Mercy and I had been together about a year. She had just bought her first car two months ago. We were dog sitting, Bear, for my parents. Mercy always hated doing this, because Bear was an untrained yappy Pomeranian. He would bark constantly and never shut up, which was why my parents had not taken him with them on this trip. We went over to their house about 11 am and fed, played, and took Bear out for his business. Around 1:30pm, we decided to go out to lunch. One of our favorite restaurants has lunch specials until 2pm, so we decided to head over there.
I was in a hurry and was driving Mercy’s car. My parents live next to an expressway that would get us downtown quick. So I was in the turning lane of my parents street waiting to take a left onto the expressway. I was watching traffic and saw that the car that was coming was taking a right onto my street (it had moved over into the right hand turning lane). So I took off. As soon as I was halfway through the lane, I realized that I had made a huge mistake that would take our lives. I hadn’t seen that there had been another car behind the car that was turning. The turning car had blocked my view of this little red sentra. By the time that I saw the sentra it was less than 1 foot from my door and it was going 55-60 mph. I KNEW that we were dead. I was so convinced of that, I took my feet off the pedals and screamed. Mercy couldn’t get me to do anything, I’d given up.
Then the impact happened and my head and shoulder hit the window of my door. The car spun like a top about 180 degrees and I just started crying. We were alive, but the sentra’s engine compartment was smash.
Oh my God, did I kill someone? The cops and ambulance came. They carted off the other driver, a teenage girl who was just transporting the car to a small auto dealership for her parents. She wasn’t dead. Her mother was in another car that was behind her daughter by a quarter of a mile and saw the whole thing. I was shaking and crying, so the cops didn’t give me a ticket and understood that it was an accident. The mother didn’t try to kill me. It ended up that the girl had went to the ER to get checked out for whiplash, but in the end was just fine.
The only casualties were the two cars. When I got out of Mercy’s car, I saw that the sentra had hit the rear wheel well and gas tank. I have no clue how we moved far enough for the impact to be 4 feet behind where I was sitting. Even if the math works out that the car could move forward that much in that fraction of a second, I am convinced something else helped us along. The impact broke the axle completely and others have said that we were lucky that the gas tank didn’t explode because we had less than half a tank of gas and I’ve heard that that would make it more dangerous. I don’t know whether that is true or not. but it doesn’t really matter. We were not hurt at all.
We walked back to my parents house and had a friend pick us up and bring us home. We didn’t go out to lunch. In fact, I don’t think that I ate the rest of the day.
To this day, I don’t take that left and it has been almost 15 years. I drive the long way from my parents house if I ever have to head downtown afterwards. In fact, I don’t make any left turns onto that road. I don’t care if it makes my trip 15 minutes longer. I don’t think I could be so lucky a second time.
When I tell people this story, and other bad stories, they always say, “You two have the worst luck!” NOPE! I always say, “We are the luckiest people in the world. If you look at every one of these ‘awful’ situations, it could’ve been much worse. But we’re alive and can tell the story. That’s pretty lucky, if you ask me.”