I’d done my best to avoid the impact, but it was too late. I hit the motorcycle hard.
The bike instantly bounced and skidded to the right heading over the embankment almost ricocheting off the edge of the pavement and then doing several flips as it flopped around landing hard on the ground before rebounding high into the air and back down again and again.
“NO!” I screamed at the top of my lungs as I witnessed the horrific events unfolding right in front of me. I was paralyzed with fear. It was barely all I could do to hold my car on the road and avoid damage to myself.
My car eventually came to a grinding halt in the middle of the road.
And then silence. Just the radio playing on in my speakers songs about happier times, totally oblivious to the tragedy that had just happened. The tragedy I’d caused…
Oh…my…God…I hit them… I hit someone….
“No…it can’t…” I cried. Tears were falling from my eyes. I could barely breathe as my chest tightened up and I felt my heart flying in my chest sending shockwaves of panic signaling into the back of my head like some kind of pounding rhythm that had no real source.
I quickly shut off the radio and then I just sat there in silence, frozen, too scared to move, too afraid of what I’d done or what I might see. Every single image of doom and total destruction of everything I had ever known passed by the internal lens behind my eyes.
Somehow I eventually found the will to move. I turned off the car, opened the door, and staggered out into the open road. There were no other cars around. It was quiet. Empty. Too quiet. A soft, gentle breeze caressed across my face as if trying to comfort me, but it made the whole thing seem so much worse somehow.
I stepped slowly across the road until I was now staring down the embankment. The bike was lying at the bottom on its side. Several pieces of it were scattered on the side of the road and all over the ground near where it finally rested at the bottom of the steep hill. It was mostly destroyed. The front wheel appeared to be just dangling, on the verge of falling off completely.
And the driver…?
Wait… where was the driver…?
There was no one around, only the bike.
I knew that someone had been riding when I crashed into them. Where in the hell were they?
“Hello?” I yelled as I started to run around the embankment and then back and forth across the road trying to find them. “Hello?”
I doubted they could hear me. They were most likely dead. I’d hit them pretty hard and I wasn’t sure how anyone could have survived it. They might have even…slid…under the car?
“No…no, no, no, NO!” I yelled as I ran towards the road behind my car checking frantically for whoever this person might be. What had I done? At twenty-five my life was ruined and this poor person was probably dead…or at least hurt seriously. How could I have been so careless? So reckless?
“Hello?” I shouted again looking towards the embankment.
I was bawling now, the tears falling hard out of my eyes, my voice getting choked up and my chest so tight and heavy that I could barely even make a sound anymore. I was about to collapse in a full on panic attack.
The voice came out of nowhere. At first I wasn’t even sure I’d heard anyone over my own crying and the loud voices screaming in my head in anguish about what had just happened. But I thought… it was possible…did I really hear someone or was my head playing tricks with me? Hopeful thinking…that’s all it was. No one could have survived this. I plowed into the motorcycle going at least fifty.
The voice was there again. This time I knew I heard it.
It was coming from my right. Towards the embankment behind where my car was parked.
Quickly I broke into a jog and ran towards it.
“Hello?” I shouted as I got closer.
“Yes! I’m here!”
It was a man’s voice. It sounded strong and clear. Maybe… could it be…?
He was OK.
When I came to the edge of the road I saw him. There was a small hill there right before the embankment started to drop off. He was lying just on the edge of that in a fairly grassy spot. He was sitting up and looking towards me, his helmet lying beside him close to his hand.
A look of relief came over his face when he saw me.
“Oh, my God!” I exclaimed. “Are you alright?”
“Um… I think so… but I’m not sure I can stand right now. I took a pretty good tumble.”
I almost laughed with his response. He didn’t seem to even be in that much pain. He definitely didn’t sound like the type of man who’d been seriously injured in a collision on a motorcycle. The nearest I could tell his right leg seemed a bit banged up and twisted as he kept rubbing it lightly and grimacing with the pain. I didn’t see any damage to his head or face though, which I took as a great sign.