“Don’t move, I’m a nurse”, the voice came from behind me. Footsteps followed the voice towards me. I lay flat on my back.
Only moments earlier I had been battling myself, wondering whether today was the day that I should play it safe, take the tram or the train. It was pouring rain, just on dusk, I was in evening peak hour traffic on a major road and I just wanted to get home.
I remember thinking “Just keep pedalling. You can’t be half a cyclist and only do it when the weather suits.” It’s not like I hadn’t done it before, I mean, I ride a bike for a living. I hunched over to battle the head wind and really put my legs into it.
As I neared the next major intersection, the light in front of me went amber. I could see the car waiting in the middle of the intersection with his indicator on. I focused really hard at that point on trying to make eye contact with the driver. I was pretty sure he was clear on the fact that I wasn’t stopping for anyone. “Surely you’ve got to understand that you’re sheltered from this weather and I’m not”, I thought to myself.
He lent heavily on his horn and shook his head at me as I rolled through. I chuckled and almost shook my head at myself as I moved on and relaxed into the next safe bit of the ride. By now the cars had come to a complete standstill in their lane beside me. I, on the other hand, had the bike lane all to myself thanks to the weather, so I kept moving at reasonable speed. “Ha ha”, I thought, “see, once you get moving, you love it.”
Out of the corner of my right eye something moved, far too close. A car coming the other direction had turned right through a gap in the grid lock. My front wheel disappeared from in front of me as the car skidded into me. My knees collected my handle bars and then the side of her car as I performed a somersault, bike still attached. My head hit the ground first and I heard my helmet smash. “That thing just paid for itself”, I thought as I rolled onto my back.
So now here I am, half way home, laid out flat on the road, not knowing what comes next.
“Do you know what your name is?” asked my friend the nurse. “Indi,” I replied. The Ambo’s arrived and told me that it looked like it was just surface wounds. I bruised pretty nicely but after a month of hobbling around I was back on a bike and on full duties at work.
It’s an interesting term that, isn’t it? Surface wounds. Twelve months later the emotional scars are still there beneath the surface.
From time to time I close my eyes and still see that car coming towards me.
This piece was written as part of an ABC Open 500 words Project