Urban Legends

Only 17

The Legend

I am a statistic. When I first got here I felt very much alone. I was overwhelmed by desperate agony and I demanded sympathy. I found no sympathy. I saw my mangled body, with tangled hair and broken nails. I was given a number and placed in a category. The category was called "Dead Hot Teenage Girl."

The day I died was an ordinary school day. How I wish I had stopped at Starbucks instead of going right to school! But I was late for cheerleading practice because my stupid mother hadn't washed the right sweater. I remember how I peeled the Ferrari out and sped down our long driveway, the top down, my long, blonde hair blowing in the wind.

When the 2:50 p.m. bell rang, I was free for the rest of the day. I found a guy to carry my books and walked slow to my car so my heels wouldn't trip me and my little skirt wouldn't ride up. I hopped in the car, dumped the guy, and was out of there.

It doesn't matter how the accident happened, but it wasn't my fault. I was going fast, cutting corners, but it's bad for a Ferrari to drive too slow all the time. Plus, at that speed it's not safe to stop for traffic signs and even if you can see them they're just a blurr, so who knows what they say. But I was enjoying my freedom and having fun, and even if I got caught by a cop, I knew a certain look and a loose button and, in extreme circumstances, a few minutes in the back of the squad car would make everything all right again. Unless it was a woman cop. Except for that one time, but let's not go into that.

The last thing I remember was speeding by an old lady in a crosswalk. I was watching her spin in my rear-view mirror when I heard a crash and felt a major jolt. Glass and fiberglass flew everywhere. The airbag smashed my new sunglasses and knocked me into tomorrow. I heard myself scream and wondered if maybe my boyfriend was wrong about not needing a seatbelt if you had an air bag.

Suddenly, I awakened. It was very quiet. A police officer was standing over me. I saw a doctor. Some kid was stealing my purse. My body was mangled, my clothes and hair were ruined. Why were they pulling that cheap, low-count sheet over my head? I can't be dead, I don't have time for that! I'm only 17. I've got a date with a couple of guys tonight. I'm supposed to have a wonderful life ahead of me. I want to pledge a sorority and get drunk some more and tease guys. I can't be dead. I haven't even had sex yet. Unless you count that time with Martin, or that one with Kurt, or the thing with Lawrence, but I don't think you should because, well, let's not go there.

Later I was placed in a drawer. A guy I don't even know kept opening the drawer and looking under the sheet. He must know now I'm not really a blonde. My friends came by to take a look. Why did they have to see me like this? I wish someone would at least fix my hair. God, my makeup's got to be a mess.

My folks are here to identify me. Why did I have to look at Mom's eyes when she looks down at me? Dad, actually my step dad and I've only known him a year, but he looks at my tits. What a horny bastard. I think he peeks at me in the shower. I wonder if Mom knows I got to third base with him once before they started dating?

Mom looks so upset. Why does she have to stand there crying? And where are all these people coming from? Why are they saying, "Surprise?"

Oh shit -- am I talking out loud? How much have they heard? I admitted that I'm not really blonde! Oh, God!

Please, somebody -- wake me up! Get me out of here! Tell me this is just a dream! My social life is ruined now! I'll never make cheerleaders in college! It will be all over school that I have crabs! Oh, shit, shit, I hadn't said that before! It was still secret! Shit!

Please, just kill me! My life is over! Everything's ruined! Please, God, I'm only 17.

Behind the Legend

This story is completely true. There's another version in which the speaker really is killed in a car accident and describes being buried. That one is completely true, too.

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