Courtesy

June 19th, 2019

The traffic light changed from red to green indicating free passage on the road. A black BMW crossed the busy highway and continued onward on the back-road that had a short incline upward and then gradually sloped down. It was a beautiful day. The bright sky had small patches of wispy clouds. It had been raining for the past few days. On the left side of the road one could see the emerald waters of the Coot lake, now full to the brim. The lake had a lot of visitors– dog owners taking a stroll or avid runners on their daily rounds. A middle-aged man was waiting at the road’s edge, waiting to cross.

I spotted him too. I had a lot on my mind. I was driving back to work after dropping off two delicious sandwiches for my teenagers 16 and 14, at home. We had just got back from an enjoyable two week vacation. I had a lot of emails to catch up on. I was in a hurry to get back to work.

I suddenly noticed that the car in front of me was not moving. The blue corolla had stopped to let the pedestrian cross the road. I was too late to notice this. I slammed on my brake to stop. THUD! I was shocked to find that I did not have enough space to stop. The back of the car suddenly looked beat up and old. Really, was the car made of paper? My car did not seem to be as badly affected, I thought.

The courteous driver let the pedestrian cross the road. The man waited on the other side. The blue car pulled over on the right side. A lady, looking more like a young boy, got out and inspected her damage and called on her mobile phone. The pedestrian man nodded in approval and left the spot.

I felt like a scolded child and pulled over right behind the Toyota Corolla. Imagine my surprise when I saw the front grill of the BMW bent and damaged. The left side light was also broken. The emblem that lies flat on the bonnet was jutting out like a round badge. It was certainly not a badge of honor. It was more like a badge of humiliation when I realized the extent on my mistake. There was some steam coming out of the front grills. It seeming like the fuming anger of the courteous driver, who spoke not a single word to me.

I felt small. My ego took a huge hit.

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