Rick braced her shoulder. “No, no Hun, you stay still. You got a big cut on your head.” It took everything in his power to avoid retching at the sight of the side of her head that had split open about eight inches. A piece of rock the shape of an arrowhead lodged in her skull. Blood was streaming fast down her face towards her eyes as she tried to look at him. He rolled her back over and wiped the blood with his hand so she would not feel the blood running down her face.
Not knowing much about head wounds, Rick decided that the only thing he could do was to try and stop the bleeding as much as possible and keep her awake in case she had a concussion, which he presumed she had. The girl became panicked as she registered Rick’s concern and tried to get up.
Rick stopped her movement again, but then sat down and maneuvered his body behind hers, placing her head in his lap and pressing the long wound together to minimize the bleeding. It seemed to work as long as he applied firm pressure. All Rick could do was distract her for now and hoped the paramedics would be here soon. His back was already hurting from the uncomfortable position he was in.
“Hey, what’s your name? I’m Rick.”
“I’m Jessica. Oh, God. My brother is going to kill me for taking his bike. How bad is it? Did I total it?”
Rick had to laugh to himself that this would be her biggest concern. “Don’t worry about it, Darling, it will be fine.” He replied, knowing it was totaled. “Where were you heading so fast?”
Jessica winced and held back the nausea in her stomach. “I was going to see my friend before I have to go back to school. I borrowed my brother’s bike because I don’t have a car yet. I’m a freshman, and they don’t allow cars till next year. And, my dad, he said he wasn’t going to invest in one until I needed it. I was excited because I just went to my first rally and I wanted to tell my best friend, Amy, about it. Crap, my mom and dad, are going to have a fit about this. My mom has a hard time even dealing with me in college, and, like, I’ll never be able to do anything. Do you have any kids?”
Rick was forty years old and never married. He had a few relationships, but things never went his way. It felt odd to be grilled by a teenager. “No, no kids. I have a bunch of nieces and nephews. But don’t worry. Your parents are going to be so grateful that you are okay. And, then, maybe after its all over, they’ll be a little pissed off. But it’s never really as bad as you think it will be.” Rick knew from experience with his parents that they get over it eventually.
Without a watch or cellphone, time was elusive, and he hoped he could keep up the pressure on her wound long enough to make sure she was with her parents again. The spasms in his lower back had kicked up a notch. He wasn’t sure if she had any internal bleeding. How long has that young man been away, he thought.
After what seemed an eternity, Rick heard the young man’s pounding footsteps and heavy breathing as he came closer. Sam turned the corner around his car and almost vomited from the sight of blood Rick was sitting in. Rick raised his eyebrows and mouthed ‘be cool.’
The young man stooped over to get his breath back and regain his composure before speaking. “The paramedics will be here in about twelve minutes or so. I told them exactly what you said.”
Rick nodded, “Thanks, um, what is your name?”
“Sam.” The young man answered hesitantly.
“Sam, I’m Rick, and this is Jessica.” Jessica put her right hand up as a partial wave.
“Hi, Sam. Are you the driver of the car I hit? Did I hurt you?”
“Yeah, I’m the driver, but I just got a little bruise on my nose. Don’t worry about it.”
“Is your car totaled?” she asked as she began to cry, realizing that she was in much worse shape than she realized.