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March 5, 2001, the day I was born again, I will never forget. My cousin and I were involved in a potentially fatal car accident in Vancouver, British Columbia. Not old enough to make rational decisions, he and I used to sneak and drive out of our apartment more or less every midnight to computer game and karaoke stations, as he had somehow made a copy of his mother’s car key. My cousin, too young to apply for a driver’s license, took a risk of driving illegally. With my uncle being a councilor, the license plate on the back of the car had this title engraved.

I sensed God’s warning us a few times prior to the ultimate clash with the police. First, a police car landed next to us, and the policeman looked right at us. My cousin’s instinct made him desperately drive away, but the lazy cop did not bother chasing after us. Second, my cousin drove out alone and unknowingly threw a cigarette at a police car; again, he drove away and the police did not pursue him. Third, my cousin drove out alone in the snow, and his family wanted to drive this car a few hours after his return; the snow miraculously melted without a spot within this short timeframe. I accepted God’s warnings and told him, to which he did not care.

One midnight, on our way back from the karaoke station, a policeman followed us, as he felt suspicious of a councilor car being out this late. Coincidentally, my cousin had told me for the first time to apply my seatbelt, as I never had. God made sure already I remained safe throughout the soon-to-come disaster. My cousin pulled behind the police and bragged, “This is how you avoid the cop,” with a confident smirk on his face. Neither of us realized two police cars had come after us, and the other one pulled to our right. “Hey, yo, stop right there!” the cop screamed. I, terrified, repeatedly said, “He’s telling us to stop,” but my cousin again thought driving away would be the safest option. With cops staying right behind us like magnets, we initially encountered two mammoth narrow-spaced trees, which we were barely able to go through without crashing. We then came on the verge of falling inside construction work but astonishingly pulled right out. My cousin continued to drive away without realizing one of our back tires had popped from the most recent encounter. He tried to make a right turn, but the damaged tire gave him no choice but to go straight and hit the first available obstacle: two tiny branches. These two puny branches managed to stop a car moving fifty miles per hour, for which I am forever grateful as an immense building stood behind them. As the police later revealed, they were beginning to aim their guns at my cousin’s head, implying had he kept going, they would have started shooting.

My shelter from the storm

I saw my cousin visibly intimidated for the first time, yelling, “Mom, what do I do?” I then noticed the windshield in front of me had shattered in a circle, which I soon noticed to be my head. The airbag, or angel, had saved me. We saw three police cars, and the policemen instantly held us at gunpoint and put us in handcuffs. They proceeded to severely beat up my cousin while somewhat playing with me; they may have taken me as a victim of the near-death incident. One cop asked me if I liked sushi, whereas another revealed he knew my elementary-school principal. I was scared beyond measure, assuming I would be expelled from school. Around thirty minutes following, the police were prepared to imprison my cousin, and I immediately got down on my knees, begging them to take me instead; I actually was unaware I had done these before the policemen revealed the next day they cut my cousin loose for me. He awaited trial for months due to its constant postponement and took an x-ray to see if the cops had broken any of his bones; as the police were forbidden to inflict physical damage on anyone unless physically threatened themselves, they would have nullified trial had my cousin broken a bone. Nonetheless, he only had severe bruises, and his lawyer told him to move to America, as the family was already planning to anyway. Consequently, my cousin cannot reenter Canada without being arrested.

Not only did God save the lives of my cousin and me, but He also prevented this ghastly story from being on the news, which would have caused an uproar due to my eminent family status then. On March 5 of every year since the episode, I cannot help but take a moment and thank the Lord for giving me a second opportunity at life. Without His protection, I could have easily died or become a vegetable. When God puts a shield around you, nothing can ever hurt you.