Monday evening, and it’s time for marketing class. I’ve been at school for most of the day, so I’m feeling a little less than enthusiastic about another two hours of instruction. Mr. Payne is a good teacher who does his best to make the material interesting as he presents it, and before long I’m involved in the class, listening intently to his lecture. At the same time, however, it’s much harder than it normally is for me to concentrate, and the doldrums settle again.
After about an hour, we take a short break, and the ennui evaporates as I mosey outside to soak up some late afternoon sunshine. Daylight savings time just kicked in, so even though it’s seven o’clock, the sun is only just setting. I kick off my slides and stand barefoot in the springy grass under the oak tree, reveling silently in the evening breeze that whips the oak’s branches and ruffles my hair. It’s good to be alive and outside, but I really don’t want to go back into class. Ah well…I shuffle back into the classroom for another hour and a half of torture…er, instruction.
Finally, class is dismissed, and we walk outside in groups, discussing our group projects which will be due at the end of the semester, now only a few weeks away. As we stand around the front door, one of the guys in my class, knowing my transportation situation (my car died three weeks ago), offers to give me a lift to the coffee shop just down the road. I accept gladly, thinking I’ll get a cup of coffee and wait in comfort until my brother comes to get me.
Well, that would have been nice.
Arriving at the coffee shop, I thanked my friend for the ride, went inside and ordered a cup of coffee. All was well until I reached into my back pocket for my wallet. Which wasn’t there.
“Crud…I left my wallet.” The barista stared at me like I was strung out on something, and I repeated my statement twice before he heard (or comprehended). “Dude, that’s terrible…” “Yeah,” I cut in, “but thankfully, I know where it is, and I’ll be able to get it tonight.” I left the coffee shop at a brisk walk, silently thanking the Lord that it was only about a mile back to school, and not ten.
Walking along a busy road at night, for those of you not fortunate enough to have had that experience, is not exactly the most comfortable activity. Before long, I was more than a little nervous about the cars whizzing past just on the other side of the white line. One girl in particular made me nervous, because as she passed, I could see that she was watching her cellphone and not paying very close attention to the road. How I wished for an air horn right at that moment! But alas, I had none. The serial texter went her way, and I continued on mine, thankful that she hadn’t run me over…this time.
Shortly after this near-miss, I saw a police car coming towards me in the middle of a stream of cars. I knew I wasn’t doing anything against the law, but a guy walking alone at night might be cause for concern, particularly in a small town like Forest City, where most people retire to the house behind locked doors as night falls. Night life is non-existent here in Small Town USA, and even the bowling alley closes before midnight on weekdays. But he continued on, not even touching his brakes, and I was now at the school, thankful for arriving without incident. My brother arrived a few minutes later, and we went home, a few minutes later than I would have liked. As we arrived home, I thanked the Lord again for a place to call home, where I could lay down and sleep in safety, far from the busy street and rushing cars driven by blondes who watch their phone more than the road.