I was in a minor motorbike accident last November 20, around 5 in the afternoon. Suffice to say that we were wearing helmets and were going at a sane speed; it was just my fourth time ever to be a passenger on a motorbike. We even stopped at the center island to carefully check that the coast was clear before taking the u-turn slot to our destination.
I never got there.
The next moment, a green jeep suddenly swerved out of nowhere and hit the handlebar on our right side, causing our motorbike to fall over.We never saw it coming; I didn’t even have time to scream.
My first reaction was to feel if everything was still attached; the next was to curl up and shake like a leaf. The motorbike’s side mirror was shattered and my companion ended up with huge bruises. I got deep abrasions on my right limbs, proving that human skin was not meant to make such close and abrupt contact with cement. When I was helped up, I felt something wet on my right foot and belatedly realized that a toenail was almost completely torn off.
Interestingly, there was little pain. Shock, I guess. I wasn’t even scared, mostly cold and a little unsteady. Guards from the nearby buildings, obviously used to seeing accidents along that stretch of Commonwealth Avenue, hurried and helped us off the busy road. I had to continually assure the converging humans that no, nothing was broken. And no, security-guard-who-I-almost-hurled-the motorbike-at, I was just plump, not pregnant!
The jeepney driver seemed to be more scared than I was; after all, a fellow driver told him in passing, “Hala! putol yung binti! putol yung paa!” He brought me to the UP Infirmary ER with profuse apologies and an invitation to be a ninang to his eldest son’s baptism that Sunday. When I was not able to go, he texted me: “Sayang, guwapo pa naman yung kapartner mo!”
On the way to the ER, I texted people I was supposed to meet that night to cancel, for obvious reasons. One of them immediately hopped over to see if I needed help (sing Frosty the snowman with me to the tune of Joy to the World!)
Thus started a three hour-laughing trip; no wonder, given who I was with. I’ve already forgotten most of the jokes and banter during that long wait. But I will always remember how successfully they distracted me from the pain of getting my gashes cleaned up (ouch) and my toenail pulled off (waaah!). And this memory still makes me smile: the shaking shoulders of a young UPIS student who was silently repressing her laughter at our antics. Yes, that little girl will definitely go to UPLB for college, hehe.
- No matter how cautious you are, accidents do happen. Two-wheeled modes of transportation are no match for those with four.
- There must be a balance between grace and justice. Kaya, samen ang sakit ng katawan, sa jeepney driver ang sakit ng bulsa.
- Once the shock wore off, everything hurt a lot for 2-3 days afterwards. Getting bumped by unsuspecting commuters was also a real threat, so I taxied everywhere for a week.
- To be grateful for friends who happen to be in the fields of nursing, physical therapy and medicine. Friends who lent an arm and a leg when mine were useless. Friends who restrained and did not restrain their hysterics at the news. Friends who were there.
- There is an art to delivering bad news, especially to paranoid, overprotective parents. I seemed to have mastered it, given my papa’s mild response: “I almost lost a pest.” Ha ha!
- And this confirms that I still have plenty of reasons to hang around. =)