Marian was leaving the local Goodwill after a few good scores. “I could get used to these senior discounts,” she mused. She pushed the button to roll her window down and smiled to herself. She pulled up to the main road at the end of the parking lot and stopped in front of the sidewalk. She was smiling because she remembered her previous car, the Little Red Rider, a red 1984 Datsun and how she had to crank the window manually. It would jam predictably when it was halfway down and make the most horrendous squeal.
It was a lovely sunny afternoon and the two lanes on the one-way road were busy. She was in no hurry but presently saw a break in the traffic, so she gunned the car to sneak in.
The next moments played out in slow motion.
Her head turned to the right, the direction she was turning to, in time to hear a sickening crash as a speeding bicyclist hit her and to see him flip up in the air, land with a thud on her hood, and roll to the ground. “Oh Jesus!” she gasped, turning off her engine and fumbling out of her door. “Are you okay?” she asked stupidly, as she came up to a lifeless mound, not knowing what else to say.
He started to sit up and she said, “No, no. Don’t move. I’ll call for help.”
“Oh no,” he said, suddenly scrambling to his knees and grabbing a loose bent wheel that was still spinning off kilter. He stood up and started to fall backwards.
She rushed towards him, arms stretched out to help. He was on his knees by the time she got to him. He bent over and picked up his mangled bicycle. She found herself picking up a flattened brake lever and handing it to him, a frantic look on her face. He turned around with his junk pile and started to limp away.
“Wait, ” she said hurrying after him, exasperated.
“No, no, you’re very kind,” he said over his shoulder with a shaken, raspy voice and wiping his nose with his sleeve, “most people who hit me don’t even stop!”