The drive north was uneventful until the last half mile. I was listening to NPR when suddenly up ahead in the middle of the road was a young woman. I veered away from her and continued on, I said to myself, “She’s going to get killed.” I turned around and came up beside her, “You want a flashlight?” She replied, “Can I get a ride to the bottom of the hill?” I agreed but I instantly dreamt up a lot of bad scenarios.
The minute she entered the car I smelled alcohol over her overpowering perfume. She looked as if she was around Tashi’s age, which later she told me she was. I asked her where she was heading, “Can you take me home to Sonoma?” Again I agreed, all the while my mind was saying, “This could turn out real bad. That’s all you need is her telling people you attacked her.”
As we drove towards her parent’s house, I told her to take care of herself and to seek help should drinking become a problem. She told me how her sister was killed in a drunk driving accident and you could just tell she was self medicating her pain away. We talked about how she was traumatized and how she needs help. We approached her destination, she jumped out and off she went… I turned around and continued no my journey home thinking to myself, at 23 she’s heading down a sad and painful path. This too will pass