I reached my hand up to my forehead and then quickly looked at my fingertips to see if they were bloody. The tempo of the throbbing seemed to match the blinking of my emergency lights that automatically turned on. I unbuckled my seatbelt and leaned up to look in my review mirror. Still surprised not to see blood, I was thankful I was in one piece. It was more than I could say for my 1986 Honda Prelude.
I wasn’t paying any attention to the road as I swerved around the corner, but in all fairness, the road was empty. It was early, dark, and cold. Neither my heater nor my defroster were working.
If only I can get this fan blowing, I thought as I leaned over into the dashboard jiggling the lever and trying to see the settings in the early morning blackness.
I looked up through the frosted glass of my windshield and realized that I was headed directly for a giant oak tree. Gripping the wheel with both hands, I slammed my foot down hard on the pedal, but only accelerated until I collided. The sound of crunching metal rang in my ears. My car and the oak became intimately acquainted when in my panic, I hit the gas pedal instead of the brake. An already small Prelude now resembled a large man’s accordion more than the vehicle that was going to get me to my job – My Job!
It was February eleventh and the second day of my first real, honest to goodness, benefits paying, sick days offering, room for advancement job. It’s also the night that FringeMan was taking me to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway.
My heart sank to my toes as I staggered from the driver’s seat into the road. It looked worse from outside the car. A man, about my father’s age, had pulled over and was already giving me the third degree about drinking and driving and how partying was all young people thought about these days. The sad truth was that I hadn’t even had a cup of coffee yet. In fact the water that trickled down the back of my throat while I was brushing my teeth would have to suffice until lunchtime or later, the way my day was already going. When I finally convinced him that I was on my way to work and not on my way home, he offered to call the police for me.
As soon as he hit ‘end’ and flipped his phone shut, he picked up on my lecture. Just when I leaned up against the side of his car to settle in for the fourth and fifth degrees, a woman from across the street ran over and began ushering me back to her house. She was a nurse with good intentions who regularly attended accidents with ‘my’ tree. I’d already claimed a chunk of it and it obviously had claimed a bigger piece of me. While I sat on a stool letting this nurse apply ice to my head, she tried her best to convince me a trip to the hospital was not only necessary, but possibly life-altering. All I could think of was the pain involved when I’d be fired from my new job.
Finally the cops arrived and saved me from the lecturers. “Totaled” they insisted, but they also took pity on me, tried to assure there must have been a patch of black ice involved, and called a tow-truck. Just then my mother came to my rescue. Before we left the scene, the nicest officer salvaged my ice-skates from the trunk. It was enough to lose my car, but I couldn’t let my ice-skates go to rest in the tomb of twisted metal junkers.
February eleventh began with a bang and ended with FringeMan coming to pick me up for our date.
Buzz, Buzz, Buzz…
I adjusted the bodice of my black dress to cover the bruises left from my seatbelt this morning as my mother rang the buzzer allowing FringeMan to enter the doors below. FringeMan made his way up to our second story apartment, just as I dusted my forehead with one last swipe of powder. I didn’t want any bumps showing tonight.
The air was charged as we raced into the city. I hadn’t been to see a Broadway play since my uncle treated me to Annie for my fifth birthday. We found a parking spot a million miles away from the theater, but not even the frigid walk through Manhattan dampened my spirits. I simply snuggled into FringeMan’s arms and forgot the morning’s events.
Phantom of the Opera, an unparalleled masterpiece, is the longest running show on Broadway. I sat fascinated in my front/center balcony seat and didn’t even feel the bruises lining my chest and stomach. My accident faded into memories from an earlier life. All was suddenly right in the world as FringeMan slipped his arm around me.
I stood and applauded with exuberance beside the rest of the auditorium as the final curtain closed. FringeMan gave me more than a special night, he turned my bad dream good. We started back to the car on a cloud and while I lost track of time replaying my favorite scenes, FringeMan drove aimlessly through the city. I finally looked up and realized we should have been back to my house by now and we were still only about five blocks from the theater.
“What are we doing?” I asked.
“A surprise.” He whispered with a gleam in his eye. I couldn’t imagine anything better than we’d already enjoyed, until FringeMan pulled over at exactly twelve midnight. Reaching for my hand, he asked me, “Do you know what time it is?’
Not wanting to break the gaze of his green eyes, I incoherently muttered, “What time?”
He slowly leaned toward me and slid his free hand up behind my head and into my hair. “It’s your Birthday!” He breathed and sealed my surprise with a kiss.
For more love stories, visit A Future Pastor’s Wife.Sunday happened to be our twelfth anniversary. Happy Anniversary FringeMan! I love you better than I did back then. To read Friday Flashbacks, visit Mylestones by clicking HERE. Since today (2/12/10) is my birthday, I figured resurrecting this story would be appropriate. Thanks Jo for hosting us on Fridays!