If someone was in a fire – a horrible house fire, where they were trapped beneath the flames – and they survived, they would live the rest of their lives differently. They may stay away from fire, which is understandable due to the fact that it is the very object that nearly ended their life, but in everything else, they will take chances. They will go visit the clear blue shores of Aruba, which they had wanted to do since they were twelve years old. They would stop by their brother's house for the first time in seventeen years and see the niece they never met. They would sit through a scary movie, grasping a blanket and a bowl of popcorn, like they had started to do once but ran out of the room in fear of what was under the bed. Most of all, they would be kind to and appreciative of the people in their life, and make sure that everyone knows they are loved. Because if one of the rafters above their head had collapsed and let the ceiling fall, they wouldn't have gotten the chance to do all of that. They have the burn scars to remind them every day. It's the same deal if the person was in a car accident, had a fatal illness, or was a surviving victim of a gas station stick-up. The specifics may vary, but they all get the same life message out of their experience – appreciate life. Any day, at any minute, even down to the split-second, all the chances that you thought you had plenty of time to take could disintegrate into nothing more than air.

There's another part to this situation, though, if you backtrack a bit. During those moments that you're sitting helplessly among the flames, stomping hard on the breaks, subconsciously listening to your heart monitor flat line, or hiding behind the candy isle, regret aches in your heart. You make a promise to yourself that if you ever come out alive, you would do everything you imagined doing but did not, thinking you had the rest of your life to do it. Those moments can break the heart to a point that is scarcely imaginable to anyone who hasn't been there before. If you're in this stage of regret long enough, it becomes just as lethal as the match, the drunk driver, the indestructible virus, or the gunman.

Suffering from temporary writers' block, Megan pressed ENTER a couple times on her laptop keyboard. It was a good start, and there was a matching story in her head just waiting to pop out of her brain and reveal itself. This was one of those things where she had no idea what she was doing, but somehow, everything pieced together in the end.

Everyone seems to think that this kind of thing was an admirable talent of hers, but she denied it. Feeling this way was not exactly what she wanted—it just seemed to work out. She knew it wasn't exactly true—that all life-and-death experiences were the same. But she could convince everyone that it was.

Besides, who could blame her for lying? Writing was lying, just like acting. It brought Megan to a world of her own—maybe it was worse, maybe it was better. Megan didn't really care, as long as it was different. Tired of reality, she liked the change. So what if she lied? It wasn't entirely her fault that she couldn't face the truth.

Maybe life-and-death experiences all have the same general effect on people, but there's too many of them to prove a logical explanation.

There's the ongoing ones, like an illness.

There's the random ones, like a piano falling on someone's head.

There's the drastic ones, like an earthquake or a tornado.

And then there's the kind of life-or-death experiences that leave you wondering—why has this happened to me? What did I do to deserve this? And maybe that stage of regret wasn't so much of a lie. When you have no idea what's going to happen to you and you can't feel safe for a mere second, and you lose your entire common sense because all you can think about is getting out of there, getting away.

And all the chances that you thought you had plenty of time to take could disintegrate into nothing more than air.

If she had just waited a while, she didn't need to lie for this story.