On a cozy early Friday evening, Lola had already set out, in good time, to attend an event to which she had been invited. It was a friend’s bridal shower. The bride maintained a close circle of friends and acquaintances that knew each other to various degrees. Some had been friends even before they met the bride. Many of them would attend the bridal shower. Many did not expect Lola would attend even when they knew she had acquired the outfits and other paraphernalia required for the day. “That’s her stock in trade”, they would variously charge, “she gets those items all the time and turns around to find some excuse not to show up eventually”. They had branded her an incurable introvert.
Lola knew she was an outgoing person. She was determined to get her friends to see that she could always come out to join them in socializing whenever she could. She had circulated in their events once before but now she was building a career and required time to herself to properly set the works right. She needed a break too and she saw that bridal shower as a getaway opportunity from her routine. She was looking forward to it. So she left her house early determined to be the first at the venue so she could earn bragging rights to censure those who might show up late. She wanted that outing to be worthwhile and be filled with good memories for her and her friends. She knew that in the coming weeks and months, she would be getting involved which would demand her all.
Lola was a careful driver. She drives for herself and defensively looks out for other road users. She had had no incidents of accidents or near misses. The only scratch on her car was marked by her twelve-year-old nephew. And it was already getting dulled.
So on that cozy evening as she was driving on the road, maintaining the right traffic lane, minding her business, and looking out for others. Out of the blue, oncoming towards her direction, two vehicles, one, a lorry, and another, a tanker was struggling for the road. The tanker was attempting to overtake the lorry, and the lorry was not yielding to the road. The road was a double-lane road – one lane each for either direction of traffic flow.
Lola was petrified but calm. The tanker was right in her lane moving head-on towards her and blaring its horn. As the tanker raged on, the horn-blaring didn’t stop. That began to unsettle Lola quite badly. Then she felt the tanker was intent on attacking her frontally. So she panicked her. In that panic, to avoid a head-on collision, she slowed down to a snail’s speed and steered the car nearer and nearer the fringe of that road. But the tanker continued to charge on and the lorry was unyielding to be overtaken by it.
The tanker driver was done with his road rage, fortunately, was able to break just about 20m from where Lola’s car was. Had Lola steered the wheels further by as much as an inch, the front wheels would have run into the gutter. The car hung by the edge of the wall of the drainage. The tanker driver moved on, without remorse, in chase of the lorry to overtake it at some other point.
Lola was able to recover quickly from the shock. She was determined to get to the party to celebrate her survival. She had a memorable evening but she had also acquired some phobia for tankers and Lorries on the road.