I come swinging around a blind curve and though I am not going fast, I nearly clip the back end of a car that is parked off the side of the road against the escarpment. I am startled and concerned as I edge forward slowly and pull up beside it. Leaning across my seat, I see a woman sitting within the vehicle. Though her window is misted with ice and her image is blurred, I can see her head tipped back as if she is napping. My heart lurches as I pray that she is only napping. “I need to see if she’s all right!” I see her move as if she heard my troubled thought and my heart settles its rapid beating. I sigh in relief as she lifts her head and drags a hand across her face. Then she sees me. Realizing that she is no longer alone, she panics and leans forward to try to start her car. The engine grinds and coughs, refusing to obey. She is crying now. I try getting her attention, to signal her that I mean no harm. She obviously needs my help. She shakes her head and tries again to escape but her car will not start. Looking around, I don’t see any place for me to pull over. Knowing there’s little traffic here on this mountain road; I set the emergency flashers just in case and put my car in park.
“This is ridiculous!” I think to myself as I open my car door to get out and go to her. “She’s not going anywhere and I won’t hurt her.”
I stop my approach as I suddenly realize why she is in a panic; this is a very lonely mountain road and she may think that I’m a dangerous man! I must proceed as gently as I can to help her. “I will help her!” I can see she is pale and shaking. I take a step back and hold out my hand, and wait. She slowly rolls her window down and turns her head to look squarely at me. As her frightened eyes lift to meet mine, a shock rolls through me like a static charge and I hold my breath as I await her decision. My smile wavers and my hand trembles. With our eyes locked, I feel as if I have stepped too close to a precipice and yet am beyond any ability, no, I have not even the desire, to step back. I see her and I feel as if I stand naked before her, so intense are the feelings that pass between us.