One day I was riding home from college on my bike. It was a beautiful fall afternoon, which meant the morning had been cold, but the ride home would be hot if I wore the coat I had with me. After a day of shoving books in and out of my pack, my helmet and coat had sunk to the bottom. For whatever reason, I was not in the mood to dig the helmet out, so I was riding without one.
The road I chose had long stretches with no traffic lights and not many cars. The cars that did cross my path were headed across my road to a larger road a block of two over.
Occasionally, I would be right there as a car approached and I would have to pay special attention to the driver's eyes, ensuring they saw me. A college age girl approached the same intersection I was at. I was all set to stop, when she looked at me and slowed down.
And then sped up! It turns out she hadn't seen me at all! Luckily, she still had barely enough time to cross, right before I would hit her car. I slowed as much as I could. Just when I thought we were going to miss, she saw me!
She slammed on her brakes and I went into that panic mode that turns everything into slow motion. She had stopped barely far enough that I now had no way around her. I remember carefully aiming straight for the side of her car. I then hit and closed my eyes!
I opened them on the other side of her car. I was on my backpack looking up. I took a quick inventory and got up. The coat and helmet had padded my fall! I went over and looked at my bike and talked with her about what happened.
I found out her name was Jenny. She said I had flipped over her car. A fire truck came up and the driver asked if we had any idea where a collision might be. I told them I had been hit by a car and they were impressed I was okay. They found a small road burn on my hip, patched it, then went on their way.
My bike did not survive. The wheel and frame were warped beyond repair. Jenny loaded it into her car and took me home. There, she made sure her insurance company would pay me enough to replace my bike and off she went.
I now had a seriously cool story to tell and loved sharing it every chance I got! You would think this was a good ending, yet here we still are together, right?
I never did get a new bike. Instead, I took out a loan and bought my first car. I had been living with my aunt this whole time, and attending church with her and my uncle. The car brought freedom! I found a new congregation with mostly college kids my age.
On my first visit to the new church, I walked in shyly trying to take it all in. I was headed to a seat in the back, when I heard my name. Surprised, I looked around, but didn't recognize anyone. A girl was smiling and walking towards me with some friends.
She looked familiar, but I couldn't place her. I asked her how I knew her. She replied, embarrassed, "I'm Jenny... the one who ran over you! Thanks for making me say it in front of everyone!"
And that was that! She helped me get to know everyone, then I moved at the end of the year. Thanks for a great story, Jenny, wherever you are!