Shaking, stunned, surprised and still under the chock, Angie, walked slowly back to her car, tried to open the driver’s door and went into her car. She made sure to close the windows – as if closing the windows would separate her from the man who was screaming at her – she then turned her car on, made sure her road was safe, looked back in her mirror, drove back to an empty spot and parked her car.
Her heartbeat must have reached an alarming rate. Everything in her body was in panic state. Her eyes were wide open, her fingers, her arms, her legs and her feet were shaking. She was still under the shock and she couldn’t find words to describe what had just happened to her. She still can see the man standing there gesturing, yelling and screaming. A voice in her head was urging her to say something: “Damn it, Angie, say something… say anything…” Breathing was hard, every molecule and every cell of her body was on alert. The voices in her head were arguing again. She was about to cry. One voice in her head was asking her to take a breath, and to continue what she had planned to do, which was to go to the ATM machine and to get the amount of money she needed. Another voice in her head was asking her to calm down, and was repeating endlessly that everything was going to be okey. Another voice was screaming in her head, urging her to say something or to do something. She looked at the street in front of her and wondered what on earth was she doing here in the first place. She even wondered if everything that took place in her life so far was even worth it. Suddenly everything was worthless, everything was empty, devoid of any meaning… hollow, vacuous, meaningless… The voices in her head were reaching a dead end with their arguments.
Finally, she collected all her courage, she made sure that she still can stand on her feet without shaking or falling, she opened her car door, stood up and walked to the ATM. The screaming old man had returned to his car and was about to leave. When she approached his car, she started running because she feared that this time she would be the one who would get hit and not her car. She even wondered when she started running why a “mirror” is used in a car and she definitely wondered what had triggered the car accident that she had just had.
Standing in front of the ATM machine, she couldn’t help but notice that she was still shaking. She tried to pull her card out of her wallet, but she couldn’t. A man was standing at a distance from her, waiting for his turn to use the ATM machine. She tried again to pull out her card, this time she managed to do it. She tried to insert it into the ATM feeder, but she couldn’t. She tried again a few times before noticing that she wasn’t using it in the proper direction. When she finally managed to enter the ATM card in the ATM feeder, she tried to remember her password which seemed a hollow number with a void meaning. “Come on Angie, come on Angie, people are waiting. Pull yourself together, you will fall apart in a few minutes, after collecting the money. Concentrate. Focus. You can do this. We can both do this”, a voice in her head kept urging. She finally managed to remember her password and she tried to key it in. The dialogue box in front of her seemed to be working. She chose the amount she needed and when she was about to retrieve her money, she was asked to restart the procedure again because the password was wrong. She tried again… Everything seemed to be taking ages. She felt that she was stuck in a moment that she couldn’t get ride off. Her fingers started shaking again, and the voice in her head kept repeating again and again that everything was going to be okey, she took her bag into her arms and squeezed it to her body. God, how much she needed a hug in that moment. The dialogue box on the ATM screen in front of her, was asking her to pick an option, to choose the amount of money she needed and to retrieve the money. She tried to follow and to read as much as she could, she waited for the money to come out, for her card and for the receipt. Then she collected all her self-esteem, her courage and what was left of her sanity and walked trembling, not sure whether she would be able to make it safely to her car.
People were walking, talking and laughing. Cars were passing. Security agents were staring at people. The sun was shining. Birds were flying far away in the sky. Buildings were being constructed. Agency and offices were working. Pharmacies, hotels, stores, bookstores, libraries, schools, universities, were all functioning properly. And here she was … just a lonely creature who has just had a tiny accident and it wasn’t her fault. Here she was sitting in her car and trying to look at the bright side (come on Angie, there is a bright side to every story… Come on Angie, you are ALIVE. Do you know what that mean?) Here she was, looking good on the outside but devastated on the inside just like the door of her car: from the outside, it seems to be in a perfect condition, but when she tries to open it, something gets stuck. Maybe what really upset her was the fact that the old man screamed at her. He must have said words like “what are you doing here parking just behind my car, didn’t you see me coming out?” He must have said something like “you are looking at your ugly useless car to see if it is scratched??? Don’t you see that you have ruined my new big car???” and all the time, she was silent. She didn’t know what to say. She didn’t know how to face this never ending rage. She didn’t know if she would scream if she opens her mouth. She didn’t know if she needs to use another etiquette and to remain calm, polite and a “good girl”.