Last week I drove my daughter to school. I inched along the narrow road opposite the school, tagging along behind the line of other cars dropping off, held up by the usual groups of teenagers pulsing periodically across the road in front. I hovered momentarily as Chloe stood on the pavement ahead of me, wondering when to cross.
Checking in my mirror, I saw one red car waiting behind and flashing my indicator as if I was about to pull out, I beckoned Chloe across. I watched her trotting over the road and then I saw the black car pull out from behind the red car. In the split second it took, I looked on uselessly, flitting from car to child to car to child and as the two seemed sure to collide, a bestial scream escaped from somewhere deep deep inside. The car stopped. Chloe stopped. A cigarette paper's width between the two. I had done nothing to stop it.
Life could have changed in that instant and it would have been my fault.