47. Night Drive

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It was about 20 years ago, when I was in middle school.

There was a neighbor, Tanaka san. She was a married woman. When I was younger, she was very kind and friendly and I used to visit her. But ever since she lost her husband, her character completely changed. She closed herself from outer world and I got distant from her.

One day, when I was about to return from after school basketball practice, I saw Tanaka san coming in the jim. It was around 8 at night. "She is my neighbor," I informed my teacher. As I said, my teacher went to the entrance to talk with her.

That teacher came back with serious expression. "She says your father met with an accident,"

"What!?" It was so sudden, I couldn't believe it.

"It seems she came to pick you up in car. Go with her, she said she will take you to the hospital,"

It had been years to be with her but I knew her very well, or I thought so so I went with her in her car.

When she started driving, I tried to talk with her.

"Where is my father right now?"

"In hospital,"

"Which hospital?"

"Near by hospital,"

"What is his condition right now?"

"I don't know,"

She didn't show any interest on long conversation.

She drove quite afar and I started to feel uneasy. She was driving towards outskirts of the city. Hospitals were in the central parts of the city and even my house was on the other direction. Once we would go into the mountain road, it would take lot of time to reach next city.

After a while of driving, we reach the area where we could hardly see any house nearby. When we drove across a home center, I told her, "I had to talk with my teacher once, I will just call her," I said and forced her to stop the car and went into the home center.

When I peeked through the window, I saw Tanaka san parking her car and coming inside. I got scared and rushed to the back door and got out and at the good timing, I got a taxi and went back home. My mom paid for the fee once I reached home.

When I went in, dad was there, drinking beer in front of TV.

I still get goosebumps thinking of that day. What would have happened if I didn't get out of her car?

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