It was a sunny balmy afternoon at the end of a leisurely summer. I was driving on a winding country road with a lady friend. Little did I know that I was to have a close call that would have almost ruined the rest of my life.
Earlier that day, a friend called me to tell me that our mutual friend Rosy was arriving back from Taiwan after the summer holidays. Since there was no airport in the immediate vicinity of the university, she would need a ride to come back on campus.
Being mildly interested in that girl, I jumped at the chance to play hero. The trip was not particular long or arduous. I was to pick her up from a friend’s home that was a mere 80 miles from campus—a piece of cake, I said to myself.
Everything went well. The country road was almost deserted. Visibility was good and I was not driving very fast. The conversation was lively but not distracting.
About half an hour into the drive, I rounded a corner and noticed two small children, aged around 10, waiting to cross the road after getting off their school bus. My mind was not particularly focused on them because I thought they would not cross the road when a truck was coming through on their side. The two kids looked to their left, watching the truck intensely. As soon as the truck passed, and without a thought, they started to dash across the road. I was petrified, to say the least. My heart almost leaped out of my throat. Time seemed to have come to a standstill. It was like a nightmare coming into reality. I felt I was in the slow motion crash scene of a movie. I did not even have the time to brake or steer clear.
By providence smiled on me that day. The two kids missed my car by less than an inch. Imagine what would have happened if I had hit them? They would have been killed instantly. I would have been charged with manslaughter and thrown into jail. My career would be over before it even got started. The kind of inhumane treatment I would receive from fellow inmate, I could only guess but hate to imagine. I will never be a whole person again even if I were to be released early for good behavior. My life would be over. Even if I had a good lawyer that could have gotten me off, I would have carried that guilt in my mind for the rest of my life.
Even today, thirty-six years later, the memory of that day is still fresh on my mind. I have my lucky star to thank for having both parties gotten off unscathed.