Deer in the Headlights

| June 01, 2005

Normally, I wouldn’t have stopped, but they were just kids, broken down on the side of the road, and I figured it was South Dakota, what could go wrong? They had a baseball bat in the car, and as you noticed, they used it. We drove 30 miles before they rolled me out near Mud Butte. I found out later they were transporting drugs. Their car was recovered where they left it, and mine was found along I-90 the next day. The boys themselves were caught in a borrowed Honda somewhere in Minnesota.

I don’t remember much of that night. You probably know more of the details than I. What I do remember, besides the pain and the dark, was your voice. I can still hear your kind reassurances that I could be OK and your story about a son you were afraid would not be.

I spent a week wondering how I could possibly thank you, but once I hit upon my idea, you’d be surprised how easy it was to find the information I needed. Plus, I pulled a few strings, for which I hope you will forgive me. I was afraid you would not accept a check, so instead I have paid your hospital bill. I hope your boy is doing well. If you are ever in my neck of the woods, give me a call. I’d like to thank you in person.”

Jimmy heard his wife rip open a second envelope. “Jimmy, it’s zeroes. The hospital bill! He paid it all!

He pulled his truck to the side of the road. For the first time in nine months, the eyes that met his in the mirror belonged to a free man.

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