"Try not to move. This one has cut deep."
The doctor plucks at my eyelid with long tweezers. Each small piece of glass he extracts is placed in a sterile silver bowl. As glass is being picked out of my face (and dangerously close to my eyeball, might I add), I try to get my bearings. Under the harsh hospital lights, I see my younger sister, Melissa, being looked over by another doctor. My friend Jen is being treated for her thumb that was injured during the accident.
That's right, that's what happened. We were in a car accident. I rewind my day, back to 7am, when Jen picked up my sister and I for school. I was particularly excited this fine morning, as I had procured an extra large chocolate chip Au Bon Pain muffin last night after my shift at the cafe by the same name. It is one of those muffins that you leave sitting pretty in the wrapper and dream about all night. The cake falls apart in your mouth as the chocolate chips melt away one by one. It was my favorite kind of breakfast, especially when eaten on the go because I don't have to catch the bus...
...which my sister just missed. Rolling my eyes at having my sister tag along, we invited her to ride with us to school. She climbed in the back seat and we were on our way. Music played in the background while we chattered away. I chomped happily on my muffin, and mentally thought through my day as we neared one of the last curves before arriving at school.
Sometimes people get premonitions that something bad is about to happen. A vision, an ominous feeling. I'm no psychic, nor do I put much stock in the supernatural. But as we rounded that curve, maybe 5 miles over the speed limit, and I caught sight of the large van waiting at a stop sign on an approaching road to our right, I knew that something was about to happen. In the 30 seconds before the accident, something in me knew that car was going to pull out and try to turn left before we passed, putting it right in our path. I knew we were going to hit that car head on. And something in the back of my head scolded me for not buckling my seatbelt before leaving the driveway.
As if I had written the plot myself, I watch the next scene play out in slow motion. The van lurching forward right into our path, our car's trajectory full speed and not changing course, and the windshield gracefully meeting my forehead with such force that the glass bubbles and cracks around my skull.
As quickly as it happened, everything was over. It was dark and silent. Am I blind? Did I just die? I realized my eyes were squeezed shut, so upon opening them I see the fractured windshield. I wonder what caused it to break and splinter, followed by the thought that my head did that. I look over to Jen, whose eyes are wide. She looks me over. Fear takes over her face and her voices trills "Are you alright?"
Yes, I'm alright. No time for questions, people. I turn to my sister, whom I failed to protect, and see her seatbelt was not buckled either. Big Sister Fail #2. She takes a look at me and starts to cry. "Where does it hurt?" I ask her. But she is freaking out and doesn't answer. Jen and my sister are somewhat hysterical, so I realize I'm going to have to take charge. Someone has to. I open my door and survey the scene. Cars have stopped, and people come over to help.
Fortunately, the accident happened just steps away from our local hospital, and an ambulance arrives shortly after the crash. I see blood on my shirt, and I look to my arms for scratches or cuts, not finding any. As people rush to me with grave looks, I touch my forehead. My hand comes away red and wet. Oh, my face must be terribly cut up. Visions of my former face transforming to hamburger weigh on my heart as we are loaded into the ambulance.
"I think that's the last of the large pieces, although you might find small pieces of glass over the next few days," the doctor informs me as he finishes his medical treasure hunt on my face.
I was lucky that the shard of glass that had cut into my eyelid stopped just short of reaching my eye. My head aches, my cuts sting, and I'm feeling woozy. A nurse comes over, now that the emergent stuff is taken care of, and hands me a paper dress.
"Here, put this on, so we can examine you further," she instructs me.
As my hands touch the crinkly sheet, a memory from last Friday flashes through my mind: Several girlfriends and I spent the night at the mall. We grabbed dinner, giggled about cute boys, and shopped. At one point, we ended up in a gaudy dress shop that had some crazy designs of underwear near the register. Some of the undergarments were quite racy to our high school standards. Conversations ensued about who owned a thong, who wore them on a regular basis, and a good bit of hushed giggling. Half of us had never dared look in the direction of a thong, let alone worn one. So in true girl pack style, we all picked out matching metallic blue thongs. It was the worst $4 I had ever spent in my life. Walking away with our secret purchases in brown paper bags, we vowed to all wear them to school on the same day, next Thursday.
Which is today.
And as I was handed the paper gown, my heart started to race and my stomach felt like ice. The first and only time in my life that I decide to wear a thong, and I am in a car accident that sends me to the hospital.
In a thong.
I. Am. Wearing. A. Thong.
I panic at the thought of putting on the barely-there dress, with it's back that doesn't tie shut, my butt cheeks hanging out in the cold for all the world to see. I am already embarrassed that I have chosen to wear a thong to school, and now my indiscretion will be public knowledge.
This is why I have never worn a thong before. Crap like this happens.
I hurriedly put on the gown, doing my best to clamp the back shut with my hands. The rest of the exam goes quick, and I am sent home to recover.
Lesson learned: Always wear clean underwear in case you are in an accident. Try to make sure that underwear is not a thong. Unless you're into that kind of thing.
Never Will I Ever:
Wear a thong in public again.
PS- I totally still own the metallic blue thong, although I refuse to ever wear it again since I'm convinced it is cursed. TMI?