A while back, I wrote this blog post about how things I've written about in my books have a strange way of coming to fruition.
So, today, I was returning home from a family outing. The hubs had met us out and was in the car behind us. Much of the time, when we have two cars, at least one of the kids decides to ride with Dad. Today, it wasn't discussed and they were both with me.
We live on a main street and about 5 p.m. on a Friday, it's a pretty busy thoroughfare. I had stopped while waiting to make a left turn into my driveway. Next thing I know, I hear a loud crash, then feel an impact as we're hit from behind. Turns out, a Ford F150 had rear ended my husband, who then rear ended me.
We pulled right over and assessed the damage. Now, keep in mind, we paid off my van two weeks ago. My husband's car is totalled. His passenger side airbag deployed, but the driver's side didn't. His rear bumper is barely on. His seat broke as his weight went backwards. His front end crumpled into my rear lift gate and the whole rear quarter of my car.
We're okay. We're all okay, and that is the important thing.
I'm thankful for three things: that my husband is okay; that my children are okay; that I wasn't eating a Ho Ho.
If you want to know what that third thing is all about, read on:
CHAPTER ONE I stepped on the sidewalk and walked with confidence. My hair was red and curly. My skin was flawless. My dress was tight, little and black. My car was, well shit, it was still a beat up, tired looking non-descript sedan (a 1992 Mercury Topaz, to be exact) with more rust than paint. I looked back over my shoulder. Yep, it was still there. It had not been magically replaced by a Porsche. I lost some (okay, all) of my bravado and my shoulders hunched for a minute. The confidence, fleeting as it was, was gone. I stopped and took a deep breath. I could do this. Aww, who the hell was I kidding? There was no way in hell I could do this. I turned around and walked as fast as my stilettos and tight LBD would let me, back to my P.O.S. mode of transportation. I jangled the key in the lock and jostled the door open. Bending and dipping so as not to flash my wares, I finally was inside my safe haven. With only three attempts at turning the engine over, I was off and sped away. I wanted to go home and hide in my bed for about six years. I decided that I needed some fortification if I was going to stay holed up for that long. I took the much familiar detour to the market to pick up some emergency supplies—a bag of Fritos and a box of Ho Ho’s.
What had I been thinking signing up for speed dating? It wasn't me. I wasn't that type of girl. I didn't do frivolous and flighty things like speed dating. I couldn't believe I let myself get talked into it. I didn't want to disappoint Jillian by saying no to her zany idea. I let her bully me into it. On the other hand, I was tired of being alone. I had been on my own for so long that the prospect of even possibly meeting someone held appeal. Well, it wasn't going to be through speed dating, that was for sure.
As I was powering down the aisle towards the express check out, the heel snapped on my shoe. I stopped and stared, shoe in my hand like an alien life form. Really? Just my luck. I would say the universe was against me, if I believed in that sort of thing. 2013 was not turning out to be my year. Nope, not at all. I limped the rest of the way (why did the Ho Ho’s have to be in the back of the market?) to the check out, praying that no one noticed me. Of course, I was waaay overdressed for grocery shopping and had comfort food, as well as the heel from my shoe in my hand. Now I was lumbering through the store like Quasimoto, and I had the sneaking suspicion that my hair was growing larger by the minute. I’m fairly certain that I stuck out in the grocery store like a sore thumb, like the date-less loser on a Saturday night that I was. I made it to my car and kicked off my shoes as soon as I got inside. Good thing that I didn’t need a pair of black heels any time soon. I was on a restricted budget, and shoe shopping was not high on the list of essentials. Sure, it would now be on the list, but Ho Ho’s and Fritos always took precedence.
Never one to waste time, I had the box of Ho Ho's opened by the time my car had reversed out of the parking spot. I navigated out to the main road and proceeded to begin drowning my sorrows in the delicious goodness of chocolate cake and cream. Yeah, this was the life. It was so much better than going to the speed-dating event. I was waiting at the four-way stop, chowing down with reckless abandon, savoring the creamy deliciousness, when suddenly my car was rammed from behind. This initial impact pushed my car far enough into the intersection to run into the car to my left who was making a left. I felt the two collisions, followed by a loud popping noise right next to my head. For a minute, I thought someone had fired a gun. But no, I could not be that lucky. It was only my airbag deploying. It wailed my chest and face and the air was filled with smoke and dust. The Ho Ho that I had been bringing to my mouth became one with my face as my hand propelled upwards. I tried to breathe, and inhaled dust and a bit of chocolate cake, which immediately sent me choking and coughing. I reached down, impatiently to unhook my seat belt, which had locked up. As I finally got it off, my door opened up from the outside. I jumped out, happy to be free of my death trap, without looking, and promptly fell into the guy who opened my door.
Yup, there I was, covered in dust and Ho Ho debris, coughing and choking, spitting out powder and cake. My red curls now resembled a rat's nest and my dress was riding dangerously high on my thighs. I was standing barefoot in the street with no way to get home. I was so ready to meet the man of my dreams.
Yes, this is a sneak preview of my new novel, out September 2, 2104. Please note, this is not the final, edited version, so don't judge the typos. You can add I'm Still Here to your to-be-read list on Goodreads, where you can also enter the giveaway for an advanced review copy!