At around ten this morning, HHB and I headed for Rustan’s, something we hadn’t done since maybe November, else why were so many things new to me when we got there – the Christmas stuff, the layout of the store, etc.?
But that’s not the meat of the story, far from it.
As we neared Rustan’s, I saw an armored van parked in front of UCPB but preparing to get out. I always fear seeing armored vans because then I think of a possible hold-up with me getting hit in the crossfire. Little did I think I’d be almost hit by one.
We stayed away from the van as it exited its slot but instead of veering toward the main road, it just turned just a little to still be partly in front of the bank, maybe a fourth of its body still on the service road. And we were that close to being hit – sideswiped, my niece volunteered. Close enough for me to almost hit it with the umbrella I was holding, close enough for HHB to tap its side to draw the driver’s attention.
A few witnessed the occurrence. I think my wheelchair’s right footrest was hit. Luckily, my feet are recessed into the back of the footrest rather than in front.
When we finally reached Rustan’s, the van didn’t bother to stop, no one came to ask if we were all right, I was more angry than scared. I kept repeating to HHB why he went straight, almost at us.
I guess I wasn’t about to die from that experience because my past didn’t flash before my eyes. Strangely, I wasn’t even shaken. But furious. Then duty called and we had to do the groceries.
While waiting to pay, the experience came into my consciousness again and I thought of dropping by at the bank to inform them of what had happened. But going to banks, especially around noon, also scares me. Hold-up scenarios come to mind. SO I decided to call.
The person who took my call was nice. When I asked to talk to the manager, I gave my name. She didn’t ask, “From what company?” as some are wont to do. She told the manager my name and though I’m a non-entity in UCPB Katipunan, the manager took the call, saying, “Hello, this is Cynthia.”
Good for her to have no airs about position and rank. I told her what happened and she apologized.
I asked her to please tell their armored van agency (Ultra, she said) to choose their drivers well. It is not enough that they know how to drive. They should know how to drive a truck.
The manager said maybe he didn’t see us. I guess he didn’t but should that be my responsibility? Perhaps he didn’t look at the side mirror, she volunteered. But again, is that my responsibility?
The manager didn’t take umbrage at my rant, I was crying. I guess reality had set in. And I was furious. I could have been in the hospital now, disabled more than ever, or in the mortuary.
LIkely, today will be the last time I’ll venture out to Katipunan in my wheelchair. Or maybe anywhere where vehicular traffic is present.
Some years back, a motorcycle also nearly hit us, meters away from the house.
The incident this morning has yielded reactions from family. Husband asked, “Wasn’t the security guard guiding the van out?” I said I didn’t see a security guard; maybe he found it unnecessary as the van was facing Katipunan and wasn’t backing up.
Two – there was not one good Samaritan who cared to stop and ask how we were. Except for that man who kept looking at us, turning his head toward us as though wondering if we had been hurt. But no one stopped. I guess everyone was just too busy to wonder, much less care.