The time I….

By Ally Cottrell  

The time I…

was left at an intersection

Towards the end of the cross country season and the section meet, the varsity team goes to Gale Woods, where the meet is also held, to do a workout. Since we just take the nine girls on the team, we carpool there. During my sophomore year, I was in a car with three seniors. The workout itself was uneventful, but the way home was when things went wrong. We had vowed to, at some intersection on the drive back, all get out of the car, run around to the other side, and get back in the car during the span of a red light. We stopped at a red light, waiting to turn left, when the girl driving started yelling at us to go.

I opened the door and got out, running faster than I had in the workout to the other side of the car. But, the door was closed, as the two girls on the right side of the car had just switched spots. Unknown to me, my door had also closed from the force of opening it, and the driver thought I was in the car. The light had turned green, then yellow, and the driver booked it. I stood there for a second in the street before walking over to the patch of grass that led into the woods.

I paced back and forth. My thoughts jumped around. I didn’t have my phone, no driver would acknowledge my existence, because it was in actuality quite a large intersection and I was sweaty teenager pacing at the edge of the woods with an utmost look of panic, and I was afraid that my coach would drive by and see one of his runners apparently trying to escape into the wilderness. I considered going up to somebody in a car if they didn’t come back, but decided against that because I don’t like confrontation. After a few minutes, once they had found a place to make a u-turn, they came back to get me, laughing all the while and apologizing profusely.

Now, whenever I drive by that intersection, I remember that feeling of panic and my brief contemplation into living in the woods. I went there a few weeks ago when not running and took a picture of the intersection so that I can always remember those emotional few minutes.