“What a hot and humid day!” I muttered under my breath as I hastily sprinted out towards the traffic junction just outside my school. Cars cruised swiftly along the rough tarmac, filling the busy junction with a strong, putrid smell of exhaust fumes. Beads of perspiration trickled down my forehead as I adjusted the straps of my heavy and bulky school bag. Picturing myself at home with the air conditioner on full blast, I heaved an exasperated sigh. The traffic was so slow! Kicking the traffic light pole, my face lit up as my impish mind formulated a plan.
At that moment, I was caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. If I jaywalked, a car might ram into me. However, if I waited a few more minutes, I might melt into a puddle from the merciless heat even before I got home. After some major dithering, I decided to jaywalk. I needed to escape the heat! Taking a deep breath to calm my racing heart down, I cast furtive glances left and right. As soon as the coast was clear, I bolted across the road as fast as my legs could carry me. I was about to make it! There were only ten metres left. Beaming from ear to ear, I got ready to leap forward and reach the other side.
Out of the blue, a car materialised from out of nowhere and was headed straight for me at breakneck speed! I hesitated even though my brain was screaming “Run!” as the car zoomed towards me. It was slowing down, but even at this rate, I would still get struck by the car! Fear paralysed me and my legs were rooted to the ground, refusing to listen. My heart palpitated wildly against my ribcage and I gulped. It was all over for me.
“Crash!” That was all I heard as the car collided into my chest. I was sent flying across the road before I landed with a resounding thump! My limp body had skidded across the road and searing hot pain pierced through me, my breath becoming ragged. A pool of crimson red blood was forming around me. My mouth was dry and I heard shouts and shrieks from passers-by. I was swamped with a sudden wave of dizziness and my head felt like exploding. My limbs were twisted in strange angles. My mind was clouded with a million thoughts as I struggled to stay conscious.
The wailing of sirens reverberated in the air as waves of regret crashed over me. I should never have done this! As the pain consumed me, I caught a last glimpse of a paramedic staring down at me, face crumpled in worry.
I woke up to find myself staring into a blinding beam of radiance. Blinking my eyes, I realised that I was in the hospital. My lungs burnt with every breath I inhaled and I could not move any part of my body. Just then, my tear-streaked mother entered the room. Apologies tumbled out of my mouth profusely, but my mother only embraced me tightly. I could only thank my lucky stars that I had escaped this incident alive.
Every time I recall this incident, pangs of guilt would gnaw at me. This memory will be ingrained in my mind forever, together with the scars etched on my skin. I learnt to never jaywalk and to always be cautious when on the road.