I had Pizza in the boot, well to be exact they were resting on the shelf to keep them flat. One was Pepperoni, the other Chilli and Chorizo, they had reached their sell by date and were on offer. Sexy Sporty Dad would finish his meeting, join us for lunch before we watch the new James Bond film.
I still had a couple of letters to write and a phone call to make, I could do that while the Pizza’s cooked. At least the rain had stopped and it was really quite a nice day. Jeremy Vine introduced a song I like on the radio. So close to home, but the lights turned to red. I was about six cars back. I must remember to take the left over Halloween sweets and popcorn to the cinema. A prophetic thought went through my head “thank goodness I had left the children at home.” Shopping is always so much more expensive with the children helping.
Not far now; the lights are starting to change.
Bang! An explosion happened with that awful after sound of crunch. My body flung forward towards the windscreen in excruciatingly slow motion as a feeling of déjà vu hit me. It was the seat belt that stopped me this time; locking firm round my chest and tightening as my neck switched direction and I was hurled back against the head rest.
Had the world ended? Where was I? I could not move, I was immobilised by the safety belt; my neck hurt, the back of my head hurt and the cars had begun to move off in front of me. I did not move, I couldn’t, my legs were fixed in place one on the brake and one on the clutch pedal. I could not send a message to them. A moment later and I would have been accelerating! I switched the ignition off.
I turned to see what was happening to the left but that was far too painful. I turned to the right and that was no better. I stayed holding my neck wondering what to do. I always have a next step, a plan b and even c is usually forming. A tap on my window made me jolt, and grab my painful neck. I tried to turn but no, I couldn’t look to open the window, reaching tentatively I opened the door.
“I am so sorry, I just don’t know what happened” she said.
I am not sure if I knew what had happened but cars were backing up and sounding their horns. Did they not know I was unable to move, let alone drive?
“Can you move the car round the corner?” She asked.
Slowly I switched on again and into first gear. Unsure whether my foot could lift off the clutch I pulled it gently. Inch by painful inch I crawled to the lights, miraculously they were still green and I turned the corner bringing the car to a stop.
I had to move, I had to get out of the car. My head hadn’t fallen off, after all it was just my neck that hurt and I think that was easing a little. Opening the door again I turned my whole body and got agonisingly from the seat. A strong wave of dizziness hit as I leant against the car and took an incredibly long breath. I think I am going to be sick; another breath makes that subside.
Now I could see my assailant clearly. She was tiny, even shorter than me, a little very old lady. Old enough to be my grandmother and she had been driving a huge great Volvo, far too big for her. She had gone straight into the back of my little runabout town flimsy Peugeot 206. She was agitated and it was time for me to snap out of this reverie and take control. She it turned out was not hurt at all but concerned that I seemed to be in pain. A little understated!
What are the rules about accidents, what details should we swap. Should I use my phone camera to photograph what? There were no skid marks, no smashed in cars, just one very old distressed lady and me, disorientated and in pain.
We did manage to exchange some details and phone numbers. Reassured she went on her way. I could not see any damage on her tank and there was no dent or crunch as I had expected on mine so I could drive home.
I sat gingerly back in the car but could not turn on the ignition. I didn’t want to drive home, I hate not being in control and I had had no control over what had happened.
I sat and burst into tears.
Not knowing who to ring and guessing Sexy Sporty Dad would still be in his meeting I called No 1 Son and told him calmly and confidently I was on my way home; there had been an accident and I would need a cup of coffee when I got in.
I managed to reach second gear on the journey home. A few well chosen expletives crossed my thoughts as I went over the speed ramps at barely a mile-an-hour but they jarred my neck and back. The welcome coffee was waiting my arrival. Hardly had I got in the door before the shopping unloaded the Pizza’s put in the oven. The phone handed to me. Sexy Sporty Dad was waiting for me to call; No 1 Son had called to tell him that everything was OK and I was on my way home but there had been a bit of a crash so I would call as soon as I got in.
Painkillers, strong caffeine followed by a hot chilli and chorizo pizza made things much better.
James Bond was suitably brilliant, with the car chases, over the top explosive fighting a beautiful Aston Martin and lots of subtle humour. My head and neck were a little stiff and bruised but even the noise of the cinema and the angle of watching the film did not unduly bother me.
I woke next morning in acute pain. My head screamed at me, every time I moved. I tried to lie back as the hammers inside fought to escape. My neck and back were so stiff and painful to turn. I needed to get up, rolling over to push my body away from the bed I stretched and unwound. More painkillers!
“You need to see a doctor” Sexy Sporty Dad told me.
He is right, as he so often is but I didn’t really want to disturb anyone on a Saturday. I certainly didn’t need to spend 4 hours at A&E, haven’t I spent enough time there with the children. Anyway being a mother you don’t really have that kind of time to spare.
I took Sexy Sporty Dad’s car and drove myself slowly and gently to the local minor injuries unit. Prodding and poking she extracted yelps of agonised pain filled cries. Forcing my neck to turn in unnatural positions she obtained shudders, jarring and more contained expletives as I fought to bring my body back into line.
“Severe whiplash” she diagnosed. “Go home and take a cocktail of painkillers then rest. DO NOT do anything just rest”
Huh like that is ever going to happen!
“I mean it no rushing around, no fireworks party, no housework just rest”. Naturally I agreed, she wasn’t going to let me out without it. “You will become stiffer over the next few days.”
Back home and a proper look at my car has revealed that the whole of the back bumper is mis-aligned, Sexy Sporty Dad has banned me from driving it until the garage OKs it. “What if the children are in the car? What if the chassis is damaged and you try to brake on the motorway? What if you hit someone else and the insurance is invalidated because we didn’t tell them? What if…..?”
I would have to tell the lady. Maybe we just leave it and don’t go through the insurance. Thank God the children weren’t in the car; no, we do have to get the car checked. We have to tell her. A bit of control back in my life, it wasn’t my fault, she didn’t plan to hit me but now I have to be firm, forceful and frank. I delegated the job.
NANOWRIMO month is upon us again. I have so many ideas chasing each other round in my mind but have reluctantly decided this year not to write a new novel. I am re-writing Memories. It has had such positive feedback from those who have read it, now I need to get it ready for publication. Next November I will pen a new novel; or maybe Scrum Down may see the light of day again and I can get that ready for the world to read.
Check out my cooking blog at Teatime Treats with Tiggy