Kim’s car was hit by a woman driving too fast in a school zone, while eating cereal, and talking on her cell phone.
All of that would have mattered except that Kim had parked on the wrong side of the road to drop Maggie off at school.
Maggie was already in the school and didn’t know anything happened. Kim pulled away from the curb and was hit hard in the side. She’s ok. The other woman, a teacher at Maggie’s school who was running late, was ok. Kim’s car isn’t looking so good.
I know it’s just “stuff”. It doesn’t matter.
And yet Kim and I have this discussion several times a week where I tell her to take the extra minute to go around the block so that she’s facing the right way. “There’s going to be an accident,” I say.
“Everyone does it,” she replies.
I’ve got to say, usually being right feels a lot better than this.
Kim calls me on Kelly’s cell phone. She’s lost her own weeks ago and just cancelled her service rather than replace it. Neither of us say anything about her being on the wrong side of the road. She mentions the other driver’s speed, cereal, and cell phone.
I nod. I’m not happy. Kelly picks up on that and wanders over to diffuse the situation. Now that I know everyone is ok, all that I can think of is that I’ve just quit my job and now we’re going to have to buy a car.
Kim drops the car off at the Honda dealer and we wait. The car is ten years old. We got it just before we adopted Maggie. We figured we needed more reliable cars if we were going to be driving kids around with us.
A few days later we get a letter from the insurance company. They are totaling Kim’s car.
Maybe it was meant to be. We couldn’t really sell this car. This was the car in which Elena died. There in that back seat on the same side that was hit in this accident. Maybe this would help us move on.
Kim and I shrugged. We’d figure things out.
She called the Honda dealer to see how much time she had to come clear out her car. “Why?” the woman on the other end asked. She explained that we had misread the letter from the insurance company. The car was worth saving and that was how much money the insurance company would pay.
The equation changed. We wouldn’t be moving on from this car. To our surprise, neither Kim nor I were ready to move on.
The things you find out by accident.