This story is by Raghav and was part of our 2018 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
David and his 3-year-old daughter were on the highway. The cars were traveling at a lower speed due to traffic.
David saw about four or five different cars racing on the same highway he was driving. The vehicles exhibited a rash driving on the road which annoyed other drivers.
“What was that noise dad?” David’s daughter asked him.
“They are some bunch of reckless drivers on the road who are driving very fast and furious.”
“Daddy, I am scared. Don’t drive fast. “said his innocent daughter.
“Honey. I have told you before. When I am with you, don’t be scared of anything especially because of a bunch of lunatic people. Ok? “
David was no longer the same person he was before five years. He had transformed entirely from a rash driver to safe driver. All because of an incident that happened five years back.
Back in 2013 – A windy day. The clock ticked 10 AM, but it was still dark. Clouds gathered to show a severe thunderstorm to start in a few mins. The weather report mentioned that there would be a thunderstorm in a few minutes in the suburbs of Seattle.
David had an important task on that day. It was Martin’s wedding at 11.15 AM. David had the wedding rings which had to be given to Martin and Christina. Martin’s friends and relatives would be gathering at the wedding ceremony in a few mins. Martin weds Christina.
The wedding ring which was selected by Martin and Christina did not suit their size. Both were adamant in having the same design. Hence they wanted to alter the wedding rings. The jeweler agreed to get the alteration done, but he needed some time, and he would give it on the same day of the wedding. So, Martin had asked David to collect the wedding rings and head back straight to the church where the marriage is about to happen in an hour.
David was driving in I-5 with his 2011 Chevrolet Camaro. He was still at Tacoma, WA. David turned on the FM radio, and the announcer in the radio mentioned about the thunderstorms in the area of Seattle in a few mins.
David’s phone rang. It was none other than Martin.
“Hey, David. Where are you?”
“What’s up Martin? Got ready for the wedding? I am still in I-5. “
“How’s the weather there? I heard some thunderstorms, and the weather is going to be pretty bad”. Martin inquired about the weather.
By the time Martin asked, the rain had started heavily in the area where David was driving.
“You know about the weather of Seattle. You can never guess when it will rain. And now, man, it is raining cats and dogs. I mean, I can’t see the vehicles beyond 100 yards. Hope you are safe at the church. “
“Yeah, Christina told us about the weather on today, and we started a little early. Many of my friends and relatives are almost there. You should be here in a few mins.”
“Don’t worry Martin. I am going to make it to your wedding somehow and just on time buddy! I have got your wedding rings. And don’t worry I should be there as soon as possible, maybe an hour or so. Maps show an ETA of about 11.07 AM.”
The way David mentioned gave a little anxiety to Martin. Martin knew that David could sometimes be very rash at driving. Earlier while returning on a trip from Texas, there was less time to catch the flight for a few of us. David did a very rash driving that day, and they all reached the airport just in time.
Though this incident flickered in Martin’s mind for a minute, he never showed any worry over the call. He just wanted David to drive safe.
“Hey David, I know you are crazy at driving when it comes to arriving at an ETA. But today, I know you have my wedding rings. Don’t drive too rash but try to be on time.” Martin mentioned this to David in a warning tone as he did not want to cause any trouble for David.
“Don’t worry Martin. You know about my driving. I will be there just in time. Till then, welcome your guests. ” David disconnected the phone.
Traffic was slowly piling up on the highway. David turned on the Sirius Satellite radio.
‘I am on a highway to hell‘ That was AC DC’s highway to hell on the Satellite radio.
“What the hell? I don’t want to listen to this song that too on today on my way to my friend’s wedding!” David thought to himself. He changed the radio station a few times and then finally settled for a Country Jazz and Blues.
The rain was getting heavier and heavier with thunderstorms. The traffic slowed down and started piling up. Minutes were added to the ETA in the Google maps, and it showed a bright blood red traffic for the next few miles. ETA read as 11.30 AM.
Slowly traffic started clearing up. David raised his car to the speed limit.
He got a text message from his new girlfriend, Jennifer. They both were getting closer on the recent days.
Jennifer: Hey. What are you doing? I got to know you are coming to Martin’s wedding.
David had one hand on the wheel and the other hand on the phone.
David: Hi Jenny. Yeah, I should be there by 11.15 AM. You know what, I am the key person for this wedding.
Jennifer: What? I don’t understand. You mean, you arranged for this wedding?
David: Nope. Guess this. If I am late, the wedding won’t happen. Tell me what I am bringing.
Jennifer: Are you coming with the church pastor?
David: Nope. Guess one more.
Jennifer: Come on I give up.
David is typing
Jennifer: Tell me, David. I can’t hold the suspense for long you know. What are you bringing?
David is typing
Jennifer: Come on. Enough David. If you don’t respond, I am going to stop messaging for some time.
David is typing
By that time a tragic thing had happened.
David tailgated a truck; he changed his lane to the extreme right lane. He did not realize that there was another truck parked on shoulder lane with half of its width on the lane he was driving due to a very short shoulder lane.
His peripheral vision did not capture that due to texting while driving, Realizing the truck very late, he tried to apply hard brakes and then hydroplaning happened. Alas! His car hit the left edge of the truck and made a few circles. It finally rolled over and stopped.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
David heard the sound of the ventilator. David slowly opened his eyes. He was in great shock of what had happened to him.
He was in the hospital with his whole body was covered in an oversized hospital gown. It took him about seven minutes to realize what happened to him in the past few hours of consciousness.
He was alright. Apart from a few bruises and minor injuries, there was no major injury to him. A Registered Nurse came in and enquired about him. Now he wanted to know about what happened to Martin’s wedding. David narrated the entire incident to the nurse, right from collection of wedding ring to the tragic accident.
“Oh. Don’t worry about that sir. There were about five or six police officers who went to the accident spot along with the ambulance. One of the officers saw your text messages in the cell phone and took the wedding rings to the church. “
After a few mins, the officer entered the hospital room where David was admitted.
“Hello, David. How are you doing now?”
“I am alright officer, feeling better.”
“We had to tow your car from the accident spot due to the damages happened with your car. I have a question for you. Did you do a text drive? “
David thought to say yes and finally felt that it would admit his fault.
“No. I did not do a text drive.”
“Are you sure sir? We had taken your cell phone for the crash collection report. You know that texting while driving is dangerous and illegal. We know that you were the only person in your car. Here is your citation for the texting while driving. Take care, sir! “ David had to admit his fault.
After a few appealing in court, David’s penalty amount was reduced. Luckily, the court waived him off his prison time also.
Now, David recollected all these entire incidents which happened about five years back. He looked in the rearview mirror.
David’s daughter was playing with her iPad and singing “The Wheels on the bus goes round and round!” David is now a safe and a defensive driver.