As Peter wheeled onto I-23 heading south toward Toledo, his mind flooded with thoughts of his father. The dream is always the same. His dad is crying out in agony, pleading for someone, anyone, to end his pain.
Everyday it’s the same. The same dream.
It’s been more than eight years. You’d think I’d stop thinking about those days. God! Those jerks! They treated that man like shit. What’s worse is I let them get away with it. I should have helped him more. He wouldn’t have let me suffer like that, he thought.
Dodging a hole the size of an old Volkswagen bug, Pete pushed the Maxima up to 80 and hoped the construction on I-75 would be occupying the state cops.
Every year it’s the same. We get all excited about spring and then they start road construction. Despite the promise of spring after a wretched Michigan winter, everything will be miserable all summer. Traffic will be backed up everywhere.
This time, they’ve done a really good job. The main road south, I-75, will be a total morass for the next 18 months. One lane going each direction! And about a million cars and trucks an hour will be trying to get through that hole. I-23, the only real alternative, is scheduled for repair, too. How in hell do they expect people to get anything done?
Michigan is not known for its roads, to say the least, he thought. Or, intelligent road project management either. Combine that with the Ohio road commission guys and life will be miserable for the travelin’ public.
Ohio will be widening the roads on their side of the border. That’s just great!
So how much worse could it possible be?
Too late. Before he saw it, the next hole swallowed up his right front wheel.
Now I’ll be lucky to make it to Ohio driving sideways ‘cause my frontend is so far out of alignment!
His thoughts returned to his father. Ever since he began to be ill ... Suddenly a Michigantrain whooshed past him at an ungodly speed, pushing the little Maxima toward the guardrail.
His father was a tremendously powerful influence on him. A son’s hero, he also was the real thing, a war hero, who always put others first. More importantly, he loved his family. Pete’s childhood was filled with love and support, if not a lot of money.
But, then, Pete didn’t feel a need for the more upscale things in life. Simple things seemed to make him happy – a walk in the woods, a laugh with a friend. His dad and mother were insistent that he go to college when the time came. He had found high school pretty boring and was ready for a taste of real life on his own. However his family had done it, they had raised him to be a self-starter and most of all intellectually skeptical. On the downside, he was too trusting and his girl friend said – too forgiving – except when the forgiving involved her.
Suddenly his car began to shimmy and shake. “Shit,” he thought. “Mom is going to be disappointed this weekend. There’s no way I can make it home with the car doing this stupid dance routine.”
With no alternative but to turn back and find a garage, Pete started to move toward the up coming exit. He didn’t see the semi bearing down upon him and the semi driver didn’t anticipate Pete’s sudden lane change. Pete turned his blinker on just as the trucker turned into the lane.
Once again, too late. The semi ran completely over the Maxima. Pete instantly, thankfully, lost consciousness.Chapter 3