Daddy is driving. Mom said we're going to Disneyland. Benjy, my stinky little brother, said he doesn't want to go, that it won't be any fun, but I just called him a stinky butt face. "Lizzie, you be nice to your brother," Mommy called from the front seat.
I crossed my arms and sunk down in my seat. She's always sticking up for him. Benjy stuck out his tongue from his place behind Mom's seat and grinned wickedly. I stuck mine out too and looked out the window. He gets away with everything, like that time he colored all over the walls. But Mom always gets mad at me. It's not fair. Just because he's three and I'm six… Mom says I have to be "responsible" now and it's my job to look after Benjy, but he's such a… stinky butt face.
"Come on, guys, this is going to be fun. Let's just try to relax; we'll be there by dinner time," Daddy said in his quiet, calm voice. He turned the radio on and started singing along dramatically. I don't know the words but I've heard the song before. I have to bite my cheek to keep from smiling. I'm still mad and if I smile, Benjy wins.
We left early this morning, but I've been looking forward to this trip for a month, ever since Mommy and Daddy told us we're going. Daddy got a new job last summer and they said we're going to celebrate as a family, at Disneyland; I get to be a princess. Benjy only doesn't want to go because his friend Jimmy is having a birthday party while we're gone and there will be a bouncy castle, a clown, cake, and games. It does sound like fun but I don't think it'll be better than Disneyland!
Mom turned back around in her seat and started singing along. I looked up to watch the two of them, singing enthusiastically; Mom moved her head from side to side, like a dancing snake. Daddy winked in the mirror and I finally smiled. Benjy started to sing along; or tried to. He doesn't know the words to many songs, but he has a really bad singing voice! I like to say he sounds like our cat Ginger when someone steps on her tail.
All of a sudden, Mommy screamed "Look out, Dean!" I jumped and then I heard the tires squeal. There was a loud crash, like in the cartoons but so much scarier. And then there was the sound of glass breaking. Benjy starting crying in his car seat and my seat belt was holding me tight against my seat. Everything outside my window was spinning around, making me dizzy. There was another loud crash and the car shook badly until it finally came to a stop. I looked at Mommy, Daddy and Benjy in an attempt to see what was going on. Daddy was looking back at us, speaking calmly, but his face was the scariest I'd ever seen it. There were cuts and scratches, and I think I even saw a piece of glass in his cheek, but he smiled and spoke calmly while he looked at me and my brother.
"Daddy?" I whispered. I felt okay, except for where the seatbelt kept me pressed against the seat.
"It's okay, pumpkin," he answered softly. "Benjy, sh sh sh. We're okay."
"Daddy what happen?" I asked quietly, trying to unbuckle my seatbelt."
"We had an accident…" Daddy said, looking back to the front. We both looked at Mommy. She wasn't moving, and it looked like her door was shoved way up against her.
"Mommy?" I called. I looked at Benjy next and couldn't comprehend what I saw. There was blood, that much I knew, but his door was pushed in, and he was hurt… badly. "Daddy!" I started to panic. I could see another car pressed against the side of our own, pushing against Mommy and Benjy. Benjy was screaming loudly, worse than I'd ever heard him scream before, and that was saying something. Sometimes Benjy would scream just to see how loud he could get, or to get Mommy to look at him when she was busy.
I tried to undo my seatbelt again; I started clawing at it, but it wouldn't budge. "Daddy, they need help!" But he wasn't listening. I don't know if he was even awake anymore; his head was hanging down in front of him, and I still couldn't get my seatbelt off. "Daddy! Daddy!" I yelled but he didn't even move a little.
There were tears on my cheeks as I reached my hand out to Benjy. "I'm stuck," I told him softly. "We're stuck… help will come," I assured him.
He continued to cry, but more softly now. He was in pain, but I couldn't help him. All I could do was hold his hand until help came. Daddy wasn't answering me anymore, and Mommy still hadn't moved. It was just me and Benjy. I tried to see the people in the other car, but my seatbelt wouldn't let me move any. "You're not a stinky butt face," I whispered and squeezed his hand gently. Benjy's cries turned to whimpers and there we sat, whimpering and stuck waiting for help.