As I neared the shop, I noticed a group of youngsters walking along the sidewalk with two adults. I’m thinking the children – giggling and playful – were probably students at a pre-school housed in a nearby church and were off on a little adventure.
I mention the kids simply because I was forced to halt in my tracks and wait for them to happily parade by before I could make a right turn into the coffee shop’s parking lot. I glanced into my rearview mirror and was happy to see that the road was empty.
That changed in an instant. After noting there were a few stragglers attempting to join the other students, I glanced once again into my rearview mirror. Several cars were headed in my direction; a white sedan leading the pack.
Instead of slowing, the sedan accelerated and I realized that even if I jammed on the gas there was no way I was going to be able to outpace the couple of tons of metal headed in my direction. In a panic, I started to tap my accelerator and pull to the right, only to jam on my brakes because several kids blocked my path.
A surge of adrenalin shot through my body and I braced for impact, thinking this might be the last seconds of my life. Worse, I was certain my car would be hurled into the children and we’d all be whipping by the pearly gates of heaven in a moment.
Instead, the white sedan just managed to cut off a car in the left lane and whip passed me in a blur. I’m not certain, but I think I heard a sonic boom. Then again, the noise could have been my heart thumping away, merrily announcing that I was still alive.
All of this happened in an instant, but this much I know is true. The driver of the white sedan was a young girl with longish hair, holding, as the Swedes might say, a mötherförken cell phone in her hand. I hate to end any posting with a cliché, but the only thought that comes to mind at the moment is “there but for the grace of God, go I” … and those happy youngsters!