I'm driving to meet my dad at the park so we can run ... ish. We do this thing where we run a minute, walk a minute, rinse and repeat. None of this is really relevant.
I'm talking with my friend Neil on the phone, and he's on his way from Columbus to Indianapolis for a date, because I guess he was just like, "Hmm. Well, I've finished studying for finals. Guess I'll go to Indy for a few hours." This isn't relevant either.
I'm on Fifth, and I've already been stuck behind this crazy bus, and the light in front of me is turning yellow. "Crap, red light," I say and slow to a stop, thinking that I might need to call my dad to tell him that I'm going to be late, which is too bad, because I'm always late and I hate disappointing -
The phone is knocked from my hand. I scream.
I don't seem to be hurt. What the hell; I scream again.
The car is still running. I get out and walk over to the automobile that has popped the cherry of my very first car, ruined its pristine surface. I am shaking. I've had to buy gasoline only twice.
The driver of the other car is a girl, possibly Indian, not much older than me. On autopilot, I shake her hand and tell her that I bought my car four weeks ago. She asks me if I'm OK. I am - at least in the way she means.
People on the sidewalk are staring, yelling something about my Hyundai. Later, I will imagine they are yelling compliments - saying how well my little hatchback (which has only a dented bumper) fared against the other girl's big Ford sedan (whose hood is bent and whose front end seems pretty banged-up). This will comfort me later. Right now, I can't think.
The girl suggests we pull off the road and exchange information. I agree and walk back to my car. The people on the sidewalk scream, "DON'T DO IT!" I look over; a man with a grey beard explains: "If you move, then it's like it never happened! You gotta get the cops here!"
"The cops" - first an officer on a bicycle, then one on a motorcycle - arrive almost as soon as the man finishes speaking. They ask what happened. I tell them I stopped for a red light, and next thing I knew ... They can see the rest.
They direct us to a spot at the side of the road, where I give the motorcycle cop (the bike cop seems to have moved on to other matters) my papers. I think to myself, "Thank God I registered on Saturday. Thank God I have current insurance!" When the officer asks me if my car is a 2005 model, I tell him I bought it a month ago.
I call my dad. We cancel our running plans.
The officer hands me back my license and papers and tells me I can wait for the police report to get the girl's information, or I can exchange it with her on my own. I'd prefer to get it done now. I write down anything I can think of that she might want.
The cop is still talking to the other girl, so I call Neil - who is understandably terrified - to say, "I'm fine, I'm not hurt, I'll call you back."
"OK, you should call your parents -"
"I already did." Click.
The cop finally finishes talking to the other girl (she was being cited, I think), and I go over and give her my information. She suggests I come sit in her car. She seems like a nice person (other than the whole rear-ending thing), but I am uncomfortable sitting in her car. She almost doesn't give me her insurance information. While we are sitting in her car I see a Jeep in the next lane slam on its brakes and stop inches from the car in front of it.
We are finally finished, and I go to the policeman to see what we need to do. He explains about the Hall of Records, tells me I should be fine to drive (and tells the other girl to take it slow and maybe not drive on highways because of her bent-up hood), and says we can both go.
I don't really have an ending to this story, except that my parents bought me dinner, which was nice of them.