The driveway had not seemed long from a distance, but as I stood at the end it seemed to stretch forever. I glanced back at my car, hood now popped open (so it would cool off), and then down the road where 309 was three driveways away, but home was 8 miles away, I shook my head and hesitantly made my way to the front door.
Growing up I had seen and been with my dad on such walks to a stranger’s door. This now proved two things: Prater luck with cars was hereditary and the walk of automotive fail was less scary with someone beside you. Having finally reached the front door, I gave it a hard knock that left my knuckles aching, Within moments a woman answered.
“I’m going to have to let you go,” she said as she hanged the phone on the person at the other end. She looked me over for a minute before I realized I needed to speak.
“Umm…sorry to bother but my car broke down, and I am an oddball twenty-one year old without a phone…I mean I have one, but no time on it; just a mobile phonebook now. Uhhh…Anyways, may I use your phone?” The whole time I kept my eyes to the ground. This was a strain on nerves to no end, and mixed with the heat and humidity and the long ride from McGuffy I felt as if I was about to pass out.
The woman looked a little concern, either by letting me use her phone or by a stranger in general, but allowed me to use her phone. Luck would have it though that my dad did not answer his cell. I thanked the woman, and turned to walk back towards my car to either wait for my dad (who I had told which roads I would be taking just in case) or to start the long walk into town.
“No you don’t. It’s too hot. We’ll give your dad another shot in a few minutes, but for now you are coming in to drink some water! What kind of a nurse would I be to let a person sit in this weather?” She moved aside, and allowed me into the air conditioned house.
For the next 45 minutes the woman (whose name I have forgotten) and I carried on a conversation about our collective bad luck with cars, this horrible Summer heat, and how I should not have left my dad’s house without a bottle of water. In that short amount of time, my faith in humanity was restored as a stranger was kind enough to help me out instead of turning me away.