I set my alarm for 4am and closed my eyes.
I had a big day ahead and needed plenty of sleep.
After two weeks of chatting to Brad*, a cute 24-year-old guy I'd met online, we'd agreed to meet and go for an early morning bushwalk at Mount Tibrogargan in the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands.
Both of us loved nature and it seemed like a romantic place for our first date.
I was looking forward to finally meeting him.
Waking early, I got ready and headed to the base of the mountain.
When I arrived at the meeting spot, Brad was standing by his car.
"Nice to meet you," I said.
Now we were both face to face, the two of us felt a little shy, but we headed off into the bush to enjoy spending some time in nature.
We talked a lot about our jobs in healthcare.
He seemed like a nice person, in keeping with the character I'd been talking to.
Finally, we made it to the top of the mountain. We'd missed the sunrise but it was still stunning to take in the views.
Then, as we made our way back down, I noticed other hikers coming towards us.
Moving to the side to make room for them, I stepped on a loose rock and felt everything sway.
Before I knew it, I was tumbling down the mountain.
Reaching out for a tree stump to break my fall, I screamed in pain as a sharp bit of bark pierced straight through my hand.
I'd impaled myself!
Brad rushed to my side.
The sight of muscle fibres poking out and blood pouring from me made him squeamish.
"I don't know what to do," he wailed, looking like he was going to cry.
My head was faint from all the bleeding.
"Help me take off my shirt," I begged him. "We can use it as a tourniquet."
I'd expected Brad to act instantly, but he looked away before taking off his shoe.
"Use this instead," he mumbled, handing me a sweaty sock.
I was speechless. What had happened to the kind Brad I'd spent the last half hour hiking with?
Suddenly, I heard a noise drawing closer.
Looking around, I saw the hikers we'd passed minutes ago rushing towards me.
"We're going to get you to a hospital," one of the men said, explaining that they were off-duty firefighters who were used to rescuing people.
Taking off the sock, they bandaged me properly and called an ambulance.
I felt in safe hands with them, even though Brad was rolling his eyes in impatience.
"I can't be here, I have to go to work," he sighed.
A firefighter shot him a disapproving glance. "Mate, I think your work will understand why you're late."
But Brad wasn't convinced.
"I've got important meetings. I'll text you later, Sarah," he said, trudging off.
When he came back a few seconds later, I thought I was hallucinating.
"Umm… can I get my sock back?" he asked lamely.
Pointing to where I'd thrown it, I watched him take the sock and turn around again.
The incident played on my mind while I was abseiled down the mountain and then taken to hospital.
There, I was rushed into emergency surgery and got 22 stitches in my right hand.
It was a relief to finally see my family again in the hospital, they were just as shocked as I was about the entire ordeal.
That night my phone beeped. It was Brad, wanting to see my hand.
I've lost the use of my hand, and I'll have these scars forever, I told him.
His reply left me gobsmacked: Your bum looked great in those hiking pants.
Was this guy serious?!
I decided to forget about him, but when news of my rescue on a date from hell made the news, he sent me another message.
Just so you know, that wasn't a date, he wrote through social media.
I was furious and thought it best to forget about him.
My friends were all supportive of me and were angered by what Brad had done.
One friend knew of him and was certain that he already had a girlfriend.
Although I'd long forgotten about him, a friend and I decided to check his Facebook page to see if this was true.
But when I looked for his profile, it was nowhere to be seen.
The same thing happened when I searched for him on Instagram.
He had blocked me everywhere!
Not surprisingly, I never heard from him again.
This didn't bother me – why would I want to stay in touch with someone who cared more about a sock than helping me?
It's been six months since my accident.
I have permanent nerve damage and scarring and need to see a psychologist.
But the most damaging thing is knowing that Brad has no morals and would leave an injured person to fend for themselves.
It's especially troubling given that he works in the health profession!
I haven't completely given up on love, but it will take time for me to be able to trust again.