A scary thing happened in the car on the way home from work last week.
I almost hit a cyclist.
It was dark, it was raining and I just did not see him, and I have not been able to stop thinking about it since.
I had stopped at a set of traffic lights, about 3 cars back. Up in front, I could see there had been a minor traffic incident involving two other cars. The cars were stationery in the road and I could see that both drivers had gotten out of their cars, I guess to inspect damage and exchange details.
The cars in front of me at the lights starting indicating left to manoeuvre around them and I prepared to follow suit.
I looked in the rearview mirror and the wing mirror as I signalled left, but could not see anything coming.
Suddenly I heard a loud voice outside, which caused me to slam the brakes on fast. It was then that I saw the cyclist whizz past me.
Shaking, I slowly moved around the parked cars and drove up to a mini roundabout a bit further up. The cyclist came up alongside my car and banged angrily on the car window.
‘You almost killed me’ he screamed. I was in tears at this point, and tried to apologise and explain that I had not seen him but he just kept shouting and saying that if I had looked in my mirror, I would have seen him.
I really did not see him.
My legs were jelly as I finished my journey home, shaken and terrified of what might have been.
I berated myself for not taking more time to make sure the lane was definitely clear before starting to turn, for following the cars infront and for no doubt startling the poor cyclist out of his skin.
I drove the rest of the way torturing myself with thoughts of a wife widowed, children orphaned and of destroying a family. I knew that if the worst, the most unthinkable thing had happened, I would never have been able to move on and I would have destroyed my own family too.
For a while, I wondered if I should even get behind a wheel again.
I did not see him.
How did I not see him?