It was like any other morning. I knew my nephew has gone out because I have noticed that my bicycle was alone in our living room. But then as the clock ticks to an hour before noon, I am starting to feel uneasy, because my nephew's supposed to be back home by that time. I checked him in my Find My app, and saw him somewhere in Boso-Boso, Antipolo. I thought he's probably just eating something before riding home.
And then it happened - he texted me on Telegram, asking if I can go to the hospital, because apparently he requires an X-ray and requires a guardian to give the approval. I was like - what happened? He said he got some "minor scratches".
I had no choice but to wake up my sister, who was just getting some sleep after working at night. I cannot trust my mother to keep her composure - I am sure her blood pressure will shot up - so I'd rather wake my sister up.
I have never been to Boso-Boso. We usually go up to the Antipolo Cathedral and some branches of the road from there, but I have not tried this route. My nephew on the other hand, has tried it several times. I then realized how far Boso-Boso was when we were taking a Grab car straight along Marcos Highway instead of going right to Sumulong.
Forty-five minutes later, we arrived at the hospital and we found my nephew sitting there with his head leaning on the wall - his left cheek and chin covered in gauze. I saw his immune system trying to restrict his actions to repair its host, as his chin got swollen. Both of his knees also got scratches. I also noticed that the white shirt he was wearing was not his - I can see the blood stains on its left shoulder and was rolled up so that it doesn't touch his wound there.
Turns out that he (and his cycling buddy) were on their way back, when a tricycle started hovering on the bike lane. My nephew cannot decide whether to overtake or stay behind because the tricycle was just cruising. They went past a taxi cab which was also parked on the bike lane and the tricycle suddenly stopped. Since it was a bit of a downhill, my nephew has momentum against him, and he wasn't able to brake in time. His front wheel hit the rear wheel of the tricycle and fell. By the appearances of his wounds, I can only guess that he fell on his left side and probably skid a bit forward as the momentum of his forward motion faded.
He got his X-ray, two sets of skin tests, two shots of anti-tetanus for good measure, and a shot of pain reliever. All the fees incurred from these procedures should have been paid for by the tricycle driver who was hovering on the bike lane when the incident happened, but he was nowhere in sight. My nephew said that they called the police because the driver maintains it was not his fault; that my nephew was the one who hit him from behind because he was fast. My nephew insists that he was already riding slow because he doesn't know where the tricycle driver would go. Good thing there were witnesses around the area, some of which have strong ties with the Barangay officials, and they were able to pin the blame down to the tricycle driver. The driver said he cannot pay for the hospital bills then because he just got out - and that he'll earn the money first for the day. The witnesses gave their numbers to my nephew, and told him that he can contact them if the driver plays hardball.
I asked my nephew for the copy of the police report, the name of the officer who mediated, and the full name of the driver. But he got none. For some like those of my age, those information are of common sense. But for a 16-year old kid who just got into a road accident involving a automobile - he was probably shaken to the core that all he wanted was to get treated at the hospital. Since his cycling buddy was of the same age - he probably missed those details as well. My sister was calling the driver, but he turned his phone off. She then called the witnesses and they said they know where he lives and they'll make sure he pays. I am a Filipino and I know how this works; but no matter how difficult this could be - we will make sure he pays. He shouldn't have hovered in the bike lane in the first place - if he stayed on the lane he's supposed to be in - they could have co-existed and no one would have been hurt.
After three more hours - we were finally cleared to go home. I dismantled the wheels off of his bike and booked a six-seater car. Good thing there was a Grab car nearby - an Avanza. My sister and I took the bike to the back seat and we drove back home.
I didn't know this at first, but later up until this point I realized how much my nephew looked up to me. He took up badminton when he saw me enjoying the sport. He bought a mechanical keyboard when he saw me typing on one. He got himself a bicycle when I taught him how to ride one (which he enjoyed) along the river banks of Marikina. I can't help but blame myself for the state that he's in - because I thought he probably won't get hurt if it wasn't for me. Good thing I discouraged him from using clipless pedals - those things can turn on you.
But in the end, we all fall at some point in our lives. I believe it's better to commit a mistake, fall, and rise back up - rather than not commit the mistake at all. I have lived a life that stayed on the safe side for almost two decades and sometimes I regret not living it more. If only I wasn't too focused on a single goal of earning more and tried enjoying the money I have earned just a little bit. But I digress - I know that it's no longer productive to cry over spilled milk that already dried and left a stain on the dining table.
I hope this incident helps build my nephew's character and that he gets something out of this. He knows he's banned from cycling until her mother and grandmother changes their minds - but I hope that as his muscle tears bore new fibers, I hope this experience also helped his strained resolve and gets stronger than before.