I'm not very superstitious. Apart from where single magpies are concerned - I salute for all I'm worth every time I see one of those. But as far as all the other things are concerned, they don't bother me. And to be honest it hadn't even registered that it was Friday 13th yesterday. Until I came back from my afternoon walk with Ted.
I'd gone out a bit earlier than usual, debated whether to take him to the playing fields over the road, but decided against it due to the possibility of lots of traffic when it came to crossing back at the end of our walk. It was Friday, 'rush hour' starts a bit earlier etc. etc.
Walking back home after 'going round the block' I saw a pizza deliver scooter pulling into a driveway then waiting to turn out again. I saw the 200 bus dropping off passengers and turning round. I saw passengers crossing the road and one woman go a little way and then go back due to oncoming cars. Recognising the woman as having the reputation as being 'mad' I hurried up a little wanting to avoid her, then remembered that the one time I had seen her close-to she had been very sweet to Ted.
The scooter pulled out, we walked on I heard a clatter; what sounded like a lot of plastic boxes being dropped from a height. I turned round for a second and saw only the scooter in the road and the rider attempting to get up, his pizza boxes scattered around. Cars slowed down, we walked on. Turning the corner for home I looked again. This time I saw people on mobiles in the middle of the road, the rider on the ground.
Ten minutes later there were sirens lots of them. The traffic was at a standstill, drivers using our road to turn round. Robert went to find out what was going on. The woman had been knocked down by the scooter and was critically injured. The road was now a crime scene in case she had been fatally injured, a very possible outcome according to the policeman.
I felt shocked. I had noticed nothing on my backward glance, I hadn't seen her lying there. But in that moment 2 people's lives had changed beyond belief. If I had been 2 seconds later I would have seen everything. It haunts me just how short life is, how we never know what is waiting for us around the corner.
And one detail which makes me almost cry is that a neighbour said "I thought it was her, I recognised her coat." None of us knew her name.