Friday is my best day of the week. Don’t ask me why because for the life of me, I cannot give you a clear cut answer. But I mostly allude my crush on Friday as the aftermath of primary school assembly. I vividly remember my favourite marching song, “Monday we go to school,Tuesday we go to school, Wednesday we go to school,Thursday we go to school, Friday WE PACK OUR LOAD, because tomorrow morning Saturday no school”… Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Haha..
Fast-forward to 2019. A typical Friday starts on an exhilarated “high” for me. My shift at work starts by 12noon and my radio show commences by 1pm. Enough time for me to lounge.
After taking my bath and enjoying a light breakfast, I dilly dally in front of my wardrobe, eyebrows knit together in total concentration as I browse through my clothes collection. At the conclusion of the conference between my head and my heart,I shrug and carelessly pull out a tiger print shirt with my favourite black pair of Aladdin trousers. (I have to confess that this is one of my most worn pair of clothes. So much for the browsing, hehehe)
Matt (my husband) mentions that he wants to get some things in town and since his destination tallies with mine, he decides to give me a ride to work. I drop Ariana at the daycare and I take my position in the front seat beside Matt. He starts the ignition, no response. We look at each other. “Strange ” must have run through our minds simultaneously. The car was in tip top condition prior to that time and so there was definitely no cause for alarm (or was there?)
If this is worthy of mention, I must let you know that I have a sharp intuition. I get a sense of foreboding if something awful is about to happen and on the other hand, I feel a delicious tingle course through me if something really cool is going to take place.
But this fateful Friday, nope, nothing. My acute instincts ran out of frequency. Matt tries again and the car roars to life. “Good”, I think to myself. I hate feeling harried because of late coming and we were running out of time.
We take to the road and meander through the late morning traffic as we make casual chitchat about plenty nothings. We get to my bus stop and I tell Matt to park the car but he keeps moving. Bewildered, I ask him why he didn’t stop and he tells me he wants to make a U-turn. Since it’s a four laned road and we were on the second lane, it was easy to believe. The only thing that gave him away was his set jaw.
Something wasn’t right. Matt was repeatedly making a jerky movement on the brake and I mentally chide myself for thinking the horrible imagination that just flitted through my mind. Hang on a second. Is this real? “Is the brake failing?” I hadn’t realized I had spoken out loud until I hear Matt’s latent fear, urgently expressed in a silent “yes”. I couldn’t believe my ears and eyes.” brake failure ” “brake failure” It repeated itself in my head over and over again like a mantra.
We get to the sloppy part of the road and the car begins to pick up speed. I could feel blood coursing through my veins and my heart thumping madly in my chest. My mouth is dry and the last sentient thing I think of is Ariana, my little 7 month old daughter that would never know mummy. “I should have cuddled her more this morning” I muse sadly. Afterwards, my heart races around in a gobbledygook of terrifying thoughts that are too dismal to be voiced.
The car careens on and in the nick of time, Matt swerves the car away from a moving truck. We miss hitting that truck by a hair’s breath.
By now, my heart is in my mouth and I can literally see Mr death, leaning over to blow me away from the land of the living like a birthday candle. I hear Matt telling people to clear off the road, yelling ” brake failure!” “brake failure! ” My unseeing eyes are wide open like headlights, my tongue is clinging to the roof of my mouth and my chest was threatening to explode. I could hardly breathe. “This is what a panic attack feels like” I am thinking, when I hear WHAM!!!. I’m not wearing the seatbelt so I jump clear off my chair, my head hits the car roof and then silence. I’m dead.
Oh wait… I can’t be dead. Dead people can’t think of being dead when they are already dead… Or can they? I dare my eyes to open, they oblige. I’m alive, I’m conscious, nothing broken, nothing bleeding. I’M ALIVE!!
I open the door and hastily come out of the car. Matt does the same. We stare at each other and like a telepathically passed message, we both know that neither of us was hurt. As the crowd starts to pool around us, Matt says “babie mi, don’t look back, take a cab and go to work “. I nod, or at least my head goes up and down in a nodding motion and I bid my legs to move. Thankfully they obey. I take a good look at what remained of our car, the red car we bashed, and walk away.
In a daze, I keep walking. My head is reeling. I hear someone in the crowd ask if there were any survivors in that accident and I shake my head ruefully. My emotions are warring intensely with one another. I eventually gather my wits and board a cab to cover the short distance between my walking expedition and my bus stop. All is well right?
Maybe not. Something terrible is happening to me. These days I awake in the middle of the night, drenched in my sweat. The accident is replaying itself in my dreams like the excerpt of a horror movie. I want to make it stop, but I can’t.
Slowly, Fridays have turned into nightmares and here’s the worst part: taking a cab or entering any vehicle has morphed into a mental torture.
It’s unbelievable how one incidence has suddenly become the pivotal influence of my day to day reality. Matt thinks it’s post traumatic stress disorder. I don’t care what it is. It could be post natal blues for all I care. I just want it to stop. I want to think of that Friday and not cringe with terror. I want to be fine again. It’s what I want with every fibre of my being right now.
Think you might have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or do you have a traumatic experience you are yet to recover from?
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