It was that close…
The Daily Prompt topic for today is Close Call. It is beyond rare for me to post twice in one week, let alone twice in one day, but I couldn’t resist this topic.
Back when I was posting my alphabet of Boston Bands, I mentioned my closest friends at the time, Jane and Eric. Unfortunately for Jane and Eric, they were both present for my close call, which was actually a series of three close calls (you know how things come in “three’s”…these three incidents happened within a two-week span). The first one was the scariest, the last one was the closest.
Eric and I were coming home in the AM hours from a nightclub trip into the city to see a band. I was driving my Datsun and Eric was in the passenger seat. We were riding in the middle lane of the so-called Expressway, when the person in front of me put on his brakes for seemingly no reason. Irritated and tired, and probably in the middle of conversation with Eric, I quickly switched to the left lane to pass the unpredictable vehicle in front of me. But the lane wasn’t empty…I had seconds to realize that there was a car horizontally blocking my lane! Eric saw it at the same time and yelled, “Watch out!”
I could only react (thank goodness my “unpredictable” friend had stopped). Without checking my right mirror, I swerved over to avoid the car…luckily there was no one there. But that wasn’t the end of it…there were cars scattered across the road in front of us like toys in a playroom. I couldn’t stop…there was no time. I turned the wheel, this way, that way, this way, as if it were an obstacle course and suddenly…the road was clear and empty in front of us. I noticed my heart pounding and that I had held my breath. Eric said, “Like…I felt like we were in Starsky and Hutch!” We both exhaled hard…and began to laugh nervously, then harder and louder with relief. In between the laughter Eric said, “I’ll never be afraid to ride with you after that!”
A few days later, I was alone, again driving home late on the Expressway. I could see car lights coming toward me; I was puzzled…they seemed too close to be on the other side of the divided highway. As they came closer I realized they were on my side of the road! I pulled over to the farthest right lane as they zoomed past me, the middle lane between us. Nothing like what Eric and I had recently experienced, but I thought, how weird to encounter crazy driving on the Expressway twice in one week. Little did I know there was one more close call to come, not on the Expressway and not late at night, but very close to home.
This time Jane was in the front passenger seat and Eric was in the back. I’m not sure where we were coming from, but I think it might have been the movies. It was dark, but not late. Jane was turned around in her seat, talking to Eric and laughing (as usual). We were on a main road with a double line: one lane of traffic on each side of the lines going in opposite directions. Headlights were coming toward me…I thought maybe someone was playing chicken with me…I didn’t move right away, thinking they would cut back to their side of the road at any moment. But they were getting close and they weren’t moving; I started to get frightened. Jane turned around just in time to see the headlights directly in front of us and let out a scream worthy of a scary movie. My instincts finally kicked in and without wondering what was on my right, I pulled the car off the road. I was shaking; Jane was repeating, “Oh my God!” Yet…I had heard something.
There was a gas station up ahead so I pulled up the road and got out to look at my car. There was just a hole in the back quarter where my parking light used to be. The other car had skimmed us close enough to rip it right out without a dent or a scratch. You can’t get much closer than that.
This time I was shaking and felt nauseous. Enough was enough! We sat in the parking lot until we all calmed down to go home. This happened long before cell phones so there was no question of calling the police to warn them. I prayed for whoever was down the road and hoped no one was hurt or killed. As this was my third close call in two weeks, I hoped the “spell” was now over and we were safe…and we were.