59: The Small White Car

59: The Small White Car

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and the Unexplainable

The Small White Car

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.

~Albert Einstein

I really dislike driving. It’s not that I’m afraid to drive or that I’m a bad driver. In fact, in all the years since I’ve obtained my driver’s license, I’ve only had one small fender bender (the other guy’s fault, I might add). It’s just that when it comes to car travel, I don’t have much patience for the speeders, tailgaters, or people who refuse to signal.

I don’t much like traffic, either, and I try to avoid it at all costs. So much so, that when I had to choose between two jobs, I opted for a lower paying position ten minutes from home. Through the side streets I would go, grinning as I passed the parkway entrance with cars lined up for a block, their drivers desperately trying to merge in rush-hour traffic.

But all that changed one day when my husband and I found it necessary to relocate to a new apartment quickly. Though we tried as best we could to stay in our current neighborhood, no suitable apartments were available on such short notice. We expanded our borders. Still nothing. We expanded our borders a little more and then a little more until, ultimately, we were searching at the edge of the next county.

Finally, though, we found a charming apartment in a friendly area. There was only one drawback — the commute. No more pleasant side streets for me. Now my twice daily driving routine entailed negotiating a busy highway directly through a section dubbed “blood alley” due to the many serious accidents that routinely occurred there. However, I was a cautious driver who did her best to keep away from dangerous situations. So despite my longer, more complicated route, I felt fairly confident that I could get to and from my destination safely each workday.

That was, until I had a terrible dream early one Monday morning.

In it, I sat behind my steering wheel as I eased onto the parkway’s entrance ramp. I checked over my shoulder for oncoming traffic, then accelerated into the merge when, seemingly out of nowhere, a white compact car lost control and slammed right into the driver’s side of my car.

In my dream, I heard the screech of the tires and the crunch of the metal, and I felt the jolt of the impact so distinctly that I actually woke up on the opposite side of my bed.

As much as I tried, I was unable to fall back asleep. So, I got out of bed and puttered around my apartment until it was time to leave for work. Though I kept reminding myself this was only a dream, the unnerving scene continued to play in my head. As I pulled my car from the curb that day, I breathed a prayer for my protection on the road.

I continued that prayer as I eased onto the parkway ramp and again as I looked over my shoulder to check for oncoming traffic. Then, just as I was about to merge, I saw it — a small white car driving uneventfully in the middle lane. In that moment, I hit the brakes. And, in the next moment, the small white car hit a pothole, careened across two lanes of traffic, and came to rest directly in front of my stopped vehicle.

I arrived at work that morning a few minutes late, pale and shaken. My co-worker took one look at me. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” I answered gratefully. “But you’ll never believe the dream I had.”

~Monica A. Andermann

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