It was late. Her name was Lacy. She jumped out of her car and walked into work, wearing her food-service uniform. Visor on her head. Tired eyes. Slumped posture.
Lacy had been working herself silly to support her two children. This was her second job.
A man approached her. He pretended to ask for directions. He was carrying a knife. A big one. The kind of blade you’d used to clean a boar hog. He backed her against a wall. He told Lacy to get on the ground.
Then, another man appeared. He was wearing a plain T-shirt. Jeans. And he was barefoot. Also, he was roughly nine feet tall. At least that’s how Lacy remembers it from her position, lying on the ground.
The man with the knife took one look at Barefoot Guy and sprinted for parts unknown.
Lacy was going to thank her rescuer, but by the time she got to her feet, he was gone. Nobody nearby recalled seeing a barefoot man.
“I know what I saw,” Lacy says. “I ain’t crazy.”
A truck driver. The rural parts. He was driving a backroad. It was late. There were no other vehicles in sight. The roads were poorly marked. He was lost.
It gets dark in the country. City mice aren’t ready for the kind of blackness found out in the sticks. He drove through the inky dark, hoping to get a sense of where he was. Hoping to figure out how to get back to civilization. But he only grew more lost.
Then. He saw a figure on the side of the road. Flagging him down.
It was a boy. He was maybe 19. The kid looked like he was hitchhiking. Except he wasn’t. The young guy refused to get in the truck. The young man instead told the trucker he had been sent to deliver a message.
“A message?” the trucker asked.
“The road’s washed out,” said the young man. “Turn around. Go back the way you came.”
The trucker managed an agonizing jackknife turn. He took a detour. The next morning, a Chevy Impala was found where the road had collapsed. The car was full of teenagers. All deceased.
“I don’t know who that kid was,” he said. “For 30 years I’ve seen his face in my dreams.”
Years ago. A young woman was on her way to pick up her brother from a friend’s house party. Her brother had too much to drink. She was 17.
“My brother was a fun loving guy,” she remembers.
And by “fun loving,” she means he was the kind of party animal who made John Belushi look like a librarian.
Her brother crawled into the backseat of her car and passed out. He was asleep in a matter of nanoseconds.
She aimed her car for home. When she reached the first stoplight, there was a woman standing at the light.
The old woman looked like she was begging for money from motorists. She was ratty looking. Stringy hair. She approached the car window. She used a voice that did not sound elderly. It was strong and commanding.
“Your brother needs a doctor,” she said.
“What?” said the girl. “No. He’s just drunk.”
“Your brother needs a doctor right now. He is having an aneurysm.”
Just to be safe, the girl drove to an urgent care. Her brother was whisked away by medical personnel, placed in critical care. It was an aneurysm. He’s alive and well today.
So I know you’ve probably had a busy day. I know you’ve got a lot going on in life. Your world is probably crazy right now with unpredictable variables and complicated situations that look hopeless.
You have cancer. You have lupus. Diabetes. Autoimmune problems. You have a child who is dying. You had to put your dog down. Your spouse cheated.
Your son is addicted. Your business is collapsing like a pup tent in a hailstorm. Your bank account is in the red. And just when it couldn’t get any worse, your college team sucks.
There are days when you aren’t sure whether you’re going to survive. Days when you feel so completely alone you aren’t certain what the point is.
Well, Lacy just wanted to take a moment and tell you something.
“You are not alone,” Lacy says. “Not even a little bit.”