I was on my way to college when I had my first car accident today. As would any other first-timers, I was terrified to the bone. My phone's credit was expired. My parents were not there to back me up. I felt like a little lamb trying to fend for itself in a wolves' lair. My first thought was - the driver would call the police, the police would come and take me, handcuffed, to the police station, I would be heavily beaten up by them, and my parents would bail me out the next day. I thought my license was going to be withheld. I worried for almost every single thing I could think of.
My mind was blank. I had no idea whatsoever of what am I supposed to do or what was going to happen.
A man in his forties came down from the black Myvi. I listened to my uneven heartbeat as he slowly walked towards my car. He was going to scream at me, I thought. I winded down my window, feeling terrified and hopeless. I began to plead with whatever words I could think of, my two shivering hands clasped together.
"I'm so, so sorry. Can you please call my father? Please forgive me, I'm just a new driver, I just got my license, I'm inexperienced. I think my brake is faulty."
I know the last excuse was pathetic, but what else could I do? The slightly balded man was silent through my impromptu "redemption". I noticed he had a small bandage over his forearm while he continued to ignore what I was saying.
He finally voiced out, "Mat yeh hou mah?" (What's number is it?)
Oh, crap. No wonder he didn't say anything. He didn't even understand my "speech"! Feeling stupid, I gave him my father's phone number. He called my father and they started having a conversation in Cantonese which I could only partly understand. Finally, he passed his phone to me. My father asked me not to be afraid, and that he will settle whatever damages with him. I think I must have looked really innocently horrified, because I overheard something in Cantonese that sounded like it meant, "She looks so afraid her face has a bad colour."
Finally, he asked me to give him some basic details like my name, IC, car number, address, etc. I apologised to him one final time before he let me off.
Night came. We (my mother, father and me) were talking about the matter over the dinner table. After what I've heard, my heart fell. Guilt surged through my veins. I felt a sharp pain in my heart. I almost broke down.
I found out that the bald man was a kidney failure patient. He was from somewhere south of Selangor and had to travel to Klang to borrow his friend's car to travel to Kuala Lumpur to carry out his weekly dialysis (blood transfusion). He had been doing this for nine years. The friend who lent him his car was a person who treasured his car a lot, but due to strong friendship and sympathy, willingly lent his car to this man, the victim.
I felt so bad. But what could I do? Even though my parents have repaid the damages, I still feel a sense of guilt, like I've done great harm to this humble and considerate man, who did not even criticise my driving, let alone scream.
The world is unfair. There are rich and evil people, and tonnes of poor and good-hearted. I will one day earn enough; enough to satisfy my wants, and to help all the people who I see are deserving. That day will come. I will make a difference, even if it's just to one person's life, I will know that I have tried.
To the victim of my unintentional carelessness, I thank you for your kindness and understanding. I know you will not see this, but at least the world will know that there are still many good people out there. I am very, very sincerely sorry about what have happened, but what is done, is done. Compensating you is the most I could do. With this, I bid you good luck in everything you do, especially if it's health-related. May you always be blessed.