By Lauren Taylor
Otto was so excited. Tomorrow was his sweet 16. He was getting his license, and he and his dad were going "car looking" that evening. It was going to be an awesome day! Or so Landon thought…
"All right, time to go to school and brag!" exclaimed Otto, "I am finally sixteen!" Otto looked in the mirror and spruced up his hair. "Lookin’ good, baby," he said to himself. "Come on!" yelled his sister Roxy, who was turning 17 in August. "I’m coming, I’m coming!" Otto yelled back. Otto grabbed his stuff, and ran out side to his sister’s yellow VW Beetle. Blake and Gary were already waiting for him.
"Man, if you don’t stop lookin’ in the mirror every morning, we’re gonna be even more late!" screamed Blake. Otto hopped in the front seat. "Step on it, Roxy!" said Blake. "This car won’t get up and go but so fast, since it only has a four cylinder engine in it," stated Gary. "Dude, we really don’t have time for your technical explanations," replied Otto. "Besides, it’s nicer than your car isn’t it?" he questioned Gary. Gary said nothing. He didn’t have a car yet, but was going to get one soon. "Lay off, Otto," argued Roxy. They rode the rest of the way to school in silence.
Roxy parked in front of the school and everyone got out. "Later," said everyone in sequence.
The school day seemed to drag by. Otto’s patience was growing lower and anticipation was getting higher. Can’t this day go by any faster? he thought. He couldn’t wait to see what kind of car his dad had in store for him. He hoped it was a red Jeep Wrangler, that way, when he and the crew wanted to go to their surf spot, he could just tie the boards on top, and drive right onto the beach. He really wanted to impress someone too, maybe even snag a date with her.
Her name was Savannah, but every one called her Sunny. She wasn’t the most popular girl in school, but she was really pretty and very nice. Otto really had his eyes on her. Her mid-length, golden brown hair, green eyes, and a beautiful personality. She smiled at Otto every time she walked past him in the hallways. She makes these long, miserable high school days worth it all, thought Otto.
Otto counted down the seconds to the end of the day bell. He pushed everyone out of the way and ran outside to his sister’s Beetle. But to his surprise it wasn’t there. But he finally saw it, and when he did, behind it was sitting a brand new red Jeep Wrangler! "Happy sweet 16,Otto!" yelled all of his friends and his dad. "Oh my God!" screamed Otto a million times over and over again. "Thanks Dad! Oh my God! Thank you so much!" he hugged his dad so hard, it knocked the breath from him. And through all the excitement, there she was, standing in person, Sunny.
"Hi Otto! Happy birthday!" she said shyly. "Uhm, hi…uh…S-Sunny…what a surprise…" he stuttered. "I saw all these balloons and I asked who’s Jeep this was. Your dad told me it was your 16th birthday present. I just wanted to tell you Happy 16th." she said. "Thanks. So, uh, you wanna be the first to ride in her? I mean, I’m going to get my license today. Wanna come?" he asked. "I would love to! Lemme call my mom and ask first." she replied. So she called her mom on her cell and her mom said yes, just as long as she came back by 9:30 PM. "Great!" said Otto. So she rode with Otto, his dad, and friends and Otto got his license.
"Hop in, I am gonna take this baby for a spin!" said Otto. "Now you be careful Otto. It’s your first day, and I’m trusting you," warned his dad. "I will dad, I will," said Otto impatiently. "Can we go now?" "Yes, but be back before your curfew. Be careful, son," stated his dad. "Later dad! Much," said Otto. Sunny got in and they drove off.
"So, I know where this really beautiful spot is, where you can see the sunset, and it’s also my favorite surf spot," said Otto. "You can drive right onto the beach." "Really? Wow, sounds great," replied Sunny. They arrived within 15 minutes. Otto put the Jeep into four-wheel drive and drove out onto the beach. "Just in time, too!" said Otto. "It’s gorgeous!" said Sunny. Otto looked at Sunny. "Um, Sunny, there is something I have been meaning to tell you, but I haven’t got the chance. I have been too scared," Otto said nervously.
