The clock is ticking. Time might be my enemy today.
I notice a couple in their SUV, pulling out of a driveway. I wonder if they’re nice, normal people and then decide to take the risk and ask them to give me a lift.
I’m really hot and tired by this stage and I’m worried about getting back to my sister’s house in time to make my appointment, which is an hour’s drive further north than I’ve already travelled.
Today, I have a medical appointment at a hospital three hours north of where I live. I left home early with my three-year-old, in a luggage-packed car and plenty of time on my side. I’m about to get the quickest answer to prayer I’ve ever received.
Let me back up for a minute.
I’ve driven to my sister’s house where my son and I are staying for two nights. After dropping my son off at his Granddad’s to be babysat for the day, I park on the lawn, unlock the front door, drop my handbag (with everything in it) inside the front door and return to the car to unpack.
I’ve taken everything out of the car and piled it up outside the house.
I grasp the lever on the front door. It won’t move. A feeling of dread plummets into my tummy. The door has made a vile move against me on this busy, hot day and self-locked. The bitch!
I pat my hands around my jeans pockets, searching for my mobile phone. I have no phone, car keys, nothing. They’re all in my handbag inside the house. A whispered curse escapes my lips. Of all days, this cannot be happening today!
Panic turns into quick thinking and I start knocking on neighbours’ front doors until I find one who’ll not only open their door to me, but also let me use their phone.
I call my husband. My husband calls my brother-in-law. My brother-in-law calls me. He’s in Perth with the spare key, working. The only other spare key is with my niece and she’s at school. Fortunately, the school isn’t too far away.
I have to leave everything (including my unlocked car and several valuables) and walk to the school. Well, that’s where I think I’m going.
It’s 11am, 33 degrees celsius and I’m already feeling too hot. I’m puffing, I’m scared of burning and also worried about passing out (I have a history of heat exhaustion).
The school feels like a light year away. I’m not even sure I’m heading in the right direction. After about ten minutes, I discover I’m heading in the wrong direction and turn around. And that brings me back to the couple pulling out of a driveway in their SUV.
The couple clearly thinks I’m strange but respond kindly to my request for a lift and take me to my niece’s school. I thank them repeatedly then wait at reception in the air conditioning while the key is being retrieved from my niece in class. I’m feeling impatient but try to relax.
The key is finally in my hot little hands and I start walking back. Two minutes pass and I’m already completely over the heat so I squash my pride and employ my hitchhikers thumb. Another risk.
No one stops. I hope someone is going to pick me up and take me back to my sister’s house – not some unfamiliar place to slaughter me. I try not to think about all the possible things an evil person could do to me.
I’ve been whispering prayers in my head up until this point.
This time I literally pray out loud for the very next car to pick me up. Two seconds later, a car approaches. The driver stops and invites me to sit in the passenger seat. There’s a cute Chihuahua in the back seat. The nice old lady drops me back at my sister’s house.
I unlock the house door, again, go inside, drink copious amounts of water and tear my jeans off to cool down. I still have time on my side. I’ll make it in time for my MRI appointment at the hospital after all.