Once upon a time…
Read time: About a couple of min
On our way back from Tobermory, Ontario, Canada, a 4-hour drive, we began with the fuel tank needle pointing just above the empty sign. Just 10 minutes into the narrow road, I saw two gas stations. I was tempted to refuel on one of them, but they were not my preferred brand, so I decided against it.
Now the fun begins.
About an hour later, I was still looking for a gas station. I also woke up my family, who were sound asleep by then, to be vigilant and keep an eye for a gas station. No, any gas station. We were nearing a fully wooded stretch that does not have anything that looks habitable. I was nervous already, and my anxiety soared as the fuel tank needle went past the dreadful ‘E’ sign.
I couldn’t imagine our family stranded on a dark, deserted night in the middle of nowhere. Actually, I was imagining and exploring all options. Who would I call? How would I get help? I didn’t have a roadside assistance service because who needs one for a new vehicle. What do I have for protection (from what, I don’t know)?
I was reminding myself that the SUV maintains a reserve tank of 10 litres or more. Hoping I would have another 10 litres at the empty mark. I kept a brave front and prayed that would be enough to get us to a gas station and then home safely.
In the midst of this, kids wanted a bio break, which given the circumstances, may not have been such a problem if we were alright not having four walls for doing our business.
After nearly 2-hours of driving, we entered a small town where I saw a gas station. You won’t believe I was never so delighted to see a gas station all my life.
But luck had taken a day off tonight. The gas station operated during regular business hours, and the gas pumps were locked and not open for self-serve. I felt there should be a law for keeping gas stations open 24/7.
Now what you are about to read may seem unreal. But it is a fact.
Out of nowhere, a black sedan stopped behind as if they were following us. The dark window glass lowered in slow motion. A hand came out (appeared to be of a woman) and gestured me to take a left and go on. Before I could get out to get some clarity, the car was gone at full speed.
Now, do I take that advice against what my Waze map was prompting me to go? We are dead in the water already, so let’s take this chance. That was my executive decision.
We kept driving for nearly 20 minutes that felt like 20 hours. And, there it was. My preferred gas station brand. What a relief.
Remember, I mentioned that luck had a taken a day off. Unfortunately, this gas station was also closed for the day.
I was now wondering about the sedan person/women/’ghost’s’ instructions. Did she say left or right?
I was happy about one thing, though. The gas station could be our resting place till dawn. As I was about to turn and park, I saw an open ground filled with vehicles – trucks, cars, buses, etc. And then I saw huge fuel tanks. Did the sedan ‘angel’ wanted me to go there? I drove into the space and saw several fueling stations. I got closer to one of them and saw the instruction to call a phone number during off-hours. I wasn’t expecting anyone to pick up the phone, but I heard a lady’s voice after 2 rings to my surprise. I explained my situation to her. She asked me to swipe my credit card attached to the fuel tank and punch in the 6-digits she gave me over the phone.
I rejoiced the guzzling sound of gas pouring into my SUV’s tank as if it was breathing life into me. Finally, the tank was full, and my confidence was even fuller.
Sometimes we need to pick what’s available at that point. Waiting for the best may not be a wise choice. If waiting for the perfect offer never seems to materialize, don’t give up and consider taking what you’ve been offered. That might just be what you were looking for.
Brand or no brand. When it comes to survival, whatever saves lives is better than nothing. Whether it’s AZ, Moderna, Pfizer, etc. Whatever you can get your hands on, go for it.
In all this adventure, I remembered to thank the angel who from nowhere came to our rescue.
Until next week.