Everything froze for a minute. No movement. No sound.
My mother had already gone inside the house, while I was still wandering around, looking at the balcony. She was there a couple of seconds ago, talking to me, but now it was just me crossing the road with my brother on the other side, waiting.
“What just happened?” I questioned myself as I unconsciously kept walking and placed my feet on that black asphalt road. Then suddenly, out of the blue, I heard my brother yell, “Archita, go back!”
Before I could even process those words in my head, I heard a loud screeching noise of tires. It was nothing new. I had grown up in a city like Dubai where the nights had been conquered by choppers and cruisers and the days by all other types of vehicles in the bizarre traffic.
Still, as my brother’s voice echoed in the air, I realized that things seemed a bit different. The screech was much louder, much closer. I could hear the vehicle speed up and my brother’s voice, stronger than before, yelling, “Archita, move out of the way!”
I immediately turned to my left and saw a massive truck making its way towards me like a chopper’s wings. My heart started racing. Everything had become blurry. I could not hear my brother screaming anymore or cars speeding down the road. I could only see the truck coming closer and closer, every second.
“This is it!” I thought as I blinked my eyes, only to realize that the truck was now much closer than ever before. My own death was imminent.
We all know that death is inevitable, but you never truly know until it’s in front of you. The closer the truck got, the more I understood that I can’t avoid it. It will get me eventually. So, I didn’t even try to move.
Then suddenly, I yanked myself out of the trauma and sprinted toward the pedestrian lane. As I finally placed my foot on the walkway, I heard a squealing noise. This time, it was not the turning or the speeding up tire sounds. Thankfully, it was the sound of the truck finally stopping.
I looked back to see the truck come to a halt and the driver’s face holding a deadly expression. “What do you think you were doing?!” he yelled as he began to blast off his anger at me.
Unaware of what my reaction should be, I rushed inside the building and managed to stop right in front of the reception.
My breathing was heavier now. I was still struck by what had just happened and was still struggling to slow down my heart.
It took me a couple of minutes to completely recover, after all, I had saved myself from a life-threatening accident.
As much as I was haunted by the incident for the next few days, it was the only way for me to understand the importance of consciously crossing a road.
Edited by Victoria Lee