Riding my bike down the sidewalk on Marsh St. near my aunt Ruth's house, behind my Granny's house. A woman who lived on the street was preparing to leave her home. I was happy to be riding my bike on the smooth cement and not really paying much attention to anything but the clouds and the sun. I was 5 years old. She was in her car and backing out of her driveway.
She collided with me and I felt her fear. I didn't feel anything else but her fear and I didn't want to get her into trouble, so I comforted her quickly ("It's alright. I'm fine. Don't cry. I'm ok) and went home pretending nothing was wrong. I told no one anything. My bike was ok; just a little ding. My leg hurt a bit but overall I was fine. I also knew my people would not react well and I didn't want a scene that could possibly take the sidewalk away from me forever.
I had seen my mother get angry before and I wanted no parts of that. I also knew she was the "cut off queen" capable of making people and things disappear. So, I thought it best to stay quiet and keep enjoying my smooth solo rides. God forbid I REALLY got blamed and they took my bike away.....NO THANK YOU.....quiet is where it's at! Best to control the conversation by completely omitting its existence.
Little did I know - the woman would feel so guilty that she would CALLLLLLLL my grandmother to check up on me and apologize. I heard the phone ring. I heard them say, "WHAT ACCIDENT????"
(Lord Jesus, you don't listen to anything I said. That was supposed to stay between us!)
Inevitably, the conversation on the phone ended and eyes were on me. They asked me if I had been in an accident and if the woman had really hit me. I played it down. I mean I won an honorary Oscar that day. "The woman was mistaken." "She ran over a twig." "I was no where near her bumper." "Of course, I'm careful." "Nope, she never touched me." "I'm positive she mis-remembered." Then I left the room.
I lied not to protect myself. I lied to protect her. At 5 years old.
I ended up avoiding that part of the sidewalk anyway after that day. I didn't want to run into the lady again and make her feel bad for hitting me with her car.