Friday, January 19, 2007

The Accident

I was running late for work. Not super late, just a few minutes off schedule. Enough that when I saw the traffic backed up on the highway, I was foot-tappingly annoyed. What in the world...what is wrong with you people?? I have to get to school! I have technology group kids who will be videotaping their bottoms if I don't get there to supervise the making of the morning news show!

The traffic slowed to a stop and I noticed the traffic on the other side of the four lane had also stopped but there was a big gap in the road, with no cars on it. As I slowed down with the others and glanced over there, I noticed a car off the road. It had plowed into the grassy hill and the doors were hanging open. Then I noticed the woman in the road. She was...in the road. Lying on her stomach. My hand flew to cover my mouth like a drama queen in some cheap horror movie. She had on black pants and a white shirt. Only the white shirt was more...pink. With reddish streaks. And her black pants were torn across the bottom. They had ripped open and she was exposed to all the people driving by. That seemed the worst thing. Worse than the fact that she was lying in the middle of the road covered in blood. She was moving slightly. She was stirring. She was breathing.

My stomach was rolling. I felt sweaty and nauseated and faint. My hand was still over my mouth. I couldn't look away. A guy was running up the road, talking on his cell phone. Good. Someone was calling for help. It must have just happened. My eyes were drawn back to her. I couldn't look away. Finally, the traffic moved. I drove to school. I met someone in the parking lot and broke down. I couldn't believe they didn't know what I was talking about. They hadn't seen the accident. Hadn't everyone in the world seen it? It was the center of my universe. Surely everyone in the world had seen it. I still felt sick and dizzy.

My friends found out later a baby had died in the wreck. In a carseat in the back seat. They didn't tell me that morning. They knew I couldn't handle it. I never checked to find out what happened to the woman. Couldn't. She was moving. She was stirring. She was breathing. I'm sure she was fine.

3 comments:

sarah said...

I remember when this happened. it is amazing how instants like that can change you for the rest of your life. I am so sorry you were there to see it.

Barbara said...

Wow! What a powerful message. Let me know if you find out what happened to the woman. I have felt like this before, too! Jan, you sure can write! You have such talent and your work needs to reach further than a blog! Save your work and make a portfolio of it! I think you can go places with it!

Anonymous said...

This is so sad. I don't remember seeing anything about this accident. We must be alert at all times and be aware of what is going on around us. I hope the woman is okay.

Vicki