The help in the nick of time

The help in the nick of time

Pauline yawned. Physically drained from waiting tables that busy night, she was glad that her shift had finally ended. Being the last to leave that small town restaurant, Pauline pulled down the shutters skilfully. It was a nightly ritual that she was used to and she embraced the noble responsibility that her supervisor had entrusted her with – to ensure that the place was locked up before she headed home.

As she looked at the red sky, Pauline knew that a heavy downpour was imminent. Hoping not to be drenched she quickened her pace as she made her way to her old little car that was parked a few streets away. As she walked, Pauline’s left eyelid kept twitching and that gave her an unusual ominous feeling. “Is something bad going to happen?” Pauline wondered. However, she refused to be taken in by superstition and she brushed that thought aside.

Upon reaching her car, Pauline tried to unlock the vehicle. To her surprise, the car was not locked. She attributed that to her growing forgetfulness and did not dwell on it any further. As it started to pour, Pauline got into her car hastily. She was glad. She had found shelter in the nick of time. When Pauline turned her key, the car’s engine roared feebly and she was thankful. Her trusted friend did not fail her on such a dreary night. Then, her left eyelid twitched again. “It is nothing,” Pauline assured herself. “I must be too tired.”

While she cruised down the dimly lit road, Pauline had a funny feeling that she was not alone in the car. Yet, nothing caught her eye as she glanced momentarily at her rear view mirror. Pauline concluded that she was being overly imaginative.

Suddenly, a strong beam of light shone from the van that was behind her. The van driver also started to sound his horn incessantly. Pauline was shocked. Thinking that the van driver wanted to overtake her, she carefully manoeuvred her car onto the next lane. However, the van driver drove even closer to the back of the Pauline’s car. He persisted in shining the strong beam of light and sounding the ceaseless horn at her.

Baffled by the situation, Pauline yearned to drive faster. She desired to tear herself away from the van that was tailing her. Unfortunately, her car was too old to go any faster. It would be too dangerous to do so on roads that were extremely slippery as well. Pauline’s heart raced wildly amidst the unexpected circumstance and accelerating her vehicle was out of the question.

Resolved to find out what exactly was happening, Pauline pulled over at the road shoulder. The car driver did likewise, with its headlights still shining brightly at Pauline’s car. Braving the merciless downpour, Pauline marched sternly to the van driver. “What exactly do you think you are doing?” Pauline barked ferociously.

“Get into my van immediately!” the van driver commanded. Sensing the urgency in his voice, Pauline hopped into the front passenger seat of the van. From the elevated position, Pauline saw a knife wielding man crouching in the backseat of her car! She finally understood the van driver’s seemingly bizarre behaviour. He had attempted to capture her attention to save her from an impending danger, one that could have taken her life.