For my birthday, I was going to finally go to Flix Brewhouse to see a movie. At the last minute, we asked my baby brother to come along with us. He was running errands so he was going to meet us over there. After we dropped the children off with my mom, we headed towards the highway...and the heavens opened up and unleashed a monsoon.
We get off the exit safely and I tell Roger, "I think we're going to be early."
"A little bit," he answers.
Then we turn at a green light and drive into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. Suddenly there are waves and rushing water and the car engine cuts off.
This has always been one of my biggest nightmares: driving off into deep water and being trapped in my car. I've even planned my emergency exit and told myself never to forget it.
I forgot it.
Good thing the dark, deep, rushing water was only maybe six engines deep. Engines? *Inches*
Roger turns on the emergency flashers and we try to start the car. The engine doesn't even try to turn over. We call for roadside assistance and sit there in the middle of the road. Other cars seems to fear for their lives when they see our's broken and bruised washing about in the waves...the treacherous currents threatening to sweep us away to our deaths.
Maybe it wasn't that bad, but the cars still turn around and head for higher ground.
After a while of sitting there, another car appears beside us. I look over and it's my brother in his little sports car. I have to open the door to hear him through the window. "What's going on," he asks, perplexed and a little panicked."My car stopped running!"
"It's this flash flood," I shrug back. "You're stranded now, but at least you have me stranded with you. You won't have to die alone. I'm here."
I don't think Matthew thought any of this was very funny, and I don't think he remembered his emergency plan for when violent and treacherous waters sweep him away in his tiny, useless sports car.
Matthew tells me that parts of my car are dying and falling off. I brave the storms, roll up my pants and climb into the white water rapids. Risking life and limb, I save my poor van's mud flaps from dangerous screaming eels...
After a while, we start to realize we're holding up traffic--the stupid drivers that want to risk stalling out alongside us--stupid drivers who remember their emergency plans (they have those fancy windshield-shattering hammers under their driver's seats), or drivers who look for ways to laugh in the face of danger.
Roger takes off his shoes and socks and wades out into the danger with me. Lightning flashes. We could be struck at any second! But we're fearless, laughing and giggling as we push Matthew's cute little car to higher ground.
Maybe the lightning was far away...
So I walk back to our van and lean against the bumper and cross my arms and ankles, casually just enjoying the feel of the waves around my ankles. A man in a huge beast of a truck easily waltzes up through the deep waters and pauses beside me. "How you doin'?" he asks.
I shrug a shoulder. "Ah, you know, just enjoying the beautiful weather."
"You need pulled outta there?" he asks.
"I'm okay hanging out here. I think someone is coming."
He drives away. Easily. No emergency plan needed in a whale of a truck like that.
Then, Roger and I push our poor van up to high ground where Matthew is waiting, holding his breath, praying that we make it.
And we do!
I lived through one of my biggest fears! I defeated my own fright! I survived the depths of swirling water, violent and powerful!
And by the time we walked back to the cars from the movie theater (located on higher ground) and had our tickets for the missed show refunded, THE WATER WAS COMPLETELY GONE!
It was like it was a mirage!
But not the rad Wonderwall kind, or even the kind that has palm trees and sand...
Just the kind of Oasis with water.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GIA!!!!