"Yes?" asked Sunny. "Um, well it’s just that, I, uh, I really…" he stuttered. "Really what?" she asked. "I really…really like you," he replied. He felt relieved. Sunny didn’t act surprised. "Well, Otto, the truth is…uh, well…I like you too." "What a coincidence!" he said. "Man, this day has went better than I thought," he sighed. They both looked at each other at the same time. Man, did Otto feel weird right then. It was the first time in his life he had ever felt this way for a girl. Slowly they moved closer, then they kissed. Things seemed to be happening a little too fast.
"Well, it’s almost 9:15, I better get you home," Otto said. "Yeah, I guess," she replied, "Thanks for taking me tonight." "No problem." As he drove them off of the beach it started to rain. "Man, it’s raining pretty hard out there," he said, trying to act concerned. "Maybe you should pull over," said Sunny worriedly. "I’m fine, I know how to drive," he said. Just as he said that, while he was going around a sharp curb, he started sliding. "Otto! Slow down! You’re hydroplaning!" screamed Sunny. The Jeep twisted and turned in all sorts of directions. It finally slowed to a halt when it slammed into the side of a tree. Everything blacked out. Otto was still conscious, but Sunny was not. He could taste the bitter linger of blood in his mouth. "Sunny!
Sunny, wake up! Sunny!!!" he screamed. She was covered in blood. Otto had a cold feeling in the pit of his stomach. His ego had gotten in the way, and he should have slowed down like Sunny had said. He saw her cell phone, and dialed 911. "Yes…nine…one one… I’ve just been in a wreck…yes, I’m fine, but my friend here..sh-she’s not…you gotta help me…please…help…"
Within minutes had the ambulance arrived, Otto got even more frantic. He didn’t know anything else to do. Finally, until he passed out.
The next thing he remembered was lying in a hospital bed with no one around. "S-sunny..?" he whispered.
"Oh, thank heavens. You’re up now! We thought we were going to have to announce you to be in a coma!" said a lady, evidently the doctor. "Sunny? Where’s Sunny?" Otto asked. "Savannah is fine. She just has a few broken bones, but they are fixing her up now," replied the doctor. "Bones? Broken? How many is a few? What bones did she break?" Otto was asking erratically. "Don’t worry Otto, I assure you, she is and will be fine," said the doctor impatiently. "I am going to give you a shot to ease the pain, and it will put you to sleep within a few seconds." That was the last thing Otto remembered until he woke up for the second time.
"Uhh…" Otto moaned. "Where am I?" He looked around to see a blonde lady, a nurse evidently. "Good morning, sweetheart. Or should I say good afternoon?" said the nurse. "Afternoon?" he questioned. "Yes, it’s one o-clock. You have slept all morning," she replied. Otto tried to sit up. "Oww! My arm!" he screamed.
"Oh, don’t try to move sweetie. You broke your arm in the accident," she informed him. "And your little girlfriend is doing fine. She has only a broken rib and a fractured wrist." Otto about passed out again. "Only?!" he about yelled. "Is she gonna be okay?" "Yes, she is healing up quite quickly. Would you like to see her?" she asked. Otto couldn’t have been more happy. "Yes!"
The nurse helped him into a wheelchair and wheeled him into room 104, Sunny’s room. Otto’s heart sank when he saw her. Her beautiful face was bruised and cut up, her right arm was swollen up huge, and her tan complexion was now a pale white. She looked so frail and weak. "Sunny?" Otto said as tears rolled down his cheeks. "Otto…" she whispered. "I am so sorry Sunny. I should have listened and went around the curb slower and I just don’t know what to say, and I…" Otto cried. "Otto, I am fine. I am going to be okay.
The doctor said I would being going home in about a week or so," she tried to explain. Otto couldn’t say anything. He was about to choke on the huge lump in his throat. The endless tears ran down his face. He then again, fainted.
Waking up for the third time, it was presently 5:00 in the afternoon. Otto felt like throwing up. From the way it smelled, he had already. "Otto? Otto, son, you’re okay!" he heard his dad’s voice. "Dad?" Otto asked.
"Son, I was called to the hospital last night at about ten fifteen. They told me you got in a wreck. I am just glad you are okay," his dad said. Otto felt horrible. Not only was his brand new car a wreck, but so was the girl he loved.
The next day, Otto went home. Everything was the same way as he had left it when he left two mornings ago. He lied down on his bed and stared at the ceiling. Everything was quiet. Too quiet. He wanted to go see Sunny, but he had nothing to drive. And besides, he had no idea where his wallet was with his license in it. He picked up the phone and called his best friend, Blake.
