It was dark. The roads were shiny with the rain. I was driving home through Salem on Lancaster Rd. near Lancaster Mall, going about 35 mph.
I had been to Joann’s for some beads and as I drove home I had the thought cross my mind, ‘Wouldn’t it be terrible if I got into an accident and got killed and my obituary would read, “She was on her way home after feeding her addiction at the bead store.” They would find my body sprawled out all contorted among hundreds of shiny little beads. I was feeling a little guilty about buying more beads I guess.
A few moments later, I had a thought about searching in my purse for something (OK, I’ll admit it, my phone) but my purse was on the floor of the passenger side so I couldn’t reach it. That was interesting because I typically have my purse right beside my feet on my side of the car. I remembered setting it on that side and thinking, ‘I won’t be able to reach my purse if it’s over here.’ Then I thought rightly, ‘I shouldn’t be getting into my purse while I’m driving anyway.’ So I left it there. Not typical for me.
All those thoughts flashed through my mind in a fraction of a second as I looked at my purse across the car, and I thought, ‘Well, it’s true, I shouldn’t be looking at my purse, or my phone, or anything else while I’m driving anyway. I’ll just wait till I get home.’
Within a few seconds, as I passed to the right of a line of cars turning left into a strip mall, I saw a man dash out from between two cars waiting to turn left. He was only about 10 yards from my oncoming car (still going about 35) and I could barely see him apart from the red brake lights of the cars in front of and around me. He also had dark skin and hair. The only light colored thing on him was a dingy white t-shirt. He was still practically invisible to me.
When he looked up at me, with a surprised look on his face, I saw him for the first time. He sprinted to cross my lane before I hit him. I braked quickly and barely missed him! If I had been glancing away at that moment, I would have missed seeing him and would have hit him full on.
I am so glad for the little protective hints we get along the way. Too often I have ignored them or argued against them, only to have my ignorance bite me later. I am so glad I listened that night, and left my purse out of reach.
Hmmm . . . maybe I should make that a habit . . . or, hey . . . simply make a decision to never get into my purse while I’m driving. That will be a tough one. It probably saved that man’s life though.