You thought I was disposable.
Monday morning. The first full week after the Christmas and New Year break, you late for work like every other driver out there, annoyed that other people might also have somewhere to go.
Me, also late for work, with probably the same Monday blues and concerns about the working day ahead as you do on this freezing, dark, dreary morning.
Your job, probably laden with responsibilities the same as mine.
Such a dismissive word.
When you sped off early at the green light, you probably didn’t spare a thought for any last straggling traffic crossing your path.
When you turned the corner too fast, despite the iciness of the road, you probably thought it was fine.
When your car collided with my bike and sent me into a spiral down into the ditch, you probably thought it was okay not to stop. Because as this area was classed as ‘rural’ and this lane ‘country’, there was no one around to see.
Probably, you thought I’d be okay. If you thought of me at all.
They found my bike in the ditch on the opposite side of the road.
The back wheel resembled a distorted over-sized twenty pence piece, and the frame of my beautiful silver Cannondale bike was scuffed, scarred and bent. You drove slowly and nudged it into the ditch, front wheel still spinning, and went on your way.
Let me tell you about that ditch.
It was steeper than it looked in passing, and owing to the torrential rain over the previous nights, there were a good few inches of cold, standing water waiting for me at the bottom. Not to mention a collection of broken bottles, discarded cigarette ends and various other forms of litter that had clearly been tossed from many a car window along the way.
If the ditch wasn’t full of the detritus of lazy motorists and passersby, maybe I’d have had strength enough to keep my head raised above water, perhaps drag myself along, try to raise a call for help. If I hadn’t landed face down and your car hadn’t snapped my spine, perhaps I wouldn’t have drowned.
Do you know how long it was before the hyperthermia kicked in and took what little strength I had left? Do you know how long it takes to drown?
Which is what you have left now. Not long.
For some reason, more than anything else, I am furious to find that the car in your drive is the same shade of silver as my beautiful bike. This feels like a final insult in some way.
I see you. Feet up on the sofa, hands around a mug of coffee to warm fingers after a long, cold day. It’s still January after all. At least you are warm. At least you’ll have that comfort when you die.
You sigh, yank your tie from your neck and carelessly discard it on the dining room table. You drain your coffee, set the mug down noisily and stand and stretch, before climbing the blue-carpeted stairs two at a time.
You start running a bath.
A quarter bottle of purple Radox goes in and thick, steamy bubbles form as you turn your back.
You don’t notice me in the mirror.
I watch, complete voyeur, as you strip and throw your clothes haphazardly into the laundry basket with the same care and attention as you disposed of your tie. And of me.
You would never have been my type. Were I still alive.
You sigh as you lower yourself into the bath and close your eyes, sinking beneath the soothing warm water.
When you try to raise your head, you find that you can’t. It is then that you open your eyes. It is then that you notice me.
This is probably going to be a painful death for you. I’m probably going to enjoy every moment I allow you to resurface and think you’ll be okay, before plunging you back in. Mostly, I’m going to enjoy watching the helpless terror in your eyes.
And you thought I was disposable.