Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Control (01/30/06)
TITLE: Dependent Passenger
By Rachel Rudd
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As she sat there pondering her dilemma and kicking herself for forgetting her cell phone, she heard a tap on the window. She recognized the face of a friend immediately, but was too surprised to speak. He asked her, “Do you need some help?”
Her nod sufficed for an answer while he went to the front of the car. She had sense enough to pop the hood open as Leah hoped that he could save her only means of transportation.
A few minutes later, he came back to the window. “I found the problem,” he stated, “can you scoot over so I can try to start it?”
Leah moved clumsily across the seat while still in awe of her rescuer.
With a twist of his wrist the car roared to life again and then settled down to a peaceful purr.
She whispered in wonder, “Thank you so much, but could you please drive me to work? I am too shaken up to drive.”
With a nod of acceptance, he gently eased the car into the never-ending flow of traffic. As he weaved in and out of the slow moving cars, she noticed him turning the right blinker on to take the next exit.
“This isn’t the way you’re supposed to go,” Leah blurted out.
“I know a better way to get there.”
She tried to fight the urge to yank the steering wheel from his hands, but was unsuccessful. She grabbed for control and moved the car back into the lane.
“Do you trust me?” he gently asked.
Leah recognized that he knew the roads better than she did, but she was still afraid to hand over full command of the vehicle. Nevertheless, she swallowed her pride and replied with downcast eyes, “Yes.”
He then moved into the exit lane.
The road that greeted them as they turned was totally unfamiliar. She persisted in her questioning, “I’ve never seen this road before and look how skinny it is. Are you sure you know where you’re going?”
His smile and kind words reassured her, “I understand where we are going and the best way to get there. Relax.”
Her resistance abated some, but only until she saw the deer standing in the middle of the road.
Leah screamed,” Watch out!” and began to reach over to press her foot on the brake pedal. His calmness was comforting as he removed her foot and steered the car safely around the impending danger.
She grinned sheepishly and said, “I’m sorry I didn’t think that you could handle that as well as you did.”
“I know how to protect you, Leah,” her friend stated.
Though the ride was a bit longer, Leah suddenly saw her workplace up ahead. “Well, Jesus, I guess you did know the way all along. Next time, I’ll let you be in charge.”
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