A hockey stick was smacked in my face. I was bleeding. The end of the blissful day was turning into a nightmare. While cleaning the wound I managed to touch something live and got an electric shock. Damn!. After settling down for a bit we had a wonderful dinner and were leaving for home. I had believed that the difficult part of the day was long gone.
We were visiting a family friend's house. It was great meeting them in person after about three years. The day went very well with elders getting to talk a lot about what had happened in the past three years while we kids were playing about and me visiting some more of my friends nearby. We were having a great time playing when accidentally I got hit with a hockey stick. It was a full blooded blow. I was bleeding and had a swollen chin. We headed towards the elders and then while cleaning the wound I could not remember what had happened but I felt the shock and then it was gone. I was recapping the day as it went by, thoughts running at a blistering pace.
The car was moving fast. I was enjoying the nice music. Some potholes on the road were distracting me a little bit. I was looking at the beautiful night sky wondering what lay beyond it. The dim orange street lights were adding to the beauty of the surroundings. I was also pleased to see our car go past several others. We then overtook a goods truck and finally there was no other vehicle ahead of us. That diverted my attention from the speed with which we were traveling. I now noticed that there were no street lights on this part of the road. I was waywardly thinking of several things when it happened.
There was a loud screeching noise. The car was behaving erratically. It was moving wayward. He could not control it. But fortunately we had reached an elevation. He braked hard again and finally the car came to a screeching halt. Those 10 seconds felt like eternity. The noise had disturbed the birds and I could hear the flap of their wings. We had not yet realised what had happened. We got out from the car and began investigating with the help of a torch light. Everything seemed normal but the car looked drastically tilted on one of its corners.
We headed towards that corner and were shocked. The wheel was gone. It had somehow got unbolted. We moved the torch light around the car and to our shock the car had stopped on the right edge of the road without a barricade. It was a mixed feeling. Afraid of the accident but happy that no major incident had taken place. But one thing we all knew was that it was a touch and go moment. We were lucky to be given a new life.
We were waiting there for around 10 minutes and then we saw the goods truck come by. It stopped, inquiring as to what had happened. The driver of the truck was dumbfounded. He was very happy that a greater force was acting on our behalf. He offered to take us to our house. There was no other option at night. We accepted the offer and climbed in. That was one of the happiest moment of my life. For years I had wished about being seated on the front seat of a goods carrying truck. The heavy vehicle intimidating all the others. A vehicle that could move in any way it liked and nobody could do anything about it. My first dream had always been to become a goods truck driver. Before getting down from the truck the driver offered me to hold
the steering wheel. I was grateful to him. I thanked him whole heatedly for the entire travel. The next morning we found the wheel of the car about 150 meters from the accident site. We were relieved to know that no one was hurt on its account.
I still have the nightmare of traveling in a car without a wheel. But then I always see the truck and once again fall asleep silently. Some wishes do get answered in strange ways.