I’m racking my mind trying to figure out what could’ve made this morning different.
It was such a simple trip — picking up a few non perishables for our long awaited getaway. Ya tagged along, pointing at items we should get because they were “just what Dad gives me,” or were favorites we never indulge in. I’d heard so many “Mo-ommmm,” in that elongated whine of impatience and insistence that I almost considered giving in to the numerous requests for that which we didn’t need.
We packed our few items into the two 5 cent bags and rolled our cart into the lot. The rain was coming down hard. A truck driving way too fast elected not to yield to the pedestrian cross walk. I thought then what’s the rush?
Belted in, we started around the corner towards a crowded Wawa parking lot. I avoided the call of my soft preztel, and navigated toward the red light. A Cadillac jumped out in front of me insisting he be first in line for the green. I let him have it.
It dawned on me that I forgot the gloves hubs asked me to pick up. I considered returning to the store, but decided against it.
Then, when the light permitted us, we followed the hurried Caddy into the intersection. But a blue car traveling way too fast toward her red light, careened into us. In that ultra slow time between impact and realization of our predicament, I contemplated damage. Ya was ok. The car, though it squealed in protest, could be driven forward and out of traffic. The impatient Caddy stopped, came to check on me, offered himself as a witness.
She came reluctantly over. An older woman with bronzed skin and long hair. “I’m sorry. My mind’s going in so many directions. I didn’t mean for anyone to get hurt. It’s my fault.” In that awkward apology, I fought to contain myself. My perishable groceries (good sale on nearly expired meats) sat spoiling in the trunk. My new car now had a mark on its record. My son, in his trauma, sat questioning everything from the back seat. My left side seared, then numbed. I wondered how long it’d take for my husband to arrive, for the police and ambulance to reach us. Would I need to take it?
In the lobby of the ER, dad sat waiting. He watched as patients signed in and were taken back. Time ticked by and no one called for me. An oversight, they said. The EMT didn’t notify the desk I was there. The nurse desk had my paperwork, though. Hours later, and after much complaint to the “patient advocate,” we’re in a room. More waiting. My arm is squeezed. My hand, poked. Yes, it hurts. Xrays (too much metal on your person, Mrs. Smith). Pills I cannot swallow. I gag as dad grimaces about my hangup.
Diagnosis? Muscle trauma. It’ll hurt -worse tomorrow, and continuing for several days more.