Veterans Day, my son Beau and I head out to dinner. He warms up his car in bitter cold and we brave the snowiest November Colorado has seen in ninety-three years. Traveling via Hampden Ave to Parker Road, the car stalls in a small curvy corner on one of the busiest five lane streets in Aurora. We have run out of gas.
“How can you run out of gas?” I ask mom like.
“Well I had fifty miles left when I left Metro.” Confused he taps the fuel gage.
“Ok, so you left downtown, came home, drove to work out and back home. That’s more than fifty miles.” I smile.
The roads have become dangerously icy in the darkness, cars are taking the overpass to fast. I’m sure we will be rear-ended. Beau flicks on the hazard lights and I turn on the dome praying everyone will know we are there. Vehicles of all sizes zoom by narrowly missing us. My heart is in my stomach , the windows fog up from our breath and the freezing temperatures flow in from the floorboards.
I call my oldest son Blake, “We have an emergency. Beau ran out of gas, we are stranded.”
Without hesitation he comforts, “I am at Lowes, I will pick up a gas can and be there in fifteen.”
We wait. We joke, we talk, we wait. Time goes slow, my toes cramp in my boots. A car with one headlight pulls up behind us… someone nice has stopped to see if we need help.
The car with a broken headlight still lingers behind us. I can’t see the driver. Why would they just be sitting there? Creepy.
A bit of panic sets in. “Ok that’s a serial killer behind us trying to see who’s in our car.”
“Mom! Are you serious?” Beau stares into the rearview, his face mirroring my edginess.
The warmth inside is all but gone, shivering we watch the roadside murderer inch up behind us.
Blake flashes his lights, here to save us.
Our focus remains locked on the bundled up, hooded killer pulling into traffic, staring us down as he passes by.
Sigh of relief, we will eat tonight.
Beau is the one in the middle.