Click here to read Part I
What to do? He could get hypothermia!! Or he could just go back in the Shoppette. It is open 24-hours after all. They have heat. Hmm…
My long pause was probably not reassuring to Danny. Then I said, “What are you going to do?” He hadn’t asked me to come get him. He didn’t ask me to bring keys. More possibilities raced through my mind. We have AAA don’t we? Or something like that. Roadside assistance. That could take two hours. Maybe I could call Rochelle and ask her to watch the kids? Or ask her if her hubby Chris could take the keys to Danny? No. It’s 10:15 p.m. Mom taught me it’s not polite to call people after 9 p.m. and before 9 a.m. But this is kind of an emergency. Kind of. I might wake up her kids though. What if Danny’s car runs out of gas? He probably has the heater on; surely that will burn up the gas faster.
My silence was enough. Danny said, “I’m going to run home.”
“Uh…” I fumbled for the right words.
“Just put your keys in the mailbox so I don’t wake anyone,” he added.
More silence from me. “Okay dear? Well, I better get going. Love you bye.”
“Love you bye,” I mumbled.
What kind of wife lets her husband run home in negative 20 degree weather?!
I know that's what he’d prefer over me waking the kids. Of course, he would come get me if the situation were reversed. Of course he would. Okay, that’s what I’ll do. I’ll just call him first to let him know to run back in the Shoppette and wait.
No answer. Why didn’t I tell him that to begin with?
Maybe I shouldn’t wake any kids until I get a hold of him.
I decide to pull the van out of the garage and then get the heater going and turn on the heated seat. That should take the chill off before loading up. I’ll call him one more time.
Oh my gosh, he’s dead!
No he’s not. Don’t be daft. He probably has the phone in his pocket and his parka hood up and the chilly arctic wind is blowing so he can’t hear it. But he has to be able to hear it at ALL TIMES. That’s his job! HE’S DEAD! FROZEN! STUCK TO THE GROUND SOMEWHERE!
“Get a grip!” I tell myself out loud so my ears will hear it and believe it. “He’ll be fine.” I’ll just wait until it’s been a full hour. It doesn’t take a full hour to get home from the shoppette. But I'll wait.
I write his eulogy in my head.
I love you Danny. You were always there for me. And this one time I wasn't there for you and now you're gone.
LALALALA!!!! I delete the eulogy. and wait.
and wait some more.
Clink. My heart skipped a beat. Oh, OH! It’s just the mailbox. THE MAILBOX!! He made it! I rush to the kitchen window clutching my Ham and waving my phone wildly at him through the glass indicating to him to pick up his phone.
He picks it up.
“I’m so glad you’re alive,” I said.
“Me too,” he replied, “I’ll be back soon.”
Then Ham and I stood there at the window and waited for his return.
When Danny finally arrived home I grilled him:
“Are you totally frozen and frost-bitten?”
“Not totally,” he shivered.
“I was going to come get you but I wasn’t sure what to do. I’m sorry I made you run home.”
“You didn’t make me run home. It was my fault for locking my keys in the car.”
“But you would’ve come to get me,” I said.
“Well, I’m just glad I’m home in our warm home.”
“Me too. Want to hear your song?”
We lived happily ever after.
What am I leaving out? Danny almost fell a dozen times on the way home—no exaggeration. The one time he did fall, it was 100% SPLAT! He definitely likes to go ALL OUT when it comes to falling. Remind me to tell you about the time in ROTC. Heh heh. And when I ate the chips he brought me and savored every tiny little crumb, because that’s pretty much how they were after the great fall, I thought, “My Danny loves me. He risked his life to bring me chips.“