This happened today before noon.
I did not see the car run her down on the road, but surely it did. I saw her riding her bike near the crosswalk as I slowed to wait and then all at once she was gone. My mind was in shock to see her suddenly vanished when just a few moments before the black car in front of me had run through her, or at least where she was. Where was she?
I found her in a pile on the concrete. Her bike was now mangled and bent. The seat she had been sitting on was no longer attached. It was off and in her hand, which was bleeding only slightly. I got out of my car, leaving it in the middle of the street, door open, engine off. If there was a world around us I could not see it. I went immediately to her at the same time a giant woman was emerging from a black car, also parked. It was the car that hit her.
“Hi, My name is Amber Garibay. I am here to help you. Are you hurt?” my eyes took her in and I could see that there was nothing broken or visibly serious. There was also no helmet and she was gripping her head.
“She hit me,” the girl was cradling her skull as if she was afraid she would be hit again. “I can’t believe that she hit me. Why didn’t she stop?”
The woman that hit her was standing over us. I glanced up to see her face which was blank. To the girl I said, “You have been in an accident. It was an accident. I need you tell me if you are OK.”
The girl began to panic because she could not tell. “My head hurts. I feel so dizzy. I’m going to pass out.”
I placed a hand on her knee. “You are not going to pass out. I know your head hurts. Help is on the way. Can you tell me what your favorite color is?”
She answered immediately, “Green.”
I smiled at her, “Good! That is great. Now can you tell me, do you love the way the rain smells?”
She whispered, “Yes, I love the rain.”
“What is your name,” I asked her as more people stopped with phones in hand.
“Anastasia,” she said as the sobs began, “I am dizzy and I do not feel good.”
I could see the tension and fear were making her more victim than the visible consequence of the accident, though I was worried about the trauma to her head. I wanted to keep her mind engaged with thoughts not relevant and in no particular to help avoid a relapse of new fright, “What is your favorite band?”
This time the question caught her off guard and she did not have an answer. I could tell that she was searching for the right name and when she did not find it she became more disturbed until her symptoms were worse. “I don’t know. Is someone coming to help me?”
“Yes,” I assured her, “Help has been here all along and you are doing great. You are remembering all the important details of your life which tells me your mind is still sound. The medics will be here soon, keep talking to me. What is your mother’s name?”
She told me her name, but did not ask me to call her. “Anastasia, is there anyone you would like me to call?” I encouraged her to let a loved one know that she was in trouble.
She shook her head, crying. “My phone is broken now.”
A bystander indicated that her phone was still intact. He handed it to me and I gave it to her. She looked up at me and said, “I do not want my parents to come.” Then she dialed a number to the answer of a woman’s voice. The lady only seemed mildly concerned and offered that she could come to check on her later in the afternoon.
I squeezed her knee. “You should not go through this without support. If you do not have anyone to be with you now I will stay. Do you want me to stay?”
She nodded at me and said to the voice on the phone, “Some lady here said she would help me. Please don’t tell my mom.”
The rest of her conversation was covered by the roar of sirens as a red fire truck plugged up the intersection with an entourage of staff. Help was here. I moved away and then moved my car. I circled back on foot to make sure she was secure. I knew that she wouldn’t need me when I saw the spread of care that arrived to save her.
She said, “I am feeling much better now. I’m going to be OK.” She started to smile when she saw my rubber chicken.
I handed her a card that says FOLLOW ME. “I know you are. You are going to be just fine and then better than that. Get in touch with me if you ever need anything.”
Then I was off to get my hair done. I love the way it turned out. I feel absolutely beautiful.