Dinner was a late one for me yesterday.
It wasn't anything fancy. Just pasta with sauce and more cheese than there actually should be. But it was late, and by the time I sat down to eat the stuff, I was grateful for a plateful. (Rhyme! I'm so cool.)
I'd taken two mouthfuls when a colleague I vaguely recognised appeared at my elbow. Some of them live in the same place of residence I do at the moment, so I wasn't particularly fazed by her appearance.
"ILB," she said hurriedly, "someone's fainted outside; could you come and look after her while I call an ambulance?"
"Of course," I chirped in the all-too-cheerful-to-actually-be-serious tone of voice I use when I don't want to be interrupted, and abandoned my pasta. I have, in fact, been called up to deliver laissez-faire first aid every day in one way or another, despite the fact that I only have a smattering of first aid training. Mind you, I'm not sure anyone else in the building has any at all.
Once I got out of the building, I could see where the fainted girl was. She looked like a teenager, so I picked up the pace, jogging swiftly towards the area and up some stone steps and...
The next thing I knew, I was falling at breakneck speed forwards. I flung out a hand, but not quickly enough. There was an almighty noise - a mixture of my head hitting the ground and the wind being knocked out of me - and blood. A lot of blood. Coming from, it seemed, my mouth. I had tripped over the last stone step and landed on concrete.
One of the teenagers ran to get the first adult she could, who was actually a nurse, so thanks for that, God. I was still dripping blood at an alarming rate, but I indicated the fainted girl, who still needed help. My colleague, who had followed me out, went to tend to her while the nurse lifted me up and sat me on a wall. A trail of blood followed me. Someone produced a first-aid kit and I was given water to drink. I was a bit shaky, partly from blood loss and partly through shock, but I didn't seem to be badly hurt. My elbows, palms and knees were grazed but not too badly cut. My top lip, however, had split open, and there was a wound in my cheek from where a tooth had driven in hard and almost cut through.
I sat there for about half an hour, swilling water and spitting out blood, until the flow could be staunched by pressing sterilised tissue to my mouth. I was in a lot of pain - hadn't considered how painful lips can be before - but I eventually stood back up, taking an ice pack, bottle of water, and collection of tissues with me.
The girl who had fainted, it turned out, was okay after being seen to by a paramedic. Two other girls, who were in the same area by complete coincidence, were taken to hospital for broken ankles and the like. I was offered the chance to go with them by the nurse - I politely declined because, as far as I was aware, I didn't need any stitches. And I could still talk. With little else to do, I went back inside to finish my dinner.
I woke up this morning with a swollen lip and a dark red scar across it which makes me look slightly deformed. To be fair, I'm lucky, insofar as it could have been much worse; my eyes, nose, ears and forehead all avoided any impact, and my chin (on which I landed) is fine. It's just my mouth that hurts. And it hurts a lot.
But at least, this time, I can say I had an interesting weekend.