Monday, March 05, 2012
Rob and AAA just “rescued” Celia and her mother from a non-emergency.
The sky shone bright blue and the highway was dry, and though it was cold Rob only kinda-sorta-not really minded the interruption to his rare day off from both jobs. He simply could not relax as well as he had been able to do before taking on the second job. Probably not a bad thing, he thought, since the birth of their baby was now less than three months away and relaxation time would be limited even with the elimination of the second job. Mostly he regretted that he would have to contend with a car repair, when working two jobs was about saving for retirement and paying down debt, not to pay to repair a relatively new car.
He exited into the huge turnpike rest stop lot and spotted Celia’s car by sighting the tow truck. He parked nearby, getting out of the car just as Celia signed a clipboard proffered by the driver. Celia’s mother hovered nearby, likely offering her typical chatty non-support.
“Robbie!” Celia’s mother called, throwing her arms open to hug her favorite and only son-in-law. He had barely received the hug when she blurted out, “The car’s fine! Celia just forgot to put it in PARK when we stopped.”
“Happens all the time,” the tow truck driver said. “No big deal.” He tore off Celia’s copy of the form and handed it to her. “The good news is, you don’t make that mistake twice,” he added as he got back in the truck and turned on its ignition.
Vaguely relieved that the car was fine, Rob found himself stuck on mistake. “You mean I drove out here for nothing?”
Celia’s mother looked at Rob, waved her arms and shook her head. “How do you solve a problem like my Celia?” she sang, mimicking the “Maria” song from The Sound of Music.
“I hate it when you do that!” Celia said to her mother. The moment she made eye contact with Rob, she burst into tears.
What happens next?