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An Accident


Jolanta Gradowicz

Susan opened her eyes slowly and saw an unknown man leaning over her. His glasses were steamy as if they were sweaty from effort. She probably thought so because their owner seemed to be very tired. Actually, he was exhausted. She could hear his heavy and accelerated breath.

The man shouted something to her and shook her arms. Susan slowly regained consciousness.

“What happened?” she lifted her head for a while, but she was too weak to talk more. She felt a big pain in every part of her body. She was lying on the grass, and her car stopped in a roadside ditch. In the night she could see only the outline of her car.

Susan tried to recall the last minutes before the accident. In the evening she quarreled with her husband – he was very unpleasant to her. She ran out of her house, being completely jittery, after he had begun to talk about their divorce.

She got into her car and drove straight ahead. But she didn’t remember exactly what happened later. Perhaps she fainted over the wheel...

But who is the man? She looked at him with fear again. The man must have sensed her anxiety, so he said calmly, “Don’t worry, madam! I pulled you out from your car. Everything seems to be all right except for the little wound on your forehead. I called for help – doctors should examine you.”

Susan looked gratefully at him. He seemed to be really worried about her. He wiped his glasses and peeked nervously at his wristwatch.

“It’s late” he murmured.

An ambulance arrived at last on the road, and a doctor looked after her. He asked her many detailed questions about her state, and Susan didn’t notice at all when her savior had gone away.

She wanted to thank him at least. She was looking around, but the man disappeared in the night.

Susan was about to get into the ambulance when a police car drove up. A policeman asked her several routine questions about the accident and left her alone. But after a while he came back to her and asked, “Mrs. Jones, we are pursuing a criminal who ran away from a nearby prison. He is a tall, dark-haired, middle-aged man wearing glasses. Have you seen him?”

Susan went pale, hearing the words.

“Madam, is everything all right? Have you seen the man?” the policeman repeated his question.

A coming truck drowned out Susan’s answer.

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