Sunday, March 28, 2010

On the Way To Work

On the way to work, I noticed a white Toyota on the side of the rode with its emergency lights flashing. I could see a woman standing in front of the car, waving her arms at every car to pass-by. My brain told me to keep going. My heart told me to stop. My foot wasn't sure what to do as it applied pressure to the brake and my car began to slow down without the promise of stopping. I looked at the old broken car as I drove by. A small child was sitting in the back. I saw a brief glimpse of dark pigtails and wide open eyes.

I pulled off at the next exit just to reenter going the other way. I repeated the process at the next exit until I came across the same white car. I pulled over. "Oh thank God!" the woman yelled before I had rolled the window down.

"How can I help?" I asked without opening the door.

She walked quickly to me, glancing over her shoulder at the car and what I assumed was her little girl. "My car just died. I have my baby girl with me. She is only two and it is so hot out here, I am worried about her getting sick. Can you take her somewhere cool until the tow truck gets here?"

Certainly a two year old wouldn't be a threat to my safety. My sanity perhaps, but not my over all well being. I agreed to take her daughter to the mall, one exit and a few blocks away. We exchanged cell phone numbers. I strapped the little girl, Natasha, into the borrowed car seat and headed for the mall. The young woman began to cry. She hugged and kissed her daughter and thanked me a hundred times for opening my heart and helping out. I watched the woman wave in the rear view mirror until she was out of sight.

After an hour, I called to check up on the woman. I was irritated to receive a message stating that the phone number I was trying to reach was out of service. I tried a few more times. Another hour went by. And then another. I knew that waiting for a tow truck could take a couple of hours, but I was starting to worry. Where could she be? I fed Natasha dinner. It was Sunday and the mall would be closing in an hour.

When I called my boss to let him know the situation, he said I could make up the hours on Monday, my typical day off. I was starting to wonder how I was going to get my own things done when the mall security guard approached me and told me I would have to leave. As I explained the situation, a sadness moved across the guards face and the realization that Natasha's mother was probably never coming back occurred to me for the first time.

We called the police. As I drove back home, I noticed the white Toyota was gone. There was no sign it had ever been there. I began to cry at the travesty of the afternoon. Natasha was a sweet girl. She deserved a mother who would love her. I made a vow to make sure she ended up with a great family. I saw that vow come through, even though I could not take her myself.

*** Imagination Prompt Generator ***


  1. How do you do that? How do you just write stories like these????? Seriously!!! You got this heart-breaking feel so bad for the little girl and mad at the mother story from a simple "on the way to work" prompt?????????? You truly are talented in every way and well, I don't know what to say!!!

  2. It's not just from that prompt. I thought about what I see on my way to work. It seems there is always a car on the side of the road. And that always makes me wonder what I would do if car broke down on a hot day. I would want to send them with someone, but would be too afraid they would kidnap them. This is a thought I've had repeatedly. All I had to do was twist the end of it a little bit.

  3. Heather you have quite the danger thoughts. Such a sad story.