DON'T BE A DOUCHE BAG
A week after the BF first had his accident I was doing my first 300+ mile trip from Plymouth to Leeds.
Tears were still understandably uncontrollable, my body trembled constantly dealing with (term used loosely - I'm not sure I was 'dealing with' it at all) the shock.
I took it slow. I drove and took pit stops when I needed to try and breathe again, to stop my hands from shaking, to mop up the pool of tears.
Part way up the M1 I found my hands shaking again, I needed to stop.
I indicated into the first service station that appeared next. The car park was busy but not full, maybe two thirds full at most. I started to reverse into one of the bays, and it was only then that I noticed the car next to me was *right up* against the line.
It was fine, there was another space free next to me on the other side, so I parked closer to it that I normally would as there were still dozens of other empty spots.
I TURNED OFF THE ENGINE AND TOOK A BREATH, I TOOK A HANDFUL OF LONG, SLOW, MUCH NEEDED BREATHS.
About 60 seconds later another large car started to reverse into the space next to me, clearly missing it was a little tighter than normal too instead of choosing another.
As soon as he was parked he clearly realised it was tight.
He started to shout, bellow and curse about the "f*cking d*ck" parked next to him.
"WTF - shout shout shout curse curse curse".
I didn't know what to do. I knew I was parked closer than normal, I didn't see the closeness of the car next to me until I began to park either.
I sat as still as I could, thinking he mustn't have seen me to shout and curse like that. I stopped breathing, I prayed he'd move and just park in the empty bay right in front and stop. I attempted with all my might to keep back the pricked tears hidden behind my sunnies.
But no, instead, he wound down his window, looked straight at my face (or the side of it, I was still remaining as still as I could, not moving, not breathing, just looking straight ahead) and he bellowed and cursed even louder...
"F*CKNG C*NT! WHO THE F*CK DOES SHE THINK SHE IS?!?!"
...before eventually turning the ignition, slamming his foot on the accelerator and speeding off while throwing daggers that could kill my way.
Yet, I don't tell this story as an example of a way a man should never speak to a woman - ever.
I don't even tell this story as an example of a way a man should never speak a stranger. A stranger who's fighting a battle of love, of her BF being in a state of drugged up semi-consciousness, of paralysed legs and tubes perturbing out of lungs so he can breathe so not to drown in his own fluids. A stranger who's battling a fight you don't even know about, all in a bid to give herself a dose of safety and sanity and parked a little close to the line.
I TELL THIS STORY BECAUSE, QUITE SIMPLY...
DON'T BE A DOUCHE BAG.
Not because someone's a woman or fighting an unseen battle.
BECAUSE REALLY PEOPLE - FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HUMANITY - JUST SHOW EACH OTHER SOME SIMPLE KINDNESS.
SPLASH IT AROUND IN EXCESS.
SMILE. BE HELPFUL. SHOW LOVE.
There are enough (more than enough) cruel and harsh battles we face in this life, don't be the douche bag that causes another.