On Monday morning I was going about my usual routine shuttling my kids around to where they needed to be before I came into the office.
My 4-year-old son Ben was happily sitting in his car seat looking out the window, baby Sam was already at his grandparents for the day. The radio was on, the sun was shining, I was ahead of schedule and it was looking like it was going to be a good day.
As I pulled into an intersection, just a few blocks from home, something caught my eye and made me look to my right. A light colored sedan was flying toward us — its driver looking anywhere but at the road in front and the car she was about to T-bone.
Or would have, had I not slammed on my brakes. And I mean slammed.
She blew through the red light without even hesitating and I was left shaken … and pissed. Had I not seen her, had I not looked to my right, she would have hit right where my son was sitting.
She could have killed him.
Lady, I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what was so important that you were driving like a maniac on South Pendleton Street in Easley and I don’t know if you even know how close you came to changing both of our lives forever.
But I hope you’re reading this, I hope it clicks that I’m talking about you and I hope you realize the seriousness of just what could have happened.
This was no “Crap, I tried to beat the yellow” kind of red light run — she didn’t even slow down on approach and my light was as green as it gets.
I blew my horn, although it was after the fact because I always forget that since airbags were installed horns are now little buttons on the sides of the steering wheel instead of dead center (which it where I always hit.) I know she heard my horn because her hand flew up to her face as she realized (too late) what she had done.
And continued on her way.
No apologetic wave, no nothing. She just hauled on out of there. And I guarantee you that was the smartest decision she made that morning because I was so angry at her having put my son in danger had she stopped — even just to check on us — I honestly don’t know what my reaction would have been.
I’d like to say I would have remained cool, calm and collected. Accepted her apology, insisted no harm was done and been on my merry way. But since it happened, I find that I can’t stop thinking about it.
She scared me, I mean, really scared me — it was that close. And I find that I can’t remember a time in recent memory where I have ever been more angry at another human being. I’m pretty sure, had she stopped, I would have made some very poor decisions that would have most likely required bail money.
Am I proud of that? No. Of course not.
I’m not a violent person by nature. I’ve never been in a fight and I’ve never hit someone in anger. But in that moment I discovered (to my surprise) that I am capable of it — because I wanted to. I have never wanted to hit someone more in my life and had she been standing right in front of me, I don’t think my wiser self would have prevailed.
Now, nothing good would have come from that and if I was to discover now who she was, I’ve calmed enough where that’s no longer an issue. But the voracity of my temper startled me — I didn’t know I had it in me.
Had I been alone in my car I don’t think my reaction would have been the same. Mama bear mentality, right? Something like that.
Moral of the story? Watch. Where. You’re. Driving.
And don’t mess with my cubs.
Kasie Strickland is a staff writer for The Easley Progress and The Pickens Sentinel and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.