Monday, June 26, 2006

The last hour before this post was somewhat strange, yet it left me with a good feeling about, well, people in general. My brother and I decided to take my slowly dying car to a local auto repair shop in the hopes that we'd miss any traffic (since it's so late) and not have to worry about causing a scene if my car broke down. Our intentions and timing were good. My battery and alternator, on the other hand, were not.

As Brandon and I drove towards the auto repair shop the lights in my car completely faded to black. The radio lights, the front dash, the blinkers, even the headlights were suddenly no more. My brother had been driving ahead of me so I wouldn't get lost. We didn't anticipate the lights going out so quickly, especially since I hadn't driven my car anywhere since I found out I had a problem with the alternator. When they did, Brandon and I were in an intersection. The light turned green and Brandon drove ahead. He didn't see that my lights had faded and that I couldn't drive forward. I panicked somewhat, fearing that I might get rear ended because the street was dimly lit and my car wasn't exactly standing out. I quickly grabbed my cell phone and called my brother. He had noticed that I wasn't following and had already begun circling back around towards me; he said he was on his way.

At that very moment a lone car pulled up behind me. It wasn't my brother's car, though. My emergency lights weren't working, so I opened my door and left it slightly ajar, hoping the light in my car would turn on. It didn't. The people behind me noticed that there was a problem. As a few other cars slowly came in beside me, the car that was behind me put its emergency lights on. When the light ahead turned green and those few cars beside me had driven ahead, the car behind me drove to my passenger side. The driver inside the white/silver car asked me if I needed help. I replied and unsure "Yes." She said, "Ok. I'm going to pull my car into that parking lot up there and we'll come back and push you there. We have jumper cables. It'll be fine!" I felt somewhat relieved. She drove ahead with her friend and they got out of the car. At that time my brother pulled up behind me. I explained that these people were going to help and within seconds we moved my car from the light at the intersection to the parking lot across the street.

As my car sat in the middle of the parking lot, I took notice of these two people who cared enough to help me at 11:40 on a Sunday night (of all times!). They looked like they were around my age, punk/goth in style, almost dressed up as if they were heading to a local concert or bar. I didn't judge them, though, because I was thankful enough that someone actually cared to help my brother and me with my car. We popped our hoods. I opened both of the cars while the woman opened her trunk and looked for her jumpers. I have jumpers in my trunk, but I wasn't about to get them since she basically had them in her hands right as I finished popping her hood. We hooked the jumpers up properly and started our cars. My car kicked back to life, but died seconds later. As I had explained to these roadside helpers, my alternator was the real problem. I wasn't sure I could make it anywhere if the battery wouldn't charge. To my surprise this woman and this man offered to help jumpstart my car the whole way there, even if it meant taking away from their night. I couldn't believe it! To think that someone actually cared that much to get my car to a repair shop! It renewed my belief that people are naturally good and helpful, that people will step outside their own. In so many ways I felt thankful and elated. I hadn't really been scared or worried; I was unsure the whole time until that very moment. It reminded me of one of those commercials you'd see on television where humanity looks out for humanity, where people are actually looking out for people.

My brother and I declined their offer, however, noting that the problem was one that we could take care of by towing the truck to an even closer local auto repair shop. We thanked the rad couple as they drove away saying "No problem!" and "Good luck!" It was a feeling of warmth from seeing such simple kindness.

Within minutes my brother and I hooked the tow-cable between his car and my car and began the short journey to the closest auto repair shop down the street. Luckily there were two repair shops in the vicinity, so we pulled into the closest one. I parked my car, locked the doors, took down the number of the auto repair shop (not the one we wanted to get my car to, but this one will work), and jumped in my brother's car. As Brandon and I drove home we talked about these nameless individuals who were kind enough to stop and help a fellow person out on dark desolate Sunday evening. Who they really were and why they helped me may forever be a mystery, but I will not forget these two individuals and their compassion that stretched into Monday morning.

Though I may never see you two again nor know who you were, I want to extend my sincerest thanks again. I plan to pay it forward to the next person in due time based on what you gave to me. Thank you!


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