A moment's folly

Today, I heard a story which affected me deeply. It seems as though I'm always finding out stories about people - their lives and, in particular, their mishaps. The only thing I'm greatly for is that I did not get to meet the unfortunate protagonist.
Sheila was seated by her husband when they drove out from their condominium in Bishan.

Life was comfortable. She was a primary school teacher, drawing a decent paycheck while her husband could easily afford the monthly payments for their snug new home. Sure, they were in debt, but most families begin in debt and she was not overly concerned.

Life, however, had not always been this comfortable. It had taken her years of efforts to reach this current level of comfort. When she first arrived in Singapore, she barely knew English. She had forced herself to remember 20 words each day before she could have breakfast. If she didn't manage to remember, she'd steel herself to focus on her studies despite the growling protests from her stomach. Yes, life was difficult then.

A fly, buzzing about her, jolted her from her reverie. She waved it away, her forehead wrinkling slightly. How did the fly get into the car?

The fly, usually a mild irritant, changed its path and decided to circle around her husband instead. This was the beginning of a life-long regret.

Everything happened too quickly. And before she knew it, she was paralysed from neck down.

Her husband had swatted at the fly. He lost control of the steering wheel. The car crashed into a lamp post and flipped. They were pinned beneath the wreck. Bypassers helped to flip the car over. Her husband escaped with nary a scar.

She was paralysed from neck down.

Had the bypassers - bless them for their kindness - left her alone, she would not have suffered such debilitating spinal damage. Had they waited for the ambulance, she might still be fully functional.

If only her husband had ignored the fly...

If only she had ignored the fly...