“Sweetheart, I need help! The Alfasud just ran out of petrol on the side of the road leading out of the city, and I think I saw my sister crash into another car!” As he heard those words being echoed through the speaker of his phone, he immediately rushed into action – leaving his oldest daughter to safeguard the house, while he left to assist his wife. He stepped into his Alfa-Romeo 33 Quadrifoglio Verde – progressing onto the road leading into the city, leaving him to depend entirely on the headlamps of his vehicle as he drove through the inky blackness of the night. It seemed that under his current state of anxiety, his knowledge of this road was evading him. He had always known when to expect those sweeping bends, when to anticipate the straightaway cutting through the large avenue of trees and when to predict the start of the serpentine segment of that road – wrapping itself around the mountain like a thin ribbon. What frustrated him far more was the lack of agility that his car had. Surely, being the successor to the Alfasud her wife drove, he expected more refinement. He thought back to the day he bought it – remembering how it was being marketed as containing only the best bits of the Alfasud. In his current situation however, he did wish he was driving an Alfasud instead. “Why did they live so far out of the city?” He wondered. If they lived nearer to the city, he would now be wrapping his arms around his wife.
His wife was now running towards the crash she had observed, yelling as she approached the scene. She was surprised to discover that the crash had occurred much farther away than she had anticipated – resulting in her arriving at the site of the collision at the same time as the police and the tow-emergency services. It was as the Alfa-Romeo Sprint and the Alfa-Romeo GT were being lifted onto the rear-bed of the tow-truck, that the gravity of the situation struck her – her sister was the one involved in that collision. Could it be that her attempt to call her sister led to this catastrophe? Momentarily distracted by the two vehicles now being towed away, it took some time for her to notice the eyes of her sister beginning to water. It seemed that her days and nights of isolation had resulted in her developing a strong emotional connection with her vehicle. Bearing witness to this collision scene however, she decided to step back from it and stand in the darkness. “Perhaps appearing so soon after her collision might look suspicious,” she wondered. As she returned to the refuge of the Alfasud she had left behind, she noticed a man standing underneath the tree where the remnants of the Alfa-Romeo Sprint had been salvaged. The car might have belonged to him. As she proceeded to leave, she consoled her lack of intervention by murmuring, “with the vast deposit of resources my sister has at her disposal, she will be fine.”
The man who had been identified standing underneath the tree was indeed the owner of the Alfa-Romeo Sprint that had been towed away. It seemed that an uncanny connection between his thoughts and the events of this particular evening had led him to fortify his conviction towards becoming the founder of his own bakery. He had now completely dismissed the thought of being in a relationship with his co-worker – deciding that he did not want to be a part of that world anymore. It was at that moment that he came to the conclusion that had his job not made him feel as miserable as he was, he would have never driven out of his house and been involved in this collision. If only he knew the thoughts running through the mind of his co-worker, maybe then his decisions would have been different. If only he knew that the events of that evening had led to his co-worker changing her mind about being in relationships. If only he had known that a relationship with this woman would have been precisely what he needed to confront the unresolved trauma he had of being raised as an orphan. If only he knew that she had never been in a relationship before, things might have unfolded differently. However, his dismissal of her coupled to the reticence from the both of them meant that far too many things had been left unsaid. Perhaps this might have been a lost opportunity to the both of them – an opportunity that might never avail itself again.
It was after midnight, and the light from two distinct headlamps had begun to flash behind the Alfasud. It seemed that in her eternal wait for her husband, she had dozed off inside her car. She was surprised to step outside the car to find her husband carrying a large bottle of petrol in the one hand, and a funnel in the other – remembering very well that they did not own these resources. He refueled the Alfasud and returned to his Alfa-Romeo 33 under the assumption that they were going to travel in convoy to the scene of the crash and assist her sister. As they reached the intersection where the events of the night before had unfolded, they were surprised to find the area had been swept clean. Both cars were gone, the police had disappeared and her sister and that man had also vanished! It was almost as if nothing had happened – like everything she had seen a few hours before had been nothing but an elaborate dream. As they both proceeded onto the road leading to their home, they noticed a large indent on the side of a massive tree – the only visible evidence of what had transpired that night … and as I stare down at my wrist to check the time, I know I have to walk to the next lecture venue.