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It Was My Fault II

I drive in Jakarta.

In October 1994, after an unbelievable four rear-endings that month (I brake for kids) in which the first words out of the mouth of the guilty party were “Salah kamu!” (“It was your fault!”), I was pulling out of a side street onto the main road. Although my light was green, I carefully looked to the right for oncoming traffic. Seeing it clear, I pulled out only to be smashed in the left fender by a young kid BACKING UP THE MAIN ROAD from the left.

I nearly lost it. I was not going to be accused arrogantly one more time. I slapped my car into neutral, yanked on the parking brake, and jumped out slamming my door, ready to bite the kid's head off. The first words out of his mouth were, “I'm sorry, mister, it was my fault.” I was stunned speechless for a full five seconds, then could only find in myself the ability to thank him for telling the truth, telling him to be more careful, and sending him on his way.

© stevejac