How Could I Forget?

How Could I Forget?

It’s seven thirty in the morning on a Wednesday.

I’m taking my brother and sister to school. The sun is up, but the air is cold. We’re all wearing puffy jackets to stay warm, and the heater is blasting from the vents. 

I make a left turn, out of the culdesac, and my head starts to spin. White bubbles as bright as stars begin to pop in front of my face. 

We hit a speed bump, and my eyelids begin to close. My chest and head feel heavy. I’m losing consciousness, but I’m fighting to keep it.

It will fade. It will fade. It will fade.

But the only thing fading is me.


There’s an elementary school three streets from our house.

By the time we reach it, the white explosion of stars has completely taken over my vision, and all I can see are my hands on the steering wheel, pale and blurry. 

I look up, and for a second I see the big yellow sign: WATCH FOR CHILDREN.

Why is it so close?

“Oh my god! KAYLA STOP!”

I’ve lost control of my body. I can’t move. Can’t speak. Can’t breathe.

My eyes close, and I enter a bubble of white.


The first time it happened, the doctor said it was a panic attack.

I walked up a flight of stairs into a sea of light and woke up in the nurse's office. My bloodpressure had skyrocketed, and sent me into space.

The doctor would have blamed the stairs, but I was a hundred pounds of healthy.

So he blamed my brain instead.

It’s normal to panic about your first year of high school. Next time, take some deep breaths, and you’ll be fine.

He was wrong.


Three years later, the bubble pops and I wake up with my head on the steering wheel.

The car is stopped inches from the big yellow sign. Half my car is in the street; the other half is propped on the curb. My brother and sister are crying.

But we’re okay.

“We could have died,” my brother says.

“We’re okay,” I say, more to myself than to my siblings.

I put the car in drive and take them to school. The only star in sight is the sun shining overhead. My vision is clear; my head is light. 

I breathe.

Maybe the doctor was right after all.


My brother is learning how to drive, and I’m old enough to teach him how.

His hands are on the steering wheel, and I’m sitting in the passenger seat. We’re taking the long way home, passing through our old neighborhood. As we pass the big yellow sign in front of the elementary school, he laughs and says,

Hey, remember when you passed out while you were driving us to school and you almost hit that sign?

How could I forget?

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