Abbey and I were driving to the studio this morning, in the middle of the enormous parking lot known as C5 during rush hour traffic, when during a lull (which is what happens 90 percent of the time when you’re in the middle of the enormous parking lot known as C5 during rush hour traffic), we felt a very distinct and very palpable THUD.
A quick glance backward revealed that we’d been heartily rear-ended by a white Toyota Fortuner.
The first things I saw when I approached the driver’s side of the offending vehicle were: (1) long hair; (2) navy blue espadrilles; and (3) the strap of a college university student ID. Each clue had led to the following rapidly-made conclusions: (1) it’s a girl; (2) she’s young; and (3) she’s very young.
By the time, I’d reached conclusion no. 3, I was already heading back to Abbey’s car. Some things deserve my rage, but I’m not the type to dump my fury on things that are unlikely to weather the encounter.
I got back into the car and told Abbey: “It’s a student. You’ll have to be the one dealing with her as there’s no telling what I’ll do or say.”
That act of restraint was probably one of the smartest things I’ve done. Within five minutes, Abbey had calmed down the hyperventilating child, gotten her insurance and license details, spoken to her father and consulted with the swarming MMDA. (My pretensions to usefulness amounted to taking two dozen identical pictures of the unwanted consummation between two cars.) After finding nothing on Abbey’s car’s rear bumper apart from the slightest of scratches (a fortunate outcome given how the impact felt) we decided to forego any further drama and to simply go on our way.
Minutes later, I turned to Abbey and said: “Thanks for handling that.”
“You’re welcome,” she said, barely glancing up from her Jill Mansell novel. Then she paused and added: “We were lucky.”
I nodded. We’d been very lucky indeed.