Has anyone ever saved your life at the risk of their own?
When I was younger my boyfriend was driving me home from the dentist. We were travelling on a very busy road with 2 lanes of fast moving traffic. Boyfriend made a turn and pulled into a petrol station to fill the tank and get some groceries.
I’d just had a wisdom tooth extracted so I was doped up on pain meds and not really with it. I noticed a homeless man sitting on a bench nearby. Our eyes met, I sent him a smile but I felt sad for him, I leaned back on the headrest and closed my eyes. I wondered what his story was, how did he get that way, does he have any family? Suddenly, I had this eerie sensation of rolling backwards. Wow, these are strong meds I thought, I opened my eyes and shit … I was moving backwards! The car was gaining momentum and heading straight toward the fast moving traffic. I would be smashed to smithereens, ouch!
Boyfriend had forgotten to put the handbrake on. I tried to undo my seatbelt so I could reach the handbrake but the buckle was stuck and I was trapped. Utterly panicked, I braced myself ready for the inevitable crash. Boyfriend was really going to regret this. In my peripheral vision I saw the homeless man run past the car, I turned to look behind me to see how close I was to impact when I saw him run into the road, frantically waving his arms about at the oncoming traffic. Traffic slowed down, the car rolled out into the middle of the road, then stopped. Traffic was manoeuvring around me but I was safe, if not a little embarrassed to be at the centre of such a commotion.
The look on boyfriends face was priceless when he stepped out of the petrol station and saw all the chaos. The homeless man directing the traffic, horns honking, drivers yelling. He dumped those groceries so fast and bolted for the car – it was kind of comical, I’d never seen him run before. He jumped in the car and drove it back into the petrol station, shouting at me for not pulling on the handbrake. As he retrieved the groceries I looked around to see where my homeless man was, so I could thank him but he was mysteriously gone.
Boyfriend had to cut me out of the seat belt when we got home. Yet somehow he still thought I was to blame for what happened. I suspect he was more shook up about the car than me. Boyfriend soon got dumped.
Thank you my homeless hero, I hope life ended up being kind to you.
May all beings have a place to call home!
Photo Credit: Bethany Legg via Unsplash