— Sabrina’s life changes when she is riding her bicycle through Islington. —
“Step back! I’m a first-aider!” a deep voice shouted. “Has somebody called an ambulance? Call them now.”
A few drivers honked their horns impatiently
A female voice spoke uncertainly into a mobile phone:
“Yes. Traffic accident on Islington Green. A woman on a bicycle. Yes, it’s very bad. Her leg is … . No, she is still conscious. No, her head looks okay. Wait. Can you hear me dear?”
“What?” Sabrina mumbled when a hand touched her shoulder.
“What is your name?”
“Sabrina MacIntyre. Sabrina Theresa MacIntyre.”
“Yes. She knows her name. But she is losing a lot of blood. Come quickly! Oh … . Yes, I will stay calm. Yes. There is a first-aider here. He is applying pressure to the … what do you call it? Yes, artery. Thanks. They are coming dear. Hang on. Can we put something under her head?”
Somebody lifted her head and lowered it onto something soft.
When Sabrina came round, she could hear an ambulance siren wailing and man squeezed her hand, saying:
“Hello Sabrina. We are near The Royal London Hospital. You are going to be fine. You just had a little accident.”
Her next memory was of waking in bed and being told about the drip. She recalled all this over and over again and with increasing clarity while she waited for her first visit. A familiar face appeared round the door. Her mother’s same luscious black hair had now turned completely grey. Her face wrinkled into a strange parody of her daughter’s beauty, looked as translucent as a light bulb, radiating fear. Sabrina’s tall and craggy father came behind, supported his wife, as if that role would be easier than looking at his daughter.