Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)
TITLE: It Ran Fine For Me
By Deborah Engle
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Alan glanced over his shoulder at her and said, “I drove it yesterday and it ran fine for me.”
“I don’t feel safe driving that car. We’re supposed to go to Mom’s on Saturday, but I can’t take the kids that far in a car that might break down at any time. How can you have such a casual attitude about this?”
“Maybe because I haven’t seen any evidence that there is a problem.”
“But it stalled when I went to the market, when I dropped off the babysitter, and just now when I went to the bank. Do you think I’m imagining that?”
Setting aside his book, he stood up. “No. I’m saying it’s probably the way you’re driving. You must be doing something...”
“What?” Sharon couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Summoning strength she didn’t know she had, Sharon held her tongue and walked out of the room.
Having little choice, Sharon reluctantly continued to drive the car. After 4 days without any more incidents, she began to wonder if Alan might have been right.
“How’s the car running?” he asked on Friday night. “ You drove it all week and haven’t mentioned any more problems.”
“Isn’t that strange? There doesn’t seem to be any problem at all now.”
“So, it looks like you ‘ll be able to make it to your mom’s tomorrow, after all.”
“I wasn’t even thinking about going, but I hate to cancel on her.”
“Just go. The car is fine.”
“Do you think so? It has run good all week...”
“You’ll be fine.”
“I suppose so.”
The next day the 30-mile drive went without a hitch and Sharon had no concerns about the return trip. That helped to make the visit an enjoyable one for them all. The children were worn out from their day in the pool, so the ride home was a quiet one. The setting sun produced a beautiful glowing display, making a seemingly perfect ending to a wonderful day. But, no, the day was not over, for as the daylight faded, Sharon became aware of another glowing display lighting up the instrument panel.
Oh, terrific, here we are out in the middle of nowhere and the engine light comes on. What should I do? Not wanting to alarm the children, she quietly prayed for guidance. She had to make it off the freeway.
It was only a mile before Maple Rd., and Sharon silently urged the car forward. Finally, they reached the exit ramp. Was that the engine sputtering? Keep going, car!
Pulling up to the stop sign, Sharon realized she had been holding her breath. At least we’re off the expressway. She began to relax but as she pulled out, the inevitable happened. Right there in the middle of the road, the engine quit.
She was able to coast into the less traveled right hand lane, but Sharon knew they were in a bad spot. They had stopped just over the rise on the overpass and it was quickly growing dark. There were no streetlights around here-there wasn’t anything around here-no gas stations, no houses, nothing. Hoping that just maybe the engine would turn over, she turned the key, but nothing happened. After several attempts she gave up. What in the world can we do?
By now, the children had realized something was wrong. Forcing confidence into her voice, she assured them that everything would be all right.” We’ll just wait for a policeman to come by. They’ll help us.” But the backseat became noticeably quiet, and Sharon knew that very few police cars would be driving by this remote location.
After 45 minutes a car approached, but instead of passing by, it stopped. The passenger side window rolled down and an older couple offered to help. Nervously, Sharon answered through the 1 inch gap in her own window, “No, thanks anyways. No really, Just call a tow truck, please.”
But the Good Samaritans wouldn’t take no for an answer. “I can’t leave you here with the children. I’ve got some tools in the trunk. Let me look and see if I can get you rolling-at least let you get home.”
Fearfully, Sharon agreed and within half an hour, the grateful little group was on its way home. Alan figured whatever the man had done, the car was fixed now, but Sharon never drove it again.
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