Megan opened her date book and noticed “Ted Talk” in her handwriting was covering the entire Tuesday square. Tuesday was less than twelve hours away.
It had been quite a tumultuous month. Starting off when her SUV was totaled on the way to pick up Elina, her eldest daughter from dance class. Admittedly she was running late, and frustrated. Her six year old Abby could not find her coat. The very same coat she had worn into the house after school just an hour earlier.
After wasting ten valuable minutes of searching Megan threw her own coat over Abby’s shoulders and carried her to the SUV. She double checked the booster seat and buckled her in. Almost in a premonition as Abby had taken to arguing to “do it herself” lately but she didn’t fight this time as she was enjoying running her fingers over the soft lining of Megan’s coat.
They were cruising along third, trying to bypass the traffic that collected on main street once the high school let out. The Ballet school was only six minutes from the house but they were always late in getting there and Elina has specifically asked them to get there early today so they could see the final rehearsal before the following weeks recital.
Waiting at the light, watching two teenage boys on skateboards manipulate the curbs and fly down the street her SUV was rear ended. They went scooting into the intersection and were immediately sideswiped and spun around, only to be hit again and pushed sideways through the intersection. Megan glanced over her shoulder to see Abby peering out of the top the coat she was wearing like a blanket. The coat was covered in glass.
By the time the paramedics checked them out and Megan had phoned her husband Rick to pick up Elina it was dark and cold and the tow truck was pulling away with her SUV. Abby and Megan accepted a ride home in the police cruiser, clutching the police report and a cell phone full of photos for the insurance agent.
The next morning when Megan woke up she couldn’t get out of bed. What she figured was just soreness from being hit the night before had turned into something much scarier. She looked at her feet, she told them to move….they moved. Ok Megan thought I’m not paralyzed. She tried again but couldn’t manage to turn her body to get out of bed.
She called for Rick, he was home, everyone had stayed home in fact. Abby hadn’t want to sleep in her own room and as far as Megan knew she was still in Megan’s coat from the night before. Elina offered to let her sleep with her and Abby jumped at the chance to be in her big sisters room.
Rick came in the room with coffee for her and asked how she was feeling. “I have a full bladder and I can’t seem to get my legs to move to the side of the bed” Megan said. Ricks usual look of panic crept in, he was not the best under pressure but came to help her up and got her into the bathroom.
Once she was up and around it was a little easier to move but she was still having trouble if she stayed still for any length of time. By 2:00 pm the whole family piled into Rick’s Jetta and headed to Urgent Care.
The talk of swelling and offer of pain meds did not make her feel any better, but the assurance that this was normal after the kind of hits she had taken the night before did calm some of her fears.
Within a few days she was able to move better however other problems had arisen from the wreck. Their insurance agent who at first was sure this wasn’t going to be a problem was now sounding less sure. The truck that hit her was claiming Megan did not have brake lights or didn’t have her foot on the brake which is why he didn’t notice she was stopped and that is why she moved so easily into the intersection.
The arguments about the actual traffic light seemed to be lost on them and they were sending out a request for the traffic cam footage. All of this would be worked out “eventually” but for now it left them with only Rick’s Jetta.
They had managed through college and when Elina was a baby with just one car, certainly they could do it again for what was looking like at least a month. Although Elina did not want to be dropped off at school or ballet in as she put it “that old thing” she did change her tune when the option was walking.
It had been a trying month, carpooling with Rick, figuring out how drop off and pick up Abby from kindergarten and fighting with the insurance agents. Megan’s body had seemed to be better although she refused to sign anything from the insurance agent just yet which just means they refused to pay her anything yet. Abby wasn’t physically hurt in the wreck but still won’t leave the proximity of Megan’s coat, taking it to school, using it as a blanket at home and refusing to get in the car without it.
“Tomorrow” Megan stammered, “I am not prepared to give this Ted Talk Tomorrow.”