“Describe the closest you’ve ever come to getting into a deadly accident, but nothing bad ultimately ended up happening.”
Matthew over at Normal Happenings has thrown out another Daily Inkling that immediately grabbed my attention, and in this case, is oddly relevant to my own blog’s series of topics. This is a story about how video games might have literally saved my life.
My mom, stepdad, sister, and I were all heading out of town for the day to attend a Christian music festival. I was only 8 or 9 at the time, and since I didn’t have the attention span to survive a half-hour car ride at that age, I knew I needed to bring my Game Boy Color with me! Those Pokémon weren’t gonna catch themselves, after all! But the problem was that I couldn’t find it anywhere. I looked under clothes, under furniture, and even threw open the kitchen cabinets in my frenzied flight around the house. Nothing!!
I heard my mother yelling at me to come out to the car, as everyone was ready to go. I quickly went and told her that I wanted to bring my Game Boy but couldn’t find it. Using a superpower that only mothers have, she tore open the veil between dimensions, scried out for my lost device, and pulled it out mightily from the nether space (I believe it had been buried under a magazine). I had cost us precious seconds, but nonetheless! I was now ready for our journey!
We took the highway out of town to get to our destination, but I didn’t care: I was busy training hard and earning gym badges. Approximately half an hour elapsed and we arrived in the town where the festival was being held. I saved my game and put my Game Boy away inside its case, just in case we arrived soon and I lost the chance to do so. As I did, we came up to a red light behind another car. The light changed to green.
And then I saw it. A van. Speeding. Road crossing ours. Car ahead of us. Pulls forward. Doesn’t see. A blast. Crunching. Glass flying. Screeching. It didn’t register what happened until several seconds later as my mom whipped out her cell phone and dialed 911. We watched as help arrived, got everyone safely out of the vehicles, and arrested the man who had clearly blown through the red light, despite protesting in the middle of the street. After everything was settled, we went on with our day and had a fine time.
I looked back on this day years later, in my late teens, and realized that those precious seconds I had wasted looking for a video game may have randomly saved my family’s lives. We might have been further ahead on the road and gotten there before the car immediately in front of us. My sister (who was only 1 or 2 at the time) was sitting in her seat on the side of impact, and judging from the power of the hit, she very well might not have made it.
I’m not crazy or vain enough to claim that I am responsible for saving my family’s lives that day, but my childish search for a Game Boy may very well have been the deciding factor between us and them. It was a scary event that I’ll never forget. Thank you, Matthew, for the great prompt! And thank you, friend, for reading!