BG 44 – Falling

During her daily walk through Quiet Belgian Village, the residents today seem to fall spontaneously as soon as they see The Maakster. That could of course be coincidental. It hasn’t frozen, on the contrary, it is actually quite warm for this time of year, but last night’s rain has made the remaining rotting leaves on the street slippery.

Halfway through her route, between the sports fields on one side and the mountain bike terrain on the other, The Maakster sees an elderly man with his dog in the distance. The man suddenly swings both his arms through the air and then falls slap on his behind. The dog, a blond labrador, looks at him in surprise. When she passes him a moment later and asks how he is doing – the man, not his dog – he turns his head in shame and mumbles something unintelligible. She continues her walk.

Moments later she sees Mister Bert. He leans on his walker with one hand and dusts the knees off his pants with his other hand. He points to the alley next to the pub she just came out of – the alley, not the pub – and says ‘I just now fell over there.’ ‘Oops’ says The Maakster startled, since Mister Bert is an elderly man. Fortunately, as they determine together, he has not been injured. Then they hear a clatter behind them and turn around simultaneously to see what happened.

On entering that same alley, a sportively dressed beer-bellied cyclist has just crashed. The Maakster rushes over there to help him and to return his water bottle to him, which was rolling towards the road. He too assures her, lying on the ground, entwined with the frame of his bicycle and with flushed cheeks, that he is doing really well, thank you very much. He struggles to get back up, while trying to pretend nothing happened.

The Maakster crosses the road again, says goodbye to Mister Bert and walks on. On one of the last straight stretches of her walking route, a group of cyclists is coming towards her. The rear rider of the group, you guessed it, suddenly smacks against the asphalt. When The Maakster reaches the location where his friends have just helped him up, one of them seems to look at her accusatory. Is it her fault after all?