Perhaps I shouldn't have asked her to drive us

It wasn't me.

The tuneful notes float down my eardrums, attacking my heart.

Suddenly a wave of guilt washes over me.

It hits me with such force my breath is knocked out of me and I have no hope of regaining it.

While I sit there drowning in a wave of guilt, my mind whirls back to loud singing and the blank look in my sister's eyes.

I can't help but think maybe it was me.

''Come on Sam! Take us to the river. You'll be favourite sister!''

I begged in the sweetest voice I could manage.

She gave me the look that said, ''You owe me one,'' but her eyes reflected the joy I knew she got from listening to music as loud as possible while she drove.

Perhaps I shouldn't have asked her.

We could have walked. It wasn't far. But it wasn't me, right?It seemed so normal. Not a thing out of place.

The smell of cherry air freshener danced in my nostrils, my legs were crying out from being squished in the back, and we were all singing at the top of our lungs, ''It wasn't me!''

I could have told her I wanted to go home. It was too cold to go to the river anyway. But it wasn't me, was it?''All right, fools. Out of the car,'' she joked.

In an obedient manner we all slid out of the back seat.

One, two, three, all of us were out. That is, except Sam.

Maybe I should have told her to get out too.

I should want to spend time with my sister.

If I had told her to come with us, everything would be the same.

No!

"It wasn't me.''

As we headed in the direction of the river, the blatant whack of metal made me spin around.

I threw my hands forward in a vain attempt to stop the cars from spinning.

I felt like a small child watching the merry-go-round at the town fair.

Frozen on the spot, I watched the glass float to the ground as if it were snow falling for the first time that winter.

My mind was screaming: ''Call an ambulance! Call someone!''

Yet I continued to watch the glass fall gracefully to the ground.

The sound of a child screaming pulled me back to reality.

Faintly, from the speakers of the car, It wasn't me hummed in the distance.

As I looked over at the mass of mangled metal, all I wanted to hear was Sam's voice telling me that it wasn't me, but someone was dragging me back.

''We are going to meet them at the hospital,'' a voice splattered behind me.

The words were wound tightly with nervousness.

I paid them no further attention.

That stupid song replayed in my mind. It wasn't me.

''You can go and see her now,'' a voice chirped.

The smell of disinfectant that lingered did nothing to lull my nerves.

My mind went blank for the first time in hours when I saw her lying there.

A cut above her eye and a broken arm was all she had to show for the accident.

Yet something started to gnaw at my relief.

It was her eyes. They didn't have the usual sparkle.

Suddenly she let her head drop, and mumbled, ''There was a young boy in the other car. I killed him, Georgia.''

Sam didn't die in that accident, but from that moment on, I knew I'd lost my older sister.

I turned to leave, thinking I shouldn't have asked her to take us, I should have told her to go home earlier, I should have told her to stay with me.

Then it started again, replaying in my head. It wasn't me.

 


•  By Georgia Johnston, Year 13, St Peter's College