Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Predicament (03/01/12)
TITLE: Cute Car
By Carol Alwood
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“It’s a cute car, but I don’t know how reliable it’s going to be.” Her dad’s opinion about her automobile selection rang through her mind. Stubborn as always, Lillian had insisted that she knew that she was doing now that she was eighteen and headed off to college in the fall. She had saved her entire life for a car, and she didn’t want to settle for an unsightly grandmother ride just for safety’s sake. Now she realized that her dad had been right, and she couldn’t even call him. She was stuck helpless on the freeway with night closing in around her.
Am I going to have to trust the first stranger who stops to help me? she wondered. Images of the horror stories she had heard over the years of women lured into dangerous strangers’ vehicles never to be seen again made her clutch her keys more tightly in her hand. “Lord, send a police car to help me,” she lifted a prayer heavenward and tried to count her blessings. At least she had been able to guide her car to the side of the road after the loud thud had rattled her car and lit up the row of dashboard lights like a flashing Christmas tree. It’s a good thing I didn’t have the top down, she considered.
Peering out the passenger side window, Lillian cringed at the tall brick wall that climbed the hill beside her and kept her boxed onto the freeway. Making sure that her doors were locked, she resolved to wait for the first stranger to offer to make a phone call for her. She rifled through her purse, located her triple A card and stuck the keys in the ignition to see if her car would start. Still nothing.
Before she could make another attempt, bright lights filled her rear view mirror and she stiffened. I trust you Lord, she whispered trying not to imagine the worst case scenario, but still disappointed that the lights shining at her weren’t dancing blue and red to indicate a trustworthy hero.
As the figure emerged from his black truck, she could tell it was a guy with a tall, lean build. Squeezing alongside the retaining wall and her vehicle, the guy knocked on the window. “Need help?” he asked, holding his phone up to the window.
“Can you call Triple A for me?” Lillian asked loudly, grateful that the guy appeared barely older than herself and didn’t insist that she open her door.
“What’s the number?” he shouted over the roar of traffic through her shut window.
Lillian held the Triple A card to the window, hoping he could read the tiny phone number printed on the card.
“Okay!” The guy’s face lit up with amusement as he shone his phone light on the card pressed against the glass.
Lillian couldn’t hear the words of the phone call, but relaxed a bit after he hung up and shouted, “I’ll wait in my truck until they come!”
Rubbing her arms to wipe away the chills that had settled into her car, Lillian was surprised that it didn’t take long for the Triple A truck to pull up ahead of her.
“You’ll need to get out now Miss,” the Triple A man directed her.
Grabbing her purse, she opened her door slightly, hopped out and watched as they hooked up her car to be towed.
“It’s a cute car, but not too reliable huh?” The guy who had made the phone call stood beside her.
The familiar words turned her worried expression into a smile. Turning toward him, she held out her hand and responded, “Thanks for stopping. I’m Lillian.”
“Jake,” he replied, his hand warm in hers. “Here’s my card, in case if you need help again in the future.”
“Great.” Lillian grinned and tucked the card into her purse. “Well, thanks again,” she said when the Triple A man motioned for her to get into the vehicle.
“Don’t mention it.” Jake returned to his truck.
Fastening her seatbelt, Lillian was grateful how God always took care of her in more ways than she could ask.
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