Today I woke up with my boyfriend sitting on our bed - "Sorry to wake you up but I got scooped by a car this morning..."
Only recently did he start bicycle racing, a fairly common sports in the Netherlands, often going on early mornings in the weekends when I still am asleep.
It was good I immediately could see him while hearing these words. No blood, no bandages except for his hand where the hospital had given him an intravenous drip, no crutches, bright look from his eyes.
I hugged him before letting him tell his story. He was safe.
He saw the car coming, only 20 minutes on his bike, but he had priority and the car seemed to slow down. But in the end the driver didn't see him thanks to the low sun on an early morning. And instead of slowing down, it sped up, and my boyfriend out of options to do anything was thinking 'this is going to go wrong'. He woke up sitting on the ground. He didn't remember how he got there. Ten men from our local soccer club who were just passing by in a van were surrounding him, they had called the alarm number.
Ambulance came. Hospital did some tests. They let him go. The police took his bike. His helmet had gotten the worst of it - it was broken. It probably has saved his life. He remembers seeing the car: the whole front window was shattered.
A few hours later. The woman who was driving the car wanted to call for a moment. She was on speaker phone, I was listening in.
"I am still crying. I was crying when I just hit you. You were telling me 'it's okay, nothing is wrong, don't cry, you shouldn't cry'" - she told my boyfriend. He didn't remember he had tried to console her. Apparently he was more thinking of this crying woman then why he was suddenly sitting on the ground. He remembered thinking "Why is everyone asking me how I'm doing, I'm just sitting here".
Apparently the woman was reliving the moment all day. Seeing my boyfriend on the window of her car, seeing him hit his head hard on the ground. In the meanwhile her kid (!) next to her screaming because of the collapse and pieces of window flying inside the car. So traumatic. She just wanted to know if he wouldn't have permanent damage. "I would never forgive myself for that. I am driving a car for 21 years now and have never been in an accident."
It was humbling. She was in the wrong. Officially. But no-one goes on the road with the intent of hurting someone. So I felt compassion for her traumatic experience. But it could have gone way worse. For now I believe my boyfriend will have some bruises the coming week or two, but he'll be fine in the end.
I am grateful.
These things always seem to happen 'to others'. Until they don't.