An Accident Or Two

Today is the twenty-second of May, 2013.

I have an exam tomorrow, of a subject I struggle with. I usually take extra classes with my teacher along with a group of other students to help me cope.
Although I do hate to admit it, we mess around about 45% or perhaps 50% of the time.

In the morning, 8 o’clock, I arrived at school with my sister, for a three-hour class with our usual tuition buddies – Kylie, Jesse (best friend), I, and the two guys, San and Zap. (Those two are fictional names to protect the aforementioned people’s identities.) Marjorie (more fictional naming) also came, though she doesn’t normally. But she’s on good terms with everyone, so it felt normal.

Our teacher had yet to arrive, so Zap and I began talking, and after five minutes of mindless conversation, I asked him whether he had any siblings in school.

“I have a brother… in elementary,” he said, by way of explanation.

And then more of our mindless conversations, which, although probably entertaining, is not relevant.

The teacher finally came, and in approximately seven minutes, we were inside a classroom, ready to study.
After about two hours (of which one-and-one-third were spent studying and the rest spent messing around and trying to guess who San had a crush on – we’re so childish, I know), our topic ended up on our worst acts in seventh grade.

Zap was gleefully telling us about the time he and his classmates left the gas from the gas heater on in the class room, and then scrammed, when the teacher interrupted.

“But Zap, child, that’s so dangerous!” she exclaimed, duly horrified. “If you had only switched the light on, the room could’ve erupted in flames!”

I nodded in agreement, but, to be fair, I was pretty entranced by his crazy antics.

“People die every day for leaving the gas on. Don’t you know what happened to the people on Kuri campus?” she continued.

Kuri campus is the name of our soon-to-be, big-fancy-stylish-modern new school campus. We’re to move there when it’s furnished.

“No…” said Zap, virtuously blank.

“What happened?” asked Marjorie.

Our teacher was about to explain, when I interrupted. “Teacher, can I?”
She complied.

“There were these two people working on Kuri campus – architects, really –“

“Husband and wife,” added the teacher.

“Husband and wife,” I agreed. “They went home one night, and turned their heater off before going to sleep, but the gas leaked. So, basically, the gas filled the room. The man woke up in the middle of the night, and went to the bathroom, and when he turned the light switch on, the whole room exploded.”

Marjorie had a hand clasped on her mouth. San and Zap were horrifically riveted.

“They ran out on their balcony, screaming, on fire, and their kids were there and they just watched. They didn’t know what to do, and they had to watch their parents erupt in to flames.” I shuddered. “It’s so horrible. They brought their parents to the hospital, but they died after a couple of days because of the burns.”

“That’s so awful,” said Marjorie, looking horrified.

“Do you know what happened in Blue area?” asked Zap. (Blue area’s just this place; it’s not actually a “blue” area.)

I shook my head no. After Jesse and Zap argued about who would relate the tale, Zap began. I couldn’t understand all of it.
Basically, from what I gathered, a man was driving around Blue area at 140 km / hr, when he came to a crossing, and two cars were coming from the left. He swerved to the right, and some government cleaners were in his way, so, in order to save them, he swerved more, and he hit a tree (or a lightpole). The airbag blew up in his face, so that was alright, but then a rod came… and skewered his neck.

I shivered. “Oh, my gosh.”

“Oh…” said Marjorie, hand still slapped over her mouth.

“He died on impact,” said Zap, solemnly.

“So many car accidents,” said the teacher gloomily. “So many deaths. Your sister died in a car accident, Zap, didn’t she?”

“What?” asked Marjorie, looking surprised.

The rest of us looked at Zap.

“She died in a car accident, right, Zap?” asked the teacher again.

Zap, smiling, nodded.
His smile was tight on his lips, and he looked at all of us slowly, as if gauging our reactions.

I was confused.

“Oh, gosh, let’s get off these depressing topics,” sighed Jesse, half-smiling. Now, I realize, she was changing subjects to avoid awkwardness. “Hurry, teacher, we haven’t much time!”

We began our lesson, and the words sunk in.

His sister died a car accident.
Tears burned in my eyes, light, but threatening. I blinked them away.

It was just so… horrifying.

Zap is one of the cheeriest, teasing, craziest guys I know. He’s always happy. And I had just asked him today about his siblings.

Zap was unusually quiet and good for the rest of the lesson. He ducked his head a couple of times, rubbed his face tiredly. His eyes were – maybe I’m over analyzing here – almost glassy.
San also seemed slightly tired, rubbing his face. His eyes shone slightly when he looked upwards.

I blinked back the tears, but they came back when I thought about it. It was an agonizing circle – rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat.

All I wanted to do was confront him about it, and hug him tight. He seemed so… different, now.

When class ended, he left immediately. The rest of us lingered.

“Teacher,” I asked cautiously, “What happened to Zap’s sister?”
I found out there was a car crash somewhere, and she got hit, and died on impact. She was in seventh grade, while he was in either fifth of sixth.

I don’t understand. Why do bad things happen to people? Why can’t we all just be happy? Why can’t life be easy for us all?

The End

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