Matt’s Version of Events
It had been a year to the day since the couple had moved to the country. They hadn’t made as many new friends as they had expected. Maybe everyone had been reading their blog (unlikely) and realised how retarded they were. Maybe it was the fact they lived in the country and it was a $50 cab ride from town, so no one wanted to come visit. They didn’t know. So it was, on this jubilee evening, the couple were attempting to make amends. Rebecca was in town having dinner with Matt’s brother’s old flatmate Ange, who was said to be hilarious, and a bunch of her friends. Matt, despite being a card-carrying member of the Greens had befriended the local secretary of the Liberal Party, and had lunched with him that day.
There had been some discussion in recent times around Matt’s commitment to the sport of mountain biking. Matt claiming that as the only non-doping cyclist in the world all he would need to do to win Le Tour de France was show up and eat some brie – Bec pointing out that she was fully-supportive of Matt’s Le Tour ambitions, but that he had only ridden the bike once despite promising it to be the beginning of a ‘fitness revolution’, and that since it had cost $1,500, if he ever wanted another toy, he had had better start using it before start of action in Le Tour, or there would not be any action in Le Boudoir. He would also have to write up a weekly budget in a spreadsheet and stick to it. And he would not be allowed to spend more than $15 on any one bottle of wine. Matt had promised to go for a ride that evening.
They had each driven their own car to work that day, instead of car pooling like they usually would. Bec went out to dinner. Matt went home. At 6:14pm Bec decided to check in.
The events of the next 29 minutes were unremarkable. Some wine was drunk in a Turkish restaurant in town. Innocuous jokes were no doubt made about the inabilities of men to understand simple communications and perform housework. Out in the country, on the other side of town, motorists would later report seeing a man with a blue singlet and thick-rimmed glasses riding merrily, gazing into the distance, singing to the cows and riding with such expert precision and style that one lady in a blue Hyundai i30 would tell the Toowoomba Chronicle: “He was the best bicycle rider I had ever seen. I presumed he must have been training for the Tour De France or something. He was riding so quickly and carefully, and with such grace and skill, I wept.”
Then, at 6:53pm, local time, the white Toyota Corolla hatchback of Mr Bryce Smith*, 31 of Westbrook Qld, ground to a near halt at a notorioulsy dangerous intersection near the Granfield home. The sun was at the end of a day’s arc and was piercing his eyes with laser-like precision. He always struggled for visibility on this section of the road on his drive home from work at this time of year. As a “careful motorist”, he would tell the court, he “always looked for other signs of vehicles on the road when the sun was at that angle.”
There was no dust around the corner to indicate an oncoming car. No tell-tale glint of chrome. As he had done a thousands times before, he pushed the accelorator pedal to the floor, turned the steering wheel to the right and headed off on his final stretch home. Forensic analysis would later reveal he cut the corner to avoid the loose gravel on the left hand side of the road, which had accumulated from the errant loads of quarry trucks, who used this route as a shortcut between the supply dump and the gravel pit just up the avenue. A Queensland Police expert in vehicular speed analysis would tell a jury that, in his estimation, the Toyota hatchback had accelerated to approximately 192km/h before it finished rounding the corner.
A green Nissan Pulsar, being driven by Mrs Joan Jones, 56 of Wyreema, Qld was behind the Corolla of Smith as he took off. She told the 6.30pm of the sight she witnessed:
“It was carnage,” She said. “Just pure carnage. I could see the young fella on his bike, he was riding very carefully and with exceptional style, probably the most talented cyclist I’ve ever seen. I saw him glide down the road towards the corner, very clearly on his side of the road, and then, for no reason, the man in the white car accelerated and steered onto the wrong side of the road and directly into the cyclist’s path. The incredibly good-looking man on the bike had no chance. He flew into the air, perhaps 100 feet or more, and landed with a thump on the gravel. It was only his superhuman-like-ninja-cat skills that saved him from certain death. Even then, he looked bad. Real bad. I’ve never seen that much blood before in my life, and I’m a nurse at an Afghani hospital specialising in the treatment of haemophiliac land mine victims.”
Limping, blood gushing from severe wounds to 99% of his body, Matt somehow managed to make it home that evening, carrying the bike on his shoulders so no more dirt would enter its delicate gear system and then collapsed, exhausted, limp and near death on the couch.
It would be four hours until Rebecca would return. Unable to move, severely dehydrated from the 50 degree heat and delirous from loss of blood, he knew that if he could just hang on for another 240 minutes, there was a chance he would survive.
*Names have been changed on legal advice
Bec’s Version of Events
Had dinner with new girlfriends. Got this series of texts mid way through.
After dinner, which took about two hours, called Matt. A car had clipped his bike, so I drove around Toowoomba looking for a day/night pharmacy. Matt sent me to four closed pharmacies before I found one on my own. Got the requested goods, came home.
Found Matt sprawled on the couch looking pitiful, like he had acquired two strains of man-flu simultaneously. He was also yelling at the dog, and when I got angry at him for being grumpy he offered “Molly doesn’t understand the seriousness of this situation.” The pharmacist hadn’t packed the bandages I bought, so we had to use a pad on Matt’s cuts, which I enjoyed, and followed up with recommending use of the ladies’ toilet at work for the sanitary bins. I told him to sit in a chair.
Matt has been limping around the house since, and has done an unnecessary amount of research on wound dressing. He has also been using the word ‘wound’ in every third sentence, and puts new bandages on his leg at least twice a day, providing me with “vitals” like amount of pus, and hair growing through the pus. He has made a makeshift “protection bandage” out of a sock. He volunteers to anyone who looks in the general direction of his sock that he got “hit by a car”. Last night he went to revisit “the scene of the crime.” I’ve overheard him telling people on the phone he’s got a “wheelchair”, which is our office chair, that has wheels.
Matt, during one of his wound dressing sessions, and on inspecting his blood on the piece of cut-up sanitary pad he had been using, wanted to talk about periods. Specifically, he enquired as to the possibility of me, now that I have shifted to a new pill, being able to synch my period so that it happens only during the week, and not the weekends.