The cyclist

Today as I was driving to collect the kids from school I turned onto a road thought I could make it, didn’t and I hit a cyclist. I’ve had accidents before but I have never hit anybody. For a moment as she lay on the road I thought she was dead. In my mind I thought, I’ve killed someone, over and over again. I stopped the car and ambled out to see her being scraped off of the road by two big men.

She was in shock. She was shaking and crying and struggling to come to terms with the fact that she had been knocked off her bike by a car. Initially my reaction was almost angry, I said something really mean like, don’t exaggerate this. And then the anger gave way to guilt and sadness, she was actually a really nice woman and was genuinely shaken up by the accident. I didn’t want to cry because it wasn’t about me. I phoned the police immediately and asked for an ambulance. The police arrived first and I gave my drivers license and told the whole truth to the police officer, that it was completely my fault and I had seen a cyclist but I misjudged the turn.

The ambulance arrived and assessed her on the spot. Fortunately as accidents go she was barely harmed, there were no scratches or cuts but she’d hit her head and her helmet had taken the impact which reinforces how important and helmets are.

She phoned her husband to meet her; at that point I was terrified. I was scared he would arrive angrily and would be ready to pound me into the next century. I was glad the police were there just in case. I think I was probably more scared  once the husband was coming then what charges I might face. As it happened he was very calm I’m sure he wanted to scream and shout but I greeted him by way of an apology and he could see I was cooperating with the police and that I was genuinely concerned for his wife.

I asked my eldest daughter to walk to the school from where we were which wasn’t far to get the others and bring them to the car. I didn’t want to leave until the police had all my details and  seeing that the woman was okay.

Once I got into my car I started to cry. It was only when I started to cry that the children got nervous. I explained that I would get a ticket but that I wasn’t going to jail. But I felt a panic attack coming on and it was a real struggle to maintain my breathing and concentrate on driving the rest of the journey home.

I knew I would have to phone S as I was driving his car and I needed the insurance documents. To be honest I also rang because I wanted to hear his reassuring me. Well that was a ridiculous idea, he was understandably furious with me, for hitting somebody and also for the damage to his car. He asked me what I thought I was doing and that I  obviously had a problem, I ended up saying yes I do, I need to sleep but I can’t I have to be here for the children. I’m not well I’m on strong medication but there is nothing that I can do.

I felt even more small, even more of a problem, and even more stupid. I am an idiot. I could’ve killed that woman.

The insurance part was relatively easy and we are fully covered so the damage to her bike will be covered. I was able to message her husband to that effect, I wanted them to know I was taking this seriously.

I think I’ll have nightmares about this accident for a long time to come. There is no doubt that I will be drowning in guilt for months to come. I hope I might go to meet with her again, I want to make sure she’s okay and not scared to ride her bike again. As for me, i’m just a sorrowful, mess.

I have no one to wrap their arms around me and tell me that everything is going to be okay. I was trying to think of people I could phone today, because I really wanted to hear a friends voice, as S wasn’t providing me  with what I needed which is fair enough, I actually do seem to make his life more complicated and harder. I just needed to hear a kind voice, someone that will understand that it was an accident, and that I’m not an inherently bad person. But I couldn’t think of anyone. Not that I deserve reassurance of course, but I didn’t want to burden anybody with the situation either.

So I just took my tablets, made the kids dinner, tidied up, and then lay on the bed. I think I dozed off. It’s dark now so I’ve locked the house up and crawled into bed and I am dictating this blog as usual as my right hand is still a problem.

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4 thoughts on “The cyclist

    1. He didn’t yell, that’s not his style. But he was sufficiently angry and not compassionate. I know what I did doesn’t deserve a warm hug and a cup of tea, but I was already feeling like shit, and his car is scratched. I just wanted someone (ie, at the time, him) to offer some kindness. But I have to remember, he’s not there for me in that capacity anymore. I feel like no one is. Well, your comment and WordPress is a great community and I know my friends in ‘real life’ support me. I just don’t want to burden them. Thank you xxx

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  1. Penny, it was an accident. You didn’t do this on purpose, and it’s okay that it upset you. I’m wrapping my arms around you and making a warm cup of tea for you. No one was seriously injured. You are okay. You aren’t a bar person. You deserve care and support as much as anyone else. Xx

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