She had been driving for what seemed like the entire day. The weariness that comes from being “busy” but not really accomplishing anything had settled on her like someone had thrown a leaden shawl around her shoulders. No matter how she turned her head or arranged herself in the car seat, the ache in her neck and between her shoulder blades would just not go away.
Even though she had made the meetings on time and had said all of the right things, she didn’t feel much satisfaction. All of her training, all of the preparation had not helped her deal with the negative attitudes she had encountered that day. Some days she wondered exactly why she put up with this crap. The traveling, the bad diet, the ever escalating expectations of her boss. Her feelings toward this job had changed from an initial impression of opportunity to a dread-filled vision of one huge dead end sign.
Her thoughts were now fixated on dinner, followed by a date with a deep tub filled with hot water and lots and lots of bubbles.
She let her mind wander, drifting along with the Sinatra tune playing on the radio. Suddenly, she felt a huge thump and immediately her car began to leap and buck, the wheel pulling suddenly into the oncoming traffic lane. It took about 3 seconds for her to regain control of the car and for her to realize what had happened – a flat tire on the front left of her car. What next!
Once control of the car was affirmed in her mind, she eased the car over onto the shoulder of the road. What to do now? Her mind raced back to what she had learned in drivers training, so far back in the past. She could hear her father’s voice in her head – “Make sure you pull far enough off the road, so you don’t get hit by some knucklehead not paying attention”.
After she had pulled over, far over off the road, she made the call on her cell phone. The AAA guy was sympathetic, but it would take him over two hours to get out to her. Perfect! Here she was, on the side of the road, in the dark with sore feet, sore neck and now a sore disposition.
It was then she heard the tap on the window. She saw through the side window a boy of about 14 looking at her with a look that was half quizzical and half expectation. “What now?” raced through her mind as she brought the window down a crack, far enough for the half-man to ask her “Do you need some help with that tire?” She smiled and said “I’ve called the tow truck and they are on their way. Thank you though.” He ignored her answer and told her to pop the trunk and he’d have it changed in a “jiffy”. She told the boy that she didn’t have any cash to pay him but he just said, “That’s OK, I don’t expect any money, I’m a boy scout and I need to do my good deed for the day.”
Within 15 minutes, the tire was changed and she was back on the road. As she drove through the next small town on her way, she noticed the sign read Rich Prairie and the slogan underneath the city name said “We’ve got your back.”