a trip down memory lane
Recently I found several of my classmates from grade school on FaceBook. This was a class of about 40 students, the majority of whom had been together since first grade. I didn't join them until the sixth grade, and we graduated in the eighth. That's the longest I attended one school (aside from college), by the way.
Today I was reminded of an incident that happened in the eighth grade. On my way home from school, I was hit by a car while riding my new bike. Overall, I was fine. My face did hit the pavement, leaving me to look like Frankenstein for about a month. I actually called my best friend after getting home from the hospital and told her I was hit by a car. I forgot that I had had time to process this, as she started screaming into the phone.
The driver that hit me was pretty young. He might have actually been in high school. Unfortunately one of the witnesses to the accident insisted I hit the car, and since I was driving the wrong way on the sidewalk, I was cited. I actually had to attend traffic school. I was 13-years old.
The truth was this driver was making a right turn on red, and didn't stop completely, or behind the intersection lines. In the end, he was not held responsible for any of my medical bills.
The accident happened at a busy intersection. There was a gas station on the corner, so someone there called 911. The ambulance was required to take me to the hospital because I had sustained a head injury. I really just wanted to walk my bike home. I was about 3 blocks away, and was so not looking to my mother's reaction. I hadn't seen my face yet.
At the hospital they took x-rays. I was fine. In a weird turn of events, my Mom was actually home that afternoon. She was making eggplant for dinner. Normally she wouldn't have been home for a couple of hours after the accident happened. She stopped cooking, and met me at the hospital.
I remember asking the doctor if I could go back to school the next day. I had a spelling test. I still think he went back to check the x-rays again, as I am sure most kids wanted an excuse to stay home from school.
I did go to school the next day, despite how horrible my face looked. My Mom drove me because the doctor was concerned that I could pass out. I didn't. But because my Mom had an early day, I arrived at school much earlier than usual. I still remember everyone coming up to me as they arrived at school, asking what had happened to me.
I went to a cheerleading competition not too long after that. My face was still pretty bad. This wasn't something that you could cover up with makeup. By that point, I was good at ignoring the stares.
Before I completely healed, I rode my repaired bike to the traffic school for non-drivers. As part of the experience, we had to go around the room and say why we were there. Most kids had gotten caught doing really stupid things like grabbing ahold of a car while on roller skates, or riding with three people on a bike built for one. Amazingly none of these kids had been injured. Yet there I sat, my black eye still not healed, cited for riding my bike the wrong way on the sidewalk. There were gasps when I told my story.
on the night stand :: A Penguin Story by Antoinette Portis.