed into us.
It was all a blur. The airbags came out, hitting our faces. I could hear tires screeching
and smelled smoke. I could hear the sound of glass breaking, the loud roar of three giant
logs falling off the back of the truck. The first log broke the top of the car. The second
one rolled into the side. The third one fell on my legs, pinning me down.
For whatever reason, the car radio had not been broken. Music was still playing. And as I
was laying against the asphalt, smoke from the engines surrounding me, a broken car to my
side, in the middle of a huge wreck with a log crushing my legs, making me unable to move,
I heard the song Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol come on.
"If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?"
It was all I could hear. All the screams and crying gone, all the ambulance sirens and car
horns gone. They became muted, a quiet background soundtrack. I quietly listened to the
beautiful music, which seemed so strange at the moment, considering what was going on. I
closed my eyes, drank up the lyrics, let them fill my body. I felt strangely calm.
"I don't quite know
How to say
How I feel"
I started to whisper my brother's name; my mother's, my father's, my grandma's, my
grandpa's. I whispered all the names of my family, not urgently, just quietly. I wanted
them with me. I wanted them to lay with me, to tell me they love me, to just be with me. I
should have been feeling pain. I should have been crying in agony, should have prayed for
my suffering to end. Instead, I wished for my family to lay down beside me so I could feel
their warmth. It was all I wanted at that moment.
I felt a huge weight lifted off my legs. Now they felt strangely cold and empty. What's
going on? I thought. I was perfectly fine right where I was. I then saw my
brother's face, scratched, bruises already forming. His eyes looked so sad. So worried.
The chorus came on again and I mouthed the words to him, trying to reach up, but now the
pain was kicking in. I managed to say, "....forget the world," which caused tears to run
down my brother's face. He leaned in to hug me, or so I thought, because suddenly, I was
lifted into the air. I cried out when my legs moved, but the pain quickly passed. I leaned
my head back. I could see lots of cars, which for some reason, reminded me of playing the
license plate game with my brother when we were kids.
My brother just stood there, not moving.
"Let's waste time
Around our heads"
I felt his body begin to shake when I whispered, "Let's....chase.....cars....." I wanted
to tell him not to cry, not to worry, to just listen to the beautiful song. Maybe that's
why he was crying; the song is emotional. He was just afraid to let go of the
More people ran up to me. I was set down on a gurney. I had no idea what was happening, I
wasn't paying attention. All I could hear was the song as I looked up at my loving
"All that I am
All that I ever was
Is here in your perfect eyes, they're all I can see"
I was moved to the ambulance now. They put me in the back. I didn't want to go. The song
wasn't over yet. As the ambulance started to drive away, I couldn't hear the song out
loud, but it was in my head. I listened to it until I couldn't keep my eyes open any
My legs were fine. I was in the hospital for a long time. They tried to get me to go to
therapy, saying that I was traumatized by the accident. I didn't feel traumatized, though.
Maybe they thought i was crazy because I kept asking for "Chasing Cars". It was my brother
who figured it out. He brought in the radio the next day, it was turned to the same
station we had been listening to when the accident happened. The man on the station said,
"This next song is for a very special girl who's going through some tough times right now.
I hope this helps her through it." Then the song came on. It made me cry. The nurse rushed
over to turn it off, but I screamed at her to stop.
When the chorus came, I looked up at my brother. He understood immediately; he sat down on
the edge of my bed and then lay down next to me.
Whenever I hear that song, I feel like crying. But it's what I listen to now when I'm
feeling down. It reminds me that I have people who love me.
"Just know that these things will never change for us at all...."