the scariest thing that ALMOST happened to me

**I was recently doing some Spring cleaning and ran across this old Timed Writing assignment. Unfortunately it’s not dated nor is there a grade on it, but I’m pretty sure that it’s a product of my high school writing career and that I got an A. Let me know what you think in the comments.  Enjoy 🙂 **

Baby Andrea circa 1993

One may say that I was highly accident-prone as a child. I broke my arm twice, got lost in New York and nearly drowned in a community pool. All of this took place in a matter of five or six years. One of the most vivid memories I have though is the time I nearly got left in a graveyard outside of Ashdown, Arkansas by myself.

Several years ago my mother’s younger brother died. Even though he lived in Michigan, my mom and her siblings wanted him to be buried in Arkansas on the family plot where my grandparents are also buried. The ceremony took place and was pretty traditional for a Black funeral. People cried, a choir sang, and one of my aunts nearly had a stroke because of the heat. After the church ceremony, the family proceeded to the cemetery for the actual burial. When it was time for the body to be buried, my mother and I went to the car to wait for my father who was an active pallbearer. He was supposed to help get the casket into the ground with a few other men.

As it happened, my mother chose to wait in the car, thinking that when my father was finished we would all head to the repast dinner together. Since the burial ceremony was over, people began pulling out of the cemetery and heading back to city limits. My mother and I patiently waited. With a start, she realized that we had some of the food for the dinner in our car. She flagged down my cousin and was planning to put the sodas and food containers into my cousin’s truck and head back with her. I decided to stay with my dad, who I presumed was still fulfilling his duty as pallbearer.

Me at 16 in Europe for the first time with my family for summer vacation.

After loading my cousin’s truck up, my mom realized that there was no room for her after all so she decided to continue waiting with me. My cousin left and pretty soon my mom and I were the only ones left in the parking lot. “What’s keeping your dad so?” my mom asked aloud. The sun was beginning to set and a few rays were still shining through, casting a shadow across the windshield of the car. “Go check on him, Andrea.”

Being the dutiful daughter that I am, I headed in the direction I thought my father was in. I looked left and right, called his name several times, and finally realized that my mom and I were the only living souls out there. With darkness quickly falling I ran back to the car to tell my mom that everyone was gone.

Shock initially registered on my mom’s face. She dialed my father who reported that he had left with another one of my cousins! My mother was livid because she had almost left too, and then I would’ve been alone in a graveyard miles away from home! Night would have crept in and who knows what would’ve happened to me. It may have been several hours before anyone noticed or realized that I was gone! (**sidenote** I’m pretty sure that this was also before I had a decent cellphone with good reception)

All that comes to my mind is Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” music video when the ghouls and zombies awoke. That could have been a real life experience for me- and I doubt that anyone would have broke into song and dance!




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