Did I Save Lives or Just Hers?

This @rticle was posted by Djeault on Tuesday, November 13th, 2007 at 10:13 pm

Yesterday afternoon, after my two periods substitute teaching at Neufchatel High School, more or less at dusk, I walked towards my bus stop, heading home. When I got to De L’Ormi√®re street, the light was red, thus I waited with other people, mostly students from the High school: about a dozen of us were waiting for the green light…

Back in time, more than forty years ago, after having lunch at home, and on the way back to school, I was also waiting for the green light, this time with a girlfriend of mine, with whom I often walked to school: I really liked her, because she was quite friendly and even let me carry her books and stuff. So, we’re waiting for that green light together and at the very moment it appeared, she surprisingly said: “first one on the other side”, as she started running; however, a red car, a big car, like they made them in the 60’s, unfortunately didn’t respect its red light and whammed, whacked or bashed into my friend: after the first ugly impact noise, she was thrown onto the car’s hood, she smashed into the windshield, rolled on the roof and off the car’s trunk; then, she started running home, through a nervous reaction, screaming: “mommy, mommy, mommy”! We never saw her again. Since my mom was the kind of mom who wanted to preserve her children’s childhood, I was never told what happened to my friend, but, as I said, we never did see her again.

That event has marked me forever: since then, every time I wait for a green light and see it, I never, ever start crossing the street, without having well looked in all directions. Yesterday was no exception to that self-imposed rule and, as I wrote above, a dozen of us were waiting for the green light. The orange light appeared for the flowing traffic, precursor to our green light, and then on my left, I saw an ASSHOLE, with a woman in the passenger seat, who decided that he was too good or too hot to wait for a whole red light, and therefore “burnt” it: when we drive we should foresee possible events, like the likelihood that the dozen people waiting for their green light will jump into the street, as soon it turns green, some of them without even looking left, right or behind.

Good thing teachers aren’t shy and (should) know how to throw their voices, because if I hadn’t yelled, particularly to that one girl who was ahead of everyone, and, hadn’t she jumped back towards the sidewalk, as others also did, she or maybe even a few others would have been hit by that idiot: if ever that creep reads this, or any others with his style of driving, I want him and them to know that in order not to wait for one poor little red light, he played with adolescents’ lives! I sure wish I had time to think of noting his license plate…

Finally, we all got safely to the other side of the street; as we were waiting for our buses, that one adolescent, who was even closer to death than others, said to me something like: “I’m still shaking and my heart is rambling”; I answered, though not in details as above, that once upon a time I saw my young friend get hit, after we had been waiting for our green light and that there was no way, I would want to live that again. I could have turned my eyes away from the scene and plug my ears, so as to not hear the thumping noise of broken bones and smashed flesh, but I took the right decision and swiftly and instinctively reacted, thus saving a life or lives: God knows.

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