A Frantic Attempt to Stay Upright

Life can become frightening in the blink of an eye! One evening after work, I went to the store to buy some things for the children’s breakfast, namely milk and orange juice. At that time, I did not know how to drive, so I had to take the bus everywhere. I had never had a problem boarding the bus or getting off the bus, so I was not prepared for what occurred, as I made a frantic attempt to stay upright and not be run over.

I stood waiting for the bus, and as it rounded the corner, I could see that the bus driver was half-turned and talking to someone sitting behind him. I did not know at the time that he was flirting with the lady sitting behind him. Therefore, he was not paying attention to what he was doing. The people ahead of me stepped on the bus and paid their fare. For some reason, after the person directly in front of me had paid her fare, he assumed she was the last passenger waiting, and he closed the doors. He said that he did not see me.

I had just placed my feet on the first step, when he closed the bus doors. That meant that one foot was on the bus and the other one was outside the bus with me. With a gallon of milk in one hand and gallon of orange juice in the other, I could not grab the door. In the blink of an eye, my life was in jeopardy.

In a total panic, I skipped one-footed along side the bus, praying that he would stop before I fell and was run over by the bus and possibly the cars behind it.  Thankfully, the people on the bus saw what happened, and I heard one woman frantically screaming, “Stop the bus! You are going to run over her! Stop the bus!” Her voice eventually penetrated his flirting and, finally, he saw what was happening outside the bus.

He stopped the bus and opened the doors, and, because I was off-balance, I fell backwards into the street. That movement saved me from being hit by a car coming the other way.  People came off the bus and helped me stand up, and I just got on the bus, not speaking to anyone. I was shaking all over, and I did not say anything to the driver, and though he looked so embarrassed, he did not even apologize. He acted as if nothing had happened. Other people on the bus was telling him to call an ambulance so that I could be checked, but I assured him and them that I was fine. All I wanted was to reach the safety of my home and hug my children.

When I reached my stop, I got off in a daze, but I was able to get home. I told my then-husband what had happened. He convinced me to go to the hospital and be checked, as I had fallen backwards and might have hurt myself and not know it. So, we went to the emergency room, and after a thorough examination, the doctor said that I had strained by back.

By then, a few hours later, I was having muscle spasms, and I was in so much pain. The doctor told me that I was really blessed that I had not sustained greater injuries. She told me that she thought that because I was somewhat balanced, with an equal weight on each arm, I was kept me upright as I jumped along side the bus, which probably saved my life. She advised me to report the accident to the bus company, to perhaps prevent it happening to someone else.

So, I called the bus company the next morning, and the first person I spoke to did not believe my story, mainly because the bus driver had not reported the incident, as he was required to do. I realized that he was worried about keeping his job, and, admittedly, I was hesitant to report it for that same reason. The person I spoke to scoffed and told me that he bet I was claiming to be hurt and just wanted some money.  But, I kept calling until I found someone willing to take the report and look into it.

I realized then that if you are ever in an accident, even if you feel fine, call the police and go to the hospital and be checked. But, praise be to God, two or more of the other passengers had called in to complain about the driver’s lack of attention and flirting that had led to him closing the doors on a passenger’s foot, and, in at least one case, his total lack of compassion or assistance to me after the accident.

Because I took the same bus each day, people knew my name, and after these complaints were rendered, the bus company then called me back and apologized. They paid for all of my doctors’ bills and gave me a settlement. The bus driver lost his job, mainly for failure to report the incident.

So, when people say that our lives can change in the blink of an eye, I know that it is true. One moment life is just fine and dandy, with not a care in the world, and the next, you are frantically trying to stay alive. But, I also know that I was not alone that day. Maybe as the doctor surmised, the two gallons of liquids saved my life, but, I believe that it was more likely that God’s angels that held me upright and made sure that I was out of harm’s way.  for Psalm 34:7 states,  “The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.” I was not alone that day, and neither are any of God’s people. I am so thankful to still be alive and kicking, albeit with a lot less gusto than before.


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