Friday, May 3, 2013


The road stretched in a seemingly endless ribbon.  It was as though the driver could see two days into the future.   The broken white center-line zipping by was beginning to have a deleterious hypnotic effect on the over-tired operator.  The Crown Vic drifted to the right, but the rumble .strip alerted Marcus to the danger and he pulled the car back into the lane.  He would be in Dalhart in a few minutes.

As Marcus entered the town from the northeast, he noted the Tri-State Motel on his left.  This only served to remind him of the extreme tiredness he was experiencing.  He was exhausted, yet how he hated to stop at this point.  Soon he saw the Ford dealership on the left.  He really must get that tail light fixed before dark.  Now was the time to take care of that.  He pulled in, parked near the service bays and walked into the service department entrance.

Marcus approached the high counter behind which a blond young man wearing a "Ford" ball cap looked up.  With a start, he thought "I know this man."  Yet he had never been in Dalhart in his life.  He placed his request for service, signed the work order, then he was escorted to the customer waiting area.  "Car'll be ready in forty-five minutes," the service manager told him.  Without looking in that direction, Marcus knew that to his right would be the receptionist.  He knew that she was an attractive middle-aged woman with short auburn hair.  There would be a nameplate on her desk, "Virginia Templeton."  The sales manager would be Chuck Lawton, whose office is right next to the reception area.

Marcus's heart was pounding and the eerie feeling that rushed over him was beyond explanation.  He had never been in Dalhart, yet he knew these things without any doubt whatsoever.

Two years earlier on a very warm Saturday afternoon in late September, Madeleine Wallace stood in front of the dealership's showroom with the young couple who were taking delivery on the new Fusion she had sold them.  Chuck snapped a photo of the three smiling people standing next to the vehicle, Maddy shook hands with the young wife and with her husband.  They drove away and Maddy walked back into the showroom, into her cubicle, and retrieved her purse.  "G'night, Ginny! I'm off to celebrate a good day.  Y'all have a happy weekend."

Maddy walked, virtually skipped, to the east side of the building where the program Mustang she was driving these days was parked.  She really liked the way the 'Stang handled, but she hated the lime green color Ford had chosen for this particular car.  She would be so happy when her new driver would be ready in November.  Maddy turned left onto Liberal and headed west into town.  She and Hubs would be at the Amarillo Country Club this evening for dinner with Sis and her new beau! Sunday she would get to visit with her best friend from high school days.

The green coupe entered the five-points intersection with the light.  The heavily laden semi coming from the south on 385 blew through the light.  The attendants at the hospital were able to determine from her driver's license that Maddy was an organ donor.  Her grieving husband, though in shock, verified that Maddy's wish was to help as many people as possible should something like this ever happen.

Early in October, Marcus kept his appointment with the surgeon who would effect his corneal transplant.  The operation was very successful, and Marcus's vision was clearly better when the bandages were removed.  In a matter of weeks the happy man found his eyesight to be much improved.

© 2013 David W. Lacy


Shelly said...

What a great story! Well crafted and and thought provoking~

Anonymous said...

They do say that happens...

Sharkbytes said...

Interesting twist!

vanilla said...

Shelly, thank you so much. I feel I have done well when you approve. This piece could be a reminder for readers to sign a donor card.

Grace, there be things beyond our ken!

Shark, I had wanted to write this for some time, but couldn't quite get it out, then when I started on it yesterday, it flowed quite easily.

Vee said...

A reminder to sign a donor card, but also a reminder to those who benefit to be thankful to the donors and their families. A year ago I was with my neighbor in the intensive care unit as someone explained to her that her husband's eyes could be donated. I witnessed her excitement at thinking someone else would have his beautiful blue eyes and then the sadness when told that others would receive only portions of his eyes. There needs to be more education for potential donors. (I'm listed as a donor but suspect everything would be turned down because my body parts are ancient.)

vanilla said...

Vee, I am extremely grateful to the donor, but of course I've no way to thank the family. I am listed, too, yet even more "ancient" than you.

Secondary Roads said...

A poignant story that illustrates the need and opportunity to help others. I like the bittersweet flavor of this tale.

vanilla said...

Chuck, life is largely a balancing act: happiness/sorrow, joy/pain, good/evil. I'm over-thinking this.