1st Place 2015 YWA (Grade 9/10) – Rochelle Wang from ISNS
by Rochelle Wang
Martha was in shock. She looked down the crowded street, seeing everything, but nothing was registering with her. She saw the ambulance, the police, and the people, but she did not understand what the scene unfolding in front of her truly meant. Maybe she did.
Henry absentmindedly drove along the deserted road. A bike suddenly cut out from a side street, swift and silent like the wind. “NO!” he exclaimed, as he tried his best to flatten the brake. It was too late. He had felt and heard the dull thud of something hitting his car. Horrified, he wrenched open the door and dashed to the front of the car.
It was a boy.
He lay crumpled on the hard asphalt, perhaps already passed out from the impact. The boy was still breathing, and Henry’s worry eased somewhat. One of his arms rested at a twisted angle, and one of his legs looked no better. The only source of comfort was no real comfort: There is not as much blood as what I expected, even though I was not driving very fast, Henry sighed in relief.
Henry did not know any first-aid, nor was he brave enough to move the boy, in fear of hurting the boy even more. So he collected his wits called 911. Then, he started to panic. Being a nice man, Henry did not want to abandon the boy. After all, some of this mess is my fault, he thought regretfully. However, he was poor. What will I do? Henry despaired. Where am I going to get money when the boy’s parents demand compensation?
He began to think about what had happened. If not he, then who else would know what had transpired? He thought about the stop sign, which the boy was supposed to heed. He also thought about the two roads. Shouldn’t it be the company’s fault? Neither was able no notice the other before they crashed into each other. How unlucky was he that he ran into something like this!
Soon, an ambulance arrived, even though it seemed like hours to Henry, waiting with his unhappy thoughts. A crowd gathered, attracted by the wailing siren. Everyone looked at Henry strangely, as though he was fully responsible for this crash. A woman came stumbling out from among the crowd, distraughtly calling: “Caleb! Caleb!”
Martha was almost in tears. She looked at her son, lying on the ground, his body as ravaged as her heart. She could not stand that her smart, active boy, who was running around mere minutes ago, was like this now.
Martha wanted to yell at the man standing in front of her. She wanted to scream at him for doing this to her son. Instead, all she could do was hoarsely repeat: “Why? Why?” Martha broke down and sobbed as she watched the paramedics load her son onto the ambulance. She started babbling, blaming the man and his driving. It was all his fault, she thought. If it wasn’t for him, my son would be fine! Anger started to bubble up inside her.
Henry looked at the devastated woman, feeling sorry for her. He had his own worries though. It seemed like she was blaming him, and even though he did contribute to the accident, it was by no means his fault. The boy, she called him Caleb, I think, was going too fast, Henry thought. If he wasn’t going so fast, and if the road wasn’t like that, I wouldn’t have bumped into him, he grumbled.
Henry really wanted to reason with the boy’s mother, but it would be ungentlemanly of him to do so right now, when the woman was hardly sane. Still, he felt so wronged.
The ambulance was preparing to drive away, so Henry turned to the sobbing mother: “Um, Miss? The car’s leaving.”
Martha gradually recovered her senses as the man said something. “S-sorry?” she responded, even though she wanted nothing more than to break two of his limbs. The man repeated what he just said: “The car’s leaving.” Martha realized that the driver was getting onto the car, and hurried to see if she could stay with her son.
Henry wondered if he could just leave. Certainly, it was not entirely my fault that the boy crashed into me, he thought. If I stayed, that mother is probably not going to treat me very nicely, and she probably doesn’t even know who I am yet. I would probably save a lot of time and money if I left now. However, Henry could not stand the thought of just leaving. He was responsible for a part of this accident, and he felt like he needed to take that responsibility. He decided to go with the mother and son to the hospital, and see if he could reason with the mother.
As Martha sat in the hospital waiting room, she realized that the man in the accident had come, too. Anger almost blinded her. “How dare you come here after you’ve hurt my son so badly?! Have you no shame?”
The man shook his head. He said: “I just wanted to say that even though I’m not rich, I am willing to compensate for some of this. I cannot afford the rest, and insurance should cover some of it, but when you son wakes up, you can ask him about what happened. It was not entirely my fault, and the company which built the road should be responsible too. Also, your son was going at a very fast speed, ignoring the stop sign. We didn’t see each other.”
Martha was surprised. She didn’t see it that way. Maybe she could wait until her son was conscious to settle this matter. She realized that she didn’t even know the man’s name. “What’s your name? We could talk.”
The man smiled. “I’m Henry.”
Congratulations to Rochelle Wang who has won a Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 from Lenovo China.