Houston High School senior Sydney Anderson is the winner of the annual ‘It Can Wait’ essay contested hosted by the Houston Herald in partnership with the Missouri Press Association. Here is her winning essay:

A Night Walking Home

I was walking home

You were driving home

I was eight years old

You were sixteen.


You grabbed for your phone

“This will just take a second”


You didn’t see me

But you saw that text


I can’t open my eyes


I am lying on the ground

Blood everywhere

You stay

Repeat how sorry you were


I am getting tired

You tell me the ambulance will be here soon

I can’t hang on that long


While I lie there

Wondering if I will see my ninth birthday

You repeat how you didn’t mean to

How sorry you are


I can’t open my eyes


How important was that text

To cost me my life

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