Tuesday, February 21, 2012

First (and hopefully, last!) Road Accident

I filed for an under time from work today to go to Ateneo, work on my statistics, and submit my draft to my adviser.  For 2 o'clock in the afternoon, the traffic in Santolan was unusually heavy.  Because of that, when I got to Katipunan flyover, the traffic was already bad.  When I leave Green Hills by 2pm, I can reach Ateneo by 2:30.

I'm always particularly careful when driving at the hanging part of the flyover.  And since it's traffic, I kept on stepping on the brakes, then clutch and gas, then brakes, and that.  Whenever my car is 'hanging', I check my rear-view mirror to see if the car behind me can allow me to back down a bit or if it's too close.  Well, this gray SUV was kind of close. From my mirror, I saw that it was a girl driving, and that she's on the phone.

About five minutes after that, when we're already a little past the flyover, BOOM!  Everything happened so quickly - I just remember hitting the back of my head on the head rest, and that everything on my dashboard fell.  I opened my door, and the driver of the car who hit me was already apologizing through her window.  I went down, and so did she.  I caught sight of her car first, and it got some serious damage.  I then turned to my car, so ready to see a whole piece of wreck, only to see that my spare tire cover only got scratches.  I was relieved as relieved can be.

She was incessantly apologizing, and that for me was a good enough pacifier for that very stressful time.  No MMDA officer was around, and we were causing traffic already, so I asked for her license and told her to follow me inside Ateneo.  

More than the car, it was the driver who was in wreck.  She was crying on the phone and everything.  I could imagine that, she's just 18!  I would have cried like no tomorrow if that happened to me.  His boyfriend got there, who happened to be a Xavier alumnus, and they contacted the girl's brother and uncle.  All this while I was also calling some guy friends to see how much the repair on my car's part would be.  The girl was very hesitant to call her mom, but I told her she had to since she doesn't know anything about the car, the insurance, etc.  And I'm in a hurry!  My thesis is driving me crazy enough, I don't need another reason to go crazier.

Anyway, the mom talked to me on the phone.  She was also very nice and apologetic for the inconvenience, which I affirmed wholeheartedly as I don't welcome any inconveniences at this time.  She said she'll be dropping by by 7pm, and I said I'll wait for her since I still have to work there anyway.  We left the car there (which can no longer be driven, by the way - because of the radiator and the brake fluid leak thingamajig), they got picked up by some friends, one of which is also a Xaverian, and I went ahead to the research room to work.  Though I, of course, haven't forgotten about what happened, doing my statistics has somehow calmed me.  Or tensed me in another level?

Anyway, to cut the long story (sorry, catharsis) short, around 5pm, I went out to check the girl's car again and I saw that the uncle is there already.  He was very easy to talk to and immediately gave me the amount which I initially told the girl about.  I also showed him my car, and he was as relieved as I was to see that not much damage has been done.  He even commented that the next car he's gonna buy is a CRV  (Hey, I could be a good advertisement for Honda!).

After that, I went on my thing again, and they had to secure a permit (I'm not sure) from Ateneo that they're parking the car over night, and that it will just be towed tomorrow.  Poor thing.

After we made everything in black-and-white, I left school while they're still sitting on one of the benches.  Anyway, the thing is, because the accident shook the life out of me, it's only when I got home that I remembered the things I was supposed to do - go to another office in Ateneo, pick up something from UP, eat pancit canton from UP (hehe), etc.  I got home so very hungry.  Well, mainly, I'm relieved and grateful.  But also hungry.

If you see her car, you'd think something as bad, or worse, happened to mine.  Look at her car:

Her Toyota Innova, a whole world of dent and leaking

Now, thank the heavens and look at  mine:
This fiber case is heaven-sent.  I don't know what would have
happened if something else were there.
Right, go ahead, buy a CRV now.  Hehe!  During my drive home, I couldn't help but feel that my car's rear is invincible.  But I guess, more than anything, I just got really lucky and blessed.  This accident could've been so much worse - what if I were also tail-gating the car in front of me and I hit it, too, after being hit?  What if the driver who bumped me were some kind of drunk idiot who wouldn't admit to his obvious fault?  What if the driver, or in my case, the driver's family, didn't have money?  What if we got hurt?

While the girl was crying, I was really pissed at what happened (more especially at the timing),
 but I couldn't help but comfort her and tell her to stop crying as we're still both very lucky.  And I just told her that she has to be a lot more careful next time.  That goes for me, too.

I know this may sound like such a small deal for most people, given that road accidents happen every so often.  But it is for me.  It's really true that there's always a first time.  I thank God for making my "first" as manageable as possible.  I also thank God that I'm still here, able to type everything down.  Truly, everything, we owe to the Big Guy.

This morning, when I was in school teaching my kids, who knew this would happen?

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