When I was twenty-five years old, a co-worker asked me if I’d like to have her old queen sized waterbed. Getting a truck was not an option, so I asked my twin brother for help. He was sure that he could secure the waterbed boards across the roof of his 2-door Ford Escort with bungee cords and rope. That evening he secured the unassembled bed to the roof and filled the interior with the headboard and waterbed liner. Happily driving down the highway with our varied sizes of thick and heavy, wooden boards tied to the roof of the car, we were not prepared for what happened next.
Ten minutes into our drive, we heard the “ping” and through the windshield, we saw the first cord snap. Dread filled us both because we were surrounded by vehicles and we begged simultaneously, “Please, God, don’t let anyone get hurt!” Then the second cord snapped and from above us, we heard the heavy “whoosh” of boards flying backwards across the roof. Knowing that serious injury to other motorists was likely, I urged my brother to pull across lanes and onto the exit ramp. I cried as I told him that I didn’t want him to get in trouble and we got out quickly, removing the rope that was still hooked to the car. We stood there, waiting with clenched stomachs, listening for the squeals of swerving cars, probable crashes, and the inevitable sirens. We held our breaths, glancing from the bright headlights of passing cars to one another. To our utter amazement, nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary.
From the exit ramp, we watched as cars whizzed by at normal speeds, without dodging any objects in the road. At this point, we guessed that even though we’d been traveling in the fast lane next to the median, the boards had flown up and over traffic, landing on the side of the road. Hesitantly, we got back into the car and drove up and down the same patch of highway and saw no sign of the waterbed boards or the bungee cords. We waited for daylight, and drove a mile in both directions from the site where we lost the boards, but still we found nothing. After an hour of searching, we looked at each other and nodded, remembering that we had prayed at the same time and must have been heard.
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