The following is a real account and happened to me last week. In an effort to expand my writing, I decided to turn it into a short story.
Her husband quietly woke her up, expressing his regret that it was already time to leave. She quickly dressed and brushed her teeth. After dropping her keys and wallet into her purse, she buckled her 6-month-old son into his carseat. She kissed her sleeping daughter’s cheek, grateful that her friend agreed to watch her.
In the car, she and her husband were quiet. It was much too early for substantial conversation, so they stuck to general chit chat to keep them both awake.
Before long the airport was in view. With anxiety building, she parked in the space reserved for drop-offs and hopped out. She hugged her husband tight and kissed his ready lips. A second later he was walking away and she was back in the car, pulling away from the curb.
Her mind was swirling with emotions. The trip was to be short, yet her heart still ached. She watched as water dropped sporadically on her windshield, teasing the tears out of her eyes.
Her brain, on a constant watch, alerted her to the potential danger.
“Oh crap,” she muttered.
Thoughts of her broken windshield wiper sprang to her mind. In the high speeds of the freeway, the passenger’s side wiper would often get thrown off its set rhythm and hit the driver’s side wiper causing it to overextend itself off the window. This could prove dangerous when the rain was intensely pouring and it was dark.
A little prayer began working itself up from her anxious stomach.
“Please keep me and the baby safe.”
She intently watched the road, hoping the rain would continue to sprinkle. Her vision was horrid in the dark and only worse in bad weather. If the rain turned more unfavorable, she would be in a lot of trouble.
A few minutes later, the rain started coming down in droves. Prayers erupted out of her mouth, overlapping each other so that when one ended another began.
“Please keep the windshield wiper working. ”
“Please help me to see.”
“If the wiper is to go out, please help it to go out where I can safely stop.”
As she started descending from the point of the mountain, she saw the wiper struggling. She knew she only had a few minutes before it would stop working. She looked around her and realized that cars were behind, ahead, and to the side of her. The next exit was 5 miles away. She was trapped.
Her prayers returned to the original one.
“Please keep me and the baby safe.”
Like a surreal dream, she watched in slow motion as her windshield wiper overextended itself. The rain instantly covered her window and all visibility disappeared.
In an eery dichotomy, “Heavenly Father” and “Holy s@$&” escaped her mouth.
Vivid images raced through her mind.
Giving birth to her daughter.
Finding out she was pregnant with her son.
Watching her daughter walk for the first time.
Making love to her husband.
Walking to the duck pond with her kids and husband.
Saying good-bye to her husband.
“I’m going to die. I can’t see. I will either hit the car next to me or hit the barrier,” she thought.
A sudden calm enveloped her. Not knowing where the car next to her was, she pulled into that lane, slowing down as she went, and drove into the emergency pullout lane parking within centimeters of the barrier.
She willed herself to not cry. She waited until all the cars had passed before opening up the door and fixing the windshield wiper. Her legs were shaking, her breathing heavy, and her chest tight by the time she sat back in her seat.
“Take the next exit that will allow you to take the back roads home,” the Voice said.
She pulled back on the freeway and took an exit ten miles down the road, following the Voice’s advice. Thirty minutes later she pulled into her cul-de-sac. She finally allowed herself to weep.
“Thank you, Heavenly Father, thank you.”
With a grateful heart, she unstrapped her son, shut the van door, and went inside.