On a busy day.
I had to run home and get some clothes folded and packed. Big plans for the weekend. I didn’t feel rushed. I had everything done I needed to do. I had plenty of time to take lunch.
I went through a drive-thru to pick up something to eat. I circled around the parking lot to get out. Traffic is crazy on a Friday at the start of a long holiday weekend. So there was no point in fighting it.
I needed to turn right out of the parking lot. This parking lot being one in a long string of parking lots. With a sidewalk running the length of it, crossing the pulling in and pulling out cars. I had to inch up, no one coming. No body. Cars parked to my right. I had to inch up to see past them. No body coming. No body. I had to look left and wait a few seconds for that car to pass. My foot is on the brake. I start to lift my foot off of the brake as I swing my direction to the right, in the direction I am turning.
But 2 inches in front of my car is a woman and a stroller. In front of her, already past my car is her husband, boy friend, brother, who ever.
Where the hell did they come from?
They were not walking on the sidewalk when I pulled up. There were no people out. None. No body.
I slam my foot back down on the brake. She looks up.
She hated me in that split second.
I don’t blame her.
The man never stopped walking but looked back with hate.
I did blame him. You led them right in front of a car already across the sidewalk. They followed.
In one billionth of a second I rationalized, blamed and accepted blame.
I started to shake a little.
I can not explain to you how close they were to my car. And only for an angel watching over me had I not quickly moved my foot from the brake to the gas to stomp out of the parking lot. My foot had remained covering the brake.
Because there was no body there when I pulled up, looked right and left. I have no idea how they materialized in front of my car.
I was stopped, on the sidewalk, so I could see. The only way I could have gotten on the sidewalk was that there were no people there. The sidewalk being part of the drive way out of the parking lot.
If my foot had gone to the gas I would have plowed in to that woman and that stroller.
And I could not have lived with myself.
It wouldn’t have mattered who’s fault it would have been.
My rationalization: is that I was there, across the sidewalk before they ever showed up from where they were coming from, had they been there I would not have crossed over the walk, I couldn’t have. Having been on the sidewalk I had that right of way. They came from where they came from and walked across the front of my car. Knowing I was right there to pull out.
My blaming them: they should never have pushed that baby stroller in to the path of a car in the process of pulling out.
My accepting blame: they were there, in front of me and I nearly hit them.
My heart is racing.
I could have killed them.