I still don’t cross the street on the corner of West End Avenue. Just looking at that intersection causes a chill to run down my spine, and my thoughts suddenly wander back to November 22, 2011.
“Come Chavi, we have the light!” my neighbor Gila called to me. We huddled under her colorful umbrella, listening to the rain crashing down, crossing the intersection of West End Avenue.
Everything was black. I heard voices in the distance…
“Stop, stop. You just hit two girls”
I opened my eyes. The white lines on the street were dancing before me. As I attempted to regain my balance, men were helping me to the curb.
“Chavi! Are you all right? I was hit too, but you were on the side the car turned. Here are your glasses.”
While sitting on the curb, my fingers quickly dialed my mother’s cell phone.
“Ma, I was hit by a car!” I yelled frantically. “But I’m okay. I think I’m okay. Come quick. I’m on West End Avenue.”
“Chavi! I’m coming over right now.”
Men in blue police vests were assisting me to get out of the rain, and brought me into a store.
“When did they come?” I wondered.
My mother rushed into the store flustered. The police whispered among each other. Before I knew it, I was strapped onto a red hospital board, with my mother at my side, in the back of an ambulance. A Hatzolah volunteer came into the ambulance before we started driving, and put a CPR mask on my face.
“I can breathe, I don’t need it.” I resisted weakly, to no avail.
We sped through the streets, and arrived at Lutheran Medical Center. I was in a daze. White coats were everywhere. I was brought into a big room, where doctors slid me into a cot. Three nurses changed me into a hospital gown. They were asking me questions, and poking my arm to put in an I.V.
I was carried to x-rays, and then an MRI. I couldn’t stop shaking. Afterwards, they wheeled me into a small cubicle.
“Wait here with your mother; we’ll bring you your results soon.” Dr. Graber told us before he made his exit.
Finally, I started to relax. We contacted my father, and he said he would come over as soon as he can. About a half an hour later, a woman about 30 years of age was rolled into my room on a cot; she had also been hit by a car. Little did we know that we were only two of the many accident victims that night.
My father came into our small, shared cubicle, looking nervous.
“Don’t worry Abba, I’m fine.” I assured him. After another half hour passed, I looked up to find a slim figure in a white coat; I met his glimmering eyes, and saw his bright smile.
“You are one lucky girl, Chavi – you’re free to go.” Said Dr. Graber happily. “Take care! I hope not to see you here again!”
This was the scariest day of my life, and although I now cross most streets, I still do not cross West End Avenue.