“What if this is a trap, Mom?” she said as we headed down I-26 toward the St. Andrew’s exit. “What if he robs us?”
“It’s broad daylight! We’ll be in public. Nobody will hurt us.”
She was unconvinced. “You don’t know that. He could have a gun.”
I told her not to worry. We would be completely safe.
But Linda’s watched way too many scary movies. “What if he’s a rapist? Or tries to kidnap me?”
By the time I pulled into the parking lot, she had converted this cool, calm nerdling into a bit of a neurotic. I looked around for evidence of Isis militants and strategically picked a parking spot between two innocuous looking cars.
“Text him and tell him we’re in the red Elantra,” I told Linda as I shut off the car.
Her phone buzzed with his text. “OK please with in gas now.” Linda and I looked at each other and said in unison, “What?” She texted him back. “What”
As I glanced in my mirror I noticed four thugs heading straight for our car. “OMG!” I said in an unsuccessful attempt to remain calm “LOCK THE DOORS!!!! I hope they don’t have guns!”
They walked right past the car and into the Waffle House.
At that point I decided to back into the parking spot so I could make a quick get-away. Which is always an interesting maneuver. For me.
"Read those texts to me again, Linda," I asked, and after careful study I said, “Oh! He must be getting gas and wants us to wait.”
Another text came in. “I pure ves my car.”
“See,” I said. “I was right! He wants us to wit because he’s puring ves in his car.”
Then came another text. “Nex 10 minutes stay dare.”
At this point, Linda was ready to bolt. “Let’s just go home,” she said.
“Are you sure it’s not one of your friends pulling a prank on you?” She didn’t thing that was the case. Obviously, this guy either had very fat fingers or could not speak English. Or both.
“You know what would be really bad, Linda?” I said, attempting to lighten the mood.
“If he were from Liberia. Get it? Here we are, afraid of getting raped or robbed by this guy, and what if he kills us with Ebola??!!"
"Very funny Mom."
I thought I was.
Then came the most confusing text of all. “Hi here babcok&more.”
“Let’s just go home,” Linda said, emotionally spent.
But I wasn’t ready to give up yet. I can recognize a good blog topic when I see one. Plus I saw the sign in the plaza down the road. The sign that said, you guessed it, "Babcock & More".
Red flags were flying as I turned into the Babcock & More parking lot: Why was he in this large deserted parking lot instead of the prearranged Waffle House parking lot? Was his assault weapon aimed at my head? Was he going to sneeze Ebola snot into our eyeballs?
Despite those suspicions, I bravely drove up to the lone car in the parking lot and Linda expeditiously executed the transaction.
“See, Linda” I said, as we drove away, my heart racing like a metronome. “There was absolutely nothing to worry about."
Then I added, "Let’ go sky diving in Charleston!"
"But fis I have to I pure ves my car."