1 Life Changes In An Instant

Hae Mina's body shot three inches above her bed after her brother, Jae-Woo, jumped on it to awaken her. "For heaven's sakes!" she laughed sitting up against her pillows.

"Come on, we start school today! Hurry, and get ready," his light brown eyes danced with excitement. He crawled off her bed and stood by the door looking expectantly at her.

"Oppa, you are the only person in the world who'd be excited about school," she laughed as she tossed a pillow. He caught it with a wink.

"Well, it's not every day that you get to start attending the famous Daedoji University. I don't want to be late," he turned around, "so hurry and get dressed," he ordered in a stern tone she knew he had to force.

"Well, maybe, I'll just take my time then." He looked over his shoulder and pouted. "Fine, just turn around," she giggled. He did so, and she pulled away from the bed. She pulled on her uniform, ran a brush through her thick russet hair then pulled it up into the necessary bun to complete her school uniform.

She made a long pause by her mirror to make sure everything was in order. Her brother stepped behind her. She stared at their likeness. His soft brown eyes matched her eyes, except hers were not holding excitement like his. Their facial structures were the same: small with a slight roundness to it. Even their hair was the same russet color. The only real difference between them was their height because he stood two inches taller than her.

She thought about the many times she had been mistaken for her brother because she had placed her hair under a cap. Well, it would not happen this year as they had enrolled in separate Universities. She smiled. "Come on. Stop primping," he prompted as he pulled at her wrist and forced her outside and down the hall. She laughed and pulled away once they reached his car.

He darted to his side and was in before she opened the door. She rolled her eyes at his eagerness and lifted the door handle, but before pulling the door open, she paused. Her purse. She had forgotten it.

"Go ahead; I have to find my purse."

"Can't you just go a day without it?" he whined.

"No, I can't," she said but smiled. She waved then headed back inside. Her purse search began under her bed then traveled to her drawer, closet, bathroom, the downstairs' closet, and bathroom. When none of those places turned up any results, she searched the kitchen, the living room, the couch, but she still found nothing. Every room came up empty. Once she reached the verge of giving up, she remembered she had left it in her brother's car the day before, so she wouldn't forget it today.

She slapped her forehead with her palm and groaned. "Guess I will have to go a day without it." She shrugged her shoulders and made her way through the, now, messy house and out the door. She locked the door then made her way to her university on foot. She could take the bus, but she enjoyed walking. Besides her first class was not till noon and thanks to Hae Jae-Woo, she had three hours.

Twenty minutes later, Hae Mina made it over one of the crests of the road, the intersection below coming into view. She came to an abrupt halt and stared in horror at the sight before her. The traffic light's pole pinned several cars in a massive lump in the center of the street. But the fact that seven vehicles, mangled and crushed, sat in the center of the chaos did not cause the blood to drain from her face. No, what caused Hae-Mina to dash down the path towards the incident with no regard to her safety was the fact, she recognized the black Camaro at the base of the broken traffic light pole. She knew the car inside and out and had driven it many times this past season.

Jae-Woo! She cried as she ignored the people trying to prevent her from crossing the caution tape. She ducked and dodged people's outstretched hands as she pushed her way to her brother's smashed car. One of the police officers caught her arm and pulled her back. The short round old man held her by the arm, and his black hair was cropped short and hidden, for the most part, beneath a hat. She stared in fear at her brother's car as the workers began to cut the top off, giving little attention to the police officer.

"You need to clear the area," the old cop stated formally. She shook her head for she could not get her mouth to cooperate. "Do you know him?" the cop asked as he released her.

"My brother," she whimpered as the loud roaring intensified. When the sound ceased, she watched the medics pull Jae-Woo from the car. Blood coated every inch of his body and a metal bar had stabbed through his left leg.

Two people lifted him onto a stretcher and carried him to the ambulance. She walked in a daze to the vehicle and looked in at her brother's bloody body. Nausea rose but she forced the urge to get sick away.

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"Hey, miss, back away," the paramedic warned and pushed her back with his palms to her shoulders, "You need to clear the area." Hae Mina stood grasping the edge of the ambulance and staring with an empty shocked look at her brother's bloody body.

"It's her brother; let her go to the hospital with him," the police officer instructed. The paramedic nodded then helped her climb into the back of the ambulance. She fought herself from touching her brother's bloody form.

A few minutes later the officer sat beside her. "How are you holding up?" he asked but did not wait for a response. "I'm going to let you know what happened, okay?" he questioned and again he didn't wait for an answer: "According to the witnesses, as your brother was coming into the intersection a kid ran across the street. To avoid the child, your brother entered the wrong lane. An oncoming truck saw him and tried to skid to a halt and your brother slammed into the pole. The truck then slammed into your brother's car. From the east side, another car came to a crashing halt because of the light pole. And it just piled from there. You made it just minutes after the ambulance did. I'm glad you are here to be with your brother. The other people are being put on stretchers and in other ambulances. I hope he makes it out okay. Even though such a disaster occurred, he did save a child's life." With these words, the officer climbed out of the vehicle and a female paramedic replaced him. She slammed the door shut.

"He'll be okay, miss," the woman assured. "We're not going to let him leave you." The woman touched Mina's hand and gave a comforting smile. "Let's get this thing moving!" she shouted to the people in the front seat.

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