Universal Signs

“It’s a cruel law of the universe that when you’re already having a horrible day, someone will rear-end your car.” Static hissed, cutting in on the radio announcer’s voice.

I shut the radio off, drumming my fingers on the steering wheel. I peered out my window to spy an end to the bumper-to-bumper traffic, but the cars continued as far as my eye could see. We inched forward, the herd of us as sirens cried in the distance. Drivers honked and cussed until they’d drowned the wailing sirens out. I groaned and rolled up my window, blocking some of the noise. I rubbed my temples, bowing my head onto my wheel.

“Why is it universally accepted that Mondays are bound to suck?” I lifted my head to see traffic start to pick up. “There may still be some hope left. Now, if I can just get home.”

Police led drivers around bits and pieces of a wrecked truck, urging traffic forward. I waved and smiled to the one closest to me as I passed. I steered myself away from the highway at the first sight of a back road, rolling my window back down. I let the fresh air breeze through my hair, raking my fingers through it. I closed my eyes for one second before they snapped open at the sound of a scream.

“Doc, get back here!”

A little boy ran after a black puppy that’d scurried across the road. I slammed on my brakes, bringing my car to a grinding halt as the boy froze. My head bounced off the steering wheel when the truck behind me couldn’t stop it time, crashing into me. The little boy scooped the puppy up in his arms and trudged off the road, making his way to the truck behind me. I unbuckled, holding my head up as it throbbed. Footsteps hurried to my side, and I looked up to see a young man trying to open the door.

“Miss, are you okay? Do you need an ambulance?”

I shook my head, unlocking the door and sliding to my feet. When I stumbled, he held me steady.

“Are you sure? Jay, get my phone.” He led me away from the wreck, sitting me down on the front porch of his home.

The little one handed his father the phone, letting his puppy back into the house. He came around and stood next to us, shaking.

“I’m sorry! Doc got away from me again.” Jay hugged his father. “I’m sorry, daddy. I’m sorry to you too, ma’am!”

Jay started to cry, and I waved him over, wiping his tears. “It’s okay. Accidents happen, and this time, no one got seriously hurt.”

I saw the father mouth ‘thank you’ out of the corner of my eye, and I smiled. Jay hugged me and hurried inside to take car of Doc.

“I can’t tell you what a relief it is to know everyone is okay.” He offered his hand. “Alan Wilson. I’m sorry to meet you and your car like this.”

I chuckled, shaking his hand. “Olivia Moore. Nothing a good mechanic can’t fix, I’m sure.”

He beamed. “Well, then you’re in luck because I have yet to meet a car I can’t fix.”

“I don’t know if I can pay, but-”

“No need! This will make up for me hitting your car in the first place. It’s the least I can do.”

“What about your truck, it must be-” I caught sight of it. “Just fine? How’s that possible?”

“A steel bumper holds up pretty well.” He strolled over to his truck, knocking on the dented bumper. “It sure I can fix that right up.” He gestured to my car’s busted rear end. “That’s gonna take some time.”

“Is there any way I can help?”

He nodded, grinning. “What do you say you help me in the garage after dinner tonight?”

I smiled, shaking my head. “Smooth, Mr. Wilson, very smooth. I hope this isn’t a regular routine, getting girls like this?”

He hopped in his truck, pulling it into the drive. “And why not?”

“I’m afraid there’d be some bodies on your track record.”

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