"Man, I’m sorry about what happened the night before," Blake sympathized. Otto didn’t say anything. I am too, thought Otto. "You okay, man?" Blake asked. Otto nodded. He had a sudden urge to go back home and lay in his bed and cry. "Thanks for taking me to the hospital Blake. I don’t know what I would do without you," said Otto. "Hey, do you think we can stop by the florist right quick?" Otto asked. "Sure," Blake said.
Otto and Blake walked into the hospital. They walked over to the receptionist. "Is there a Savannah Morgan here?" asked Otto. "Room 207," she told them. They took the elevator up to the second floor. They slowly walked to room 207.
Surprisingly, Sunny had looked better than the day before. Otto tried to swallow the lump in his throat and keep his tears from falling. "Hey," Sunny said. "Hey," said Otto. "Hey Blake," she said. "Hey," he replied.
"Here I brought you these," said Otto while showing her the beautiful dozen yellow roses he had brought her. "They’re gorgeous. Thank you," Sunny said weakly. "Put them over there," she pointed to the table with all of the flowers and balloons. Otto sat them down and sat down in the chair beside Blake.
"Sunny, I am so sorry. I don’t even know what to say," Otto said. "Otto, I know you didn’t do it on purpose. It could have happened to anybody," she replied. "Want me to leave you two alone for a sec?" asked Blake.
"Yeah, if you don’t mind," replied Otto. Blake walked over to Sunny and told her to get better soon and left to go sit in the lobby. Silence. "My dad is coming up in a minute," Sunny said to break the silence. Otto said nothing. Great, now I have to face her dad, Otto thought sadly.
Within a few minutes, Sunny’s dad, Benny came in. He was tall and built big, like a football player. Otto gulped and suddenly felt very small. Ohh, I’m gonna get crushed! he thought. Otto stood up and looked at him. He was at least a foot taller and 150 pounds more than him. Benny looked at Otto fiercely. "Uhm..hi sir. I’m Otto and…" he barely got out before Benny interrupted him. "I know who you are, son," he said with a deep masculine voice. "Sir, you have no idea how sorry I am. Really, it was rainy, and I hydroplaned, and
I…" Otto couldn’t finish. He was too scared. "I understand, son. That’s why they call them accidents," the big man said. Benny walked over to his daughter and kissed her on the forehead. "How are you feeling honey?" he asked.
"Better," she said. "Daddy, please don’t be mad at Otto. It wasn’t his fault," she pleaded. Otto just sat there, silently praying for his life. "We’ll work something out," Benny said. Yeah, he’ll work my joint out of my socket! Otto thought.
Well, this is the end, thought Otto. He was completely clue-less. "Son, I had a talk with your father," said Benny. "I understand this was, after all, an accident, was it not?" "Yes sir," replied Otto shakily. "Your father has already worked out a punishment for you, but that is your business. I have worked out one for you and my daughter on my own terms," explained Benny. Otto swallowed hard. His face was a pale white where all the blood was draining from it. "I do not want you to ever take my daughter anywhere with you again," Benny said.
Otto’s heart sank. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, he thought. "But there is one exception," said Benny. "My daughter can meet you somewhere, but you will never be able to drive her anywhere again, unless you can prove to me somehow, that you are a careful driver. However, that may take a while. My daughter will be a recuperation for another week or so." Otto felt a little more relieved, but didn’t feel much better about Sunny. "Yes sir. I really am sorry," Otto tried to explain. "I understand, son. I just hope you have learned your lesson," Benny replied as he left the room.
"Sunny, I am really sorry. I ruined everything," Otto said. "No you didn’t. It was an accident," Sunny comforted Otto. She started to close her eyes and sleep. "I’ll leave you alone so you can sleep now," Otto said. He kissed her on the forehead and said something he had never said to anyone other than family: "I love you."
About a month later, things went back to normal. Besides Otto losing his license for a year as punishment from his dad, everything was fine. Otto wasn’t going to get a new car. He was going to be saving up money from his job to buy his own the year he was currently grounded. Otto and Sunny kept seeing each other, and kept on going out, but they had to meet when they went on dates, instead of Otto driving them to places. Everything was back to normal.