The sky burned, and my skin melted into my car seat. Me and my broken down car were all that, that desolate highway had claim to. My attempts to use my phone to call for help became as futile as starting a fire underwater. If I just keep on walking it still might be hours before I come across help. I’ll just stay with the car. All I wanted was to get home, crawl into bed, and lay my head against my soft cool pillow. Yet there I was under the blanket of the scorching Texas sun being beaten down with the heat.
After the first hour I began to regret not taking up my father on his offer to fill up my tank before heading home. Though five hours later, my car became a prison and I it’s prisoner. Like an old television screen that was just turned off my vision became fuzzy. When would another person cross my path? Would I ever know the comfort of my bed again? A silent voice began to converse with me.
“You idiot, you can’t even get home by yourself,” It said.
“How was I supposed to know I wouldn’t come across another gas station?” I replied.
The sun seduced my frail spirit and coerced me into a haze until finally I laid motionless in the front seat.
A low rumble in the distance woke me from my heat induced slumber. The sun had since set while I was asleep, and now the radiant sun had disappeared leaving me in an ever-encompassing darkness. So dark was the night that I could not see my own hand when I put it in front of my face. The low rumble began to get louder and now a bright blue hue appeared to be approaching fast from the way I came from just twelve hours before. My knight in shining armor came speeding down the highway. How will they be able to save me if they could not see me. Fumbling around my dashboard until finally I found the button for my hazard lights.
Pleading with the universe I begged that they would see my flashing my lights and would help me. The universe answered back immediately as the vehicle flashed his lights at me as to acknowledge that he saw me. Pulling off to the side, out of an old black square body Chevy pickup truck, a man who appeared to be in his early fifties hollered out his window, “Looks like you need some help there, friend”. Out of my dry throat I hoarsely hollered back “Yes sir. I’ve been out here all alone since noon. The man beckoned me to come to the passenger window. Quickly I scurried towards the truck and the man smiled a concerned smile. Starting to speak he stopped and tried again a few more times. “Sir, what is it?”, I asked apprehensively. The man looked at me intently before he spoke. “Young man, just around the bend up ahead about seven miles from here is a small town with a gas station. Did you even try to walk ahead?”. Y face began to burn as I felt like a moron. I’ve sat here and allowed myself to become dehydrated and to succumb to heat exhaustion, when all I had to do was walk a few miles up the road. I could have been home ages ago, instead I’m embarrassed in front of a stranger.
“Now I’d be more than happy to pull your car into town to the gas station if you’d like”, he offered.
My eyes fixated on the gravel I nodded my head.
The man spoke again, “Look son this sort of stuff happens. All you got to do is chalk it up to the experience column and move on. That’s all you really can do”.
He exited the vehicle and silently we hitched my car to the back of his truck and then we headed into town. Even though I was riding with a complete stranger, the vehicle was quieter than an open casket viewing.
With pit crew like speed we unhitched my car, and I filled up my tank as soon as we got to the gas station. We nodded our heads in reassurance at each other. I sat in my car for a minute. Tears swelled in my eyes, hiccup like giggles emerged from my lips, and I proceeded to rapidly wrap my forehead around my steering wheel.
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