The Moment You Hear Real Love for the First Time
It took totaling a car to realize my new boyfriend was the one
It took two seconds that morning. Two seconds of taking my eyes off the road at a traffic light. There was an aggressive driver behind me. I turned to make sure he wasn’t going to hit me. I was rushing from the gas station to an appointment I had 10 instead of 20 minutes to get to. I felt the pressure, felt rage at the car behind me.
I didn’t even register the crash. Sure, I heard the sickening thud and breaking glass. However, in my mind, I had stopped the car as I knew traffic ahead of me was slow. It wasn’t until I looked at the hood of my mother’s 2013 Hyundai Sonata and saw that it was folded up like an accordion that I began to see what had happened. There were no smells of fluid, of gas, or rubber. There was only the foreboding of what my car looked like.
I got out and spoke to the lady in the car ahead of me. Breathing a little that no one was hurt. Kicking myself for being careless. Then, I looked at the ruined fracture of the car.
The hood had smashed back obstructing six or seven inches of the windshield. The front looked monstrous. Both headlights were smashed in. Chemicals were spilling down the street — chemicals that should have been protected. Chemicals that carried no odor. Beyond that was the hundreds of shards of glass littering the street sparkling in the March sun.
I walked away from that car accident with a small ache in my back. The car didn’t make it out at all. After things were settled: calling off work, getting a rental, calling the accident into the insurance company, I went to the hospital to get my back checked out.
At 6:30 that night, a black Lincoln pulled up outside of my house. For the first time that day, I felt relief as I greeted the brown-haired man with the kindest blue eyes I’ve ever seen. I slid into the Lincoln and we talked: about the day, about what had happened, including showing him the photos of the wreck.
I felt a pit in my stomach. I’ve always had anxiety. I saw a hundred different scenarios, none of them good. What if I got arrested? What if I lost my license? What if I couldn’t afford monthly payments on both a spike in insurance and a new car?
Small tears started to trickle in the sides of my eyes. I would save the sobs for later. I told him that it would probably be best to leave me now. He looked at me with determination in his eyes, “No way in hell” was all he said. He told me that no matter what came at me, we’d make it through. I knew at that moment that he was the one.
You never know how your words and actions will affect someone, especially when they are in a delicate state of being. Your words can make someone feel loved after 33 years of questioning what love is. Your actions can make someone feel emotionally safe, that they can be vulnerable with you. Your words can even pick someone up when they’re at the end of their rope. Choose wisely, you’ll never know what effect they will have.
This post was written in response to the prompt to use elements of fiction to bring a true story to life.