Tomorrow I have to go to court.  I feel like I’m being called to the principal’s office.  Terrified and sick to my stomach.  I’m going to be a witness to my own accident, or the victim, though I really don’t want to use that (victim) word.  It implies victimization, and while I do mourn the loss of my van, my life has moved on.  I’ll get me a newer, more improved, roomier van.  And to be honest most of the times I was called to the principal’s office it was to be a witness, or something good. But sorry to all principals, you are a figure which I will always recall the terror, not the good stuff.  I have authority issues.  Not rebellion issues.  For some reason, I think of authority as persons sitting around waiting for me to mess up and then pounce on me and make me suffer.  Hence, why I was rarely in trouble, too scared to do anything other than walk the straight and narrow.  But it’s not just The Court that has me shaking in my boots.  I really don’t want to face the woman who hit me again.  Hint: she doesn’t like me much.  And I get it, I really do.  By being the car that she wasn’t paying attention to and was in the way as she was going probably a bit too fast, I messed up her day.  So yeah, as the person who hit my van, totaled it and hit so hard that taking my children to the ER was deemed necessary, she kinda messed up my day too.  But she was spewing venom the morning she hit me.  Yelling at me as I got out of my van to check on her and any passengers.  I mean my first thought was, “is everyone okay?”  Her first thought was to blame everything on me.  Even when the police officer came and was questioning me, she was standing there making sure the officer knew that she felt the accident was all my fault.  I was so thankful for that officer, as I knew he’d get her insurance information ’cause I sure didn’t want to ask for it.  I wanted as little contact with her as possible.  And now she’s contesting the ticket, making for another confrontation.  I’m thrilled beyond words (I say sarcastically with a significant eye roll).

I don’t have to go.  The summons isn’t an official summons saying “Thou shalt be at the courthouse” or whatever an official summons says.  It just says you were a witness/victim come because it’s possible that without your testimony the ticket will be dropped.  Nothing is gonna happen to me if I don’t show up.  And I, personally, don’t give a hoot whether or not she gets a ticket.  Will it mean that I magically get more money to replace my van?  If it did, I’d be there, I’d really like someone who could show me a van with leather seats, a sunroof, DVD player, navigation system, remote start, security system for the paltry sum Gieco gave us.  Yes, I’ll admit when the police officer told me he wrote her a ticket I was glad, I knew it would make the process of getting her insurance to pay for my van easier.  But that’s all.  I wanted as much restoration as I could get, not retribution.  And now all I want is to move on, forget the whole thing happened, and at some point get me a new, improved totally awesome van.  This whole going to court thing is just stressing me out.

Let’s be honest, I have a high guilt factor.  Even though I seriously doubt that if I attend the hearing the judge is going to look at me and say I should have received a ticket and proceed to give me one.  I hope that isn’t quite how the system works, never been to traffic court.  Was called for jury duty once (that I had to go to, all other times were just after I’d moved and changed states so I was not longer obligated to serve in my former place of residence, one of the perks of moving all the time with the military).  But even while I had to hang at the court house over half the day, that’s all I did, hang.  Never even made it to jury selection.  So I don’t know, perhaps it is possible that while on the witness stand (or whatever) the tables will be turned on me and all the sudden I will be the one on trial, I’ll say something wrong, stammer, get flustered, and this woman and her lawyer will be able to place all blame on me; the insurance companies will find out and I’ll have to give the check for my van back to Geico.  I mean it happens on court shows all the time, even Legally Blond, the witness becomes the criminal.  Back to reality, on Legally Blond, the witness did do it, and I got rear ended.  Rear ended, that’s one of those basic dummy situations where the person doing the rear ending is at fault. And with the damage done to my vehicle, if she hit the brakes before hitting me, she was going well over the speed limit to have done that much damage.  But wild, improbable scenarios aside, I was confused that morning and slowed to turn at the wrong intersection where the left turn I wanted to make was impossible.  I didn’t turn, had realized I was wrong and had begun to proceed to the next intersection when I was slammed into.  So while not quite stopped, I shouldn’t have been braking right there.  And I did surprise the driver.  Although, as she hadn’t been in my rear view mirror when I began braking, and I had enough time to slow, determine I wasn’t where I wanted to be and begin to proceed by the time she hit me.  One would think that would be enough time for someone behind me to recognize there was a crazy lady trying to make a left turn, and brake.  And a rear end accident doesn’t normally cause a total loss.  The damage to the back end of my vehicle was phenomenal, I think even her insurance guy was floored by damage done.  But I was still part to blame in the fiasco.  I give myself a big DUH, you have to be on the same side of the highway as the direction of traffic you want.  So I can think of examples in MD, GA and CO where you can find the exceptions, the DC Beltway is one huge example of one big mess where I can never be sure of merging lanes and such.  But I’m here in Alaska.  A land without interstates.  A simpler land, with simpler roads.  And I love it.  But one morning I forgot.  I can’t say I’d do it differently, though.  I’d never gotten on the highway going that way from that exit before and the sign with wonderful directions was covered with snow.  And I did check my rear view mirror.  It’s habit to check before breaking (unless I’m responding to something I will hit if I don’t break).  I check before hitting my breaks at a yellow light.  I’ll chance it turning red on me if I think the guy behind me might hit me if I break hard.  If I just noticed my turn, I check before breaking, there’s always somewhere to turn around and I really don’t want to get hit.  And yeah, I remember checking my mirrors before hitting the breaks that time.  I even remember thinking “where did that come from?”  as my van jumped with the force of being hit.  There had been no one there.  Yeah, I wasn’t perfect at the time.  But here’s the deal.  We all have “oh, crap” moments.  We all do things that aren’t perfectly legal.  That’s why there’s the two…wait, did recently just take my driver’s test (required by AK law for non-AK license holders to get their AK driver’s license), it’s been changed to three-second rule.  ‘Cause crap happens and you need to be ready.  That’s why you should always be paying attention.  Stuff happens and you need to be ready.  Anyway, getting all worked up here.  Here’s the deal.  I think it was enough her fault that I feel no guilt about making sure I got paid for my poor totaled van.  I feel no guilt about using the rental van while I had it.  I even feel that, no, the reimbursement I have received for my van is not enough to cover my loss, and if I could get more I would.  But beyond restoration for what I’ve lossed, I do feel guilt.  She should have been paying attention and been able to stop, and because she didn’t, she took something from me.  And it was more than just my van.  But points on a license, fines and all that….I just don’t know.  Especially knowing that she lost out in the accident too.

I’ve been whining about having to go for the past week.  Everyone’s unanimous telling me that I should go.  Other than that everyone differs.  There’s been the make her pay, if she gets away with it she may kill someone next.  Then the I’ve lost more than I’ve been repaid, how dare she think she can get out of the ticket, make sure she pays to the fullest extent of the law.  The reminder that I won’t be the one on trial, and that my only job is to answer questions truthfully.  The stop feeling guilty.  And on and on.  Even God’s had His say, removing my very good excuse not to go.  I’d have to miss PWOC, and I bring the worship (hahaha, even I knew I could get it covered if I really wanted).  Well, I find to it be no coincidence that the only week anyone has signed up to lead worship this semester is this week.  I look at coincidences the same way the writer of Esther did, where “it just so happened” really means “and God manoeuvred all the pieces so that it would ‘just so happen’.”

So I’m going.  Still don’t wanna.  I’ll put my desire of lack of confrontation, want of closure and guilt complex aside and be asking God just what I’m supposed to be doing, looking for there.

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