When I was eighteen-years-old, I was going to college to become a Certified Nurses Aide (CNA). Along with class time, we also had to clock some field experience as well. That meant I had to work in a nursing home a few days a week. We had regular 8 hour shifts and had to be there by early in the morning. I am not a morning person. And I’m constantly running late.
One morning I was in my scrubs with my little white shoes on (only I have big feet, so I guess they were big, white shoes) speeding to the nursing home. It was Spring and we were experiencing some of those April showers. I came flying over a hill only to find a line of cars on the other side. I slammed on my breaks, but I couldn’t stop and I hit the car in front of me.
We both got out of our cars. I was on the verge of tears. I was going to be late. I couldn’t afford to pay for car damages. And I’d probably lose my insurance. I apologized profusely to the guy who got out of the car in front of me. He said, “Yeah, I saw you coming.” But he didn’t seem mad. In fact he was very calm. Way better than I was.
We looked our cars and didn’t see any damage. He told me to drive safe and let me go. No yelling. No lecture. No insurance claims. No calls to the police. I was so grateful.
Last night I was in the parking lot at school (yes, I actually made it to class last night). There was a car stopped in the middle of the exit, letting a girl out. I passed them on the left and made my way to the stop sign.
I sat at the stop sign waiting for the cross traffic to pass so I could turn on to the road and head home. As the traffic was beginning to clear I could see lights in my rearview window. I looked up and thought, “Please don’t hit my car.”
And then there was a big BANG. They hit me.
I put the van in park and turned off the engine. I scoured my glove box for my insurance card. Then I got out.
Two young college girls has jumped out of the car behind me. I asked her to move her car back a little so I could look at the damage. My van had no damage. Her little Accord has a busted up license plate holder and a small crack in the grill.
The driver asked me if I wanted her insurance information. I instantly thought back to that time when I was eighteen and how relieved I was that the guy let me go. I smiled at the girl and told her, “No that’s ok. Just be careful. It’s really icy out here.” And I let her go.