A Memorable Encounter

by Edwin Chia (P5 2022)
              As night fell, the crowd of visitors into the hospital wards thinned out and the nurses completed their final checks. The hospital ward that Tim was in was silent aside from the low hum of the machines next to him. In a quiet moment of reflection while on the hospital bed, Tim looked bitterly upon the large healing scar on his left calf — a mark from the accident that befell him last week. Feeling a pang of guilt, he began to reminisce the events that unfolded on the fateful day of the accident.
              The piercing cry of Tim’s alarm clock reverberated through his room. Blurry-eyed, Tim woke up, let out a yawn and wondered aloud what time it was. The sun was already shining brightly in the sky and he could hear birds twittering their mellifluous song in the trees. Upon seeing the time on his alarm clock, he jolted up on shock and was snapped out of his stupor. It was seven thirty in the morning! To his horror, he was late for school. In a split second, he dashed out of the door and jumped onto his bicycle, riding it as quickly as he could to school. In his haste, Time had forgotten to wear his safety gear and his mother’s constant reminder to be careful of road safety rules fell on deaf ears.
              Blinking continuously to keep his tired eyes open and focused on the road, Tim swerved his bicycle erratically while trying to avoid common roads, obstacles and pedestrians taking a morning stroll on the pavement. In contrast, the traffic on the road next to him was flowing smoothly. Tim paid no mind to the cars zooming past him. As he huffed and puffed with exhaustion, his bicycle zigzagged down the pavement like a snake meandering through the grass. The pedestrians were forced to move out of Tim’s way to avoid colliding into Tim. When cycling, Tim noticed there was no traffic at one of the traffic junctions. Since he was late for school, he thought that he should cycle on the road. After all, it was a faster way to get to school. Since he could avoid waiting at the pedestrian crossing.
              Just then, as he was cycling on the road, Tim spotted a speeding BMW zooming right into his path. The screeching of the car’s tyres pierced the serenity of the area. He jammed on the brakes and tried to swerve away but I was much too late.
              “Bam!” The huge impact of the collision sent Tim flying and he hit against a tree. Tim groaned in agony as a searing pain shot up his leg. He tried to hold back his tears as he sat motionlessly against the tree trunk. His precious bicycle lay in a crumpled metal heap on the asphalt road. The driver rushed out of his car in a panic. He had sustained a deep gash on his forehead that hit the steering wheel. A few pedestrians who witnessed the incident cried out in horror and others called or an ambulance right away.
              After receiving timely help from the paramedics who arrived at the scene a few minutes later, Tim recuperated in the hospital and reflected on the incident that morning. His parents were fraught with worry and gave him a hug upon seeing him in the hospital.
              As the saying goes, “Once bitten, twice shy.” Since that day, Tim vowed to turn over a new leaf and not cycle when he was exhausted. Instead, he would take a bus to avoid endangering himself and others on the road. The sequence of events on that fateful day not only left him with a scar but also left an indelible mark on Tim’s memory.
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