Monday, 25 April 2011

Four years

Four years.

I'm lying here, in the middle of yet another shit night, having woken up from what looks likely to've been the only 90 minutes of sleep I'm going to get - complete with horrible nightmare - but tonight there's an added dimension. It was four years ago today that all this started.

I'm zonked off my face on morphine that is still only barely holding the pain at bay, remembering the day that stupid bint fucked up my life.

How I was getting to grips with a new job.
How I'd come home to my new flat the night before and gone mountain biking across the muddy fields. How I woke up with bad earache and popped round to my new doctor's surgery for a prescription. How I rang work from the waiting room to say I'd be late. How I discovered that rural surgeries have a pharmacy and give you the medication not the script. How I got to the pharmacy window, only to find my wallet was empty. How I talked the woman into giving me the eardrops and letting me come back and pay later, despite the sign saying they categorically wouldn't do that. How I got to the office and my new colleague told me I had good taste in shoes. How I left work 20 minutes early, to get to the surgery in time. How I was going to the movies that evening with friends, but needed to talk the
out of seeing 'Hot Fuzz'.

That it was a glorious sunny day and I wished the sunroof on the car worked. That the traffic was light and I had the music turned up loud.

Starting to accelerate as I came to the end of the 30 zone. The way the little blue car coming towards me fishtailed coming out of the bend, and I thought 'shit, that was stupid'. Seeing the driver look up, startled, and wrestle with the wheel, trying to correct it. The way her car started to turn in slow motion, sliding towards me. Wondering if it would hit me or slide past and hit the Audi behind. Was there anything I could do. The car getting closer and closer, then everything exploding into black.

Waking up, trying to undo my seatbelt and feeling pain all across my chest. Begging the man who came to the door to help me. Seeing smoke rising from the engine compartment, and the man trying to open the bonnet to see if it was on fire. Wondering where the blue car had gone and if it had hit anyone else. Feeling the front of the footwell squashing my legs, so I couldn't get my foot off the brake. The man holding my head to keep my neck still till the ambulance came. The grit lorry driver complaining that he had to get past. The teacher who had to get the three teenagers in her car home. The ambulanceman putting a mask on my face, lifting up my shirt, asking me to wiggle my fingers and toes. The numbness and tingling up and down my arms and legs, thinking I was paralysed. The pain in my chest and my neck. Feeling I couldn't breathe, that I was suffocating. The backed-up traffic suddenly gone; feeling that I was completely alone and abandoned. The paramedic saying 'that's for you', then seeing the big white helicopter land. The doctor giving me injections, the fireman covering us in a sheet. 'Breaking glass', then crunching metal. The vertigo as they lifted me up towards the sky on the backboard, not knowing where the ground was or if they'd let me fall. Begging them to find my favourite jacket. The policeman asking me who to call. Being posted through a tiny slot into the helicopter, still strapped to the backboard. The crewman saying the flight would be very noisy but only last a few minutes. How it took an eternity for them to actually take off.

Lying in A&E having stickers stuck all over my chest, tests, x-rays. Listening to the disembodied voices of the nurses just out of sight. Screaming in panic for them to untie me, convinced I was paralysed. Phoning my sister, hearing the fear in her voice. Not knowing who the man apologising to me was, till he said the driver was his wife. The look on my mum and my sister's faces when they arrived.

The doctor telling me nothing was broken, and I'd be fine in a few days.

Believing him.

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