Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Click (04/18/13)
TITLE: Acceptance, How Sweet the Sound
By Lillian Rhoades
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By now, Addie’s patience was crepe paper thin and shorter than a chin hair. This white, late-model hatchback that she’d been following for almost a mile was not only moving at less than a snail’s pace on a busy one lane road, but the driver’s right turn signal blinked non-stop.
If she wasn’t going to make a turn then why is the signal light on!
Addie assumed it was a she; it’s always a female.
She’s either deaf or tone dead. There’s was simply no other explanation! How could one ride for a mile with click-a, click-a, click-a, click-a?
For the next mile, Addie kept her sanity by pretending to have a firm, but friendly chat with the unknown driver.
Okay, lady, when do you plan to make that right turn?
Please! If you’re listening to music, then turn it down so you can turn OFF your signal light.
When words that fell on her ears alone didn’t work, Addie resorted to hand signals. With her right hand reserved for steering, she held up a partially fisted left hand and tried to “thumb” a message:
Honey, your signal light is on. Can’t you HEAR it?
Okay, let me try this.
Possessed with a singular mission to turn off the signal light of one automaton like driver in front of her, Addie turned on her emergency blinkers.
Maybe that’ll get her attention through association… blinkers, you know and click -a…
Her blinkers stayed on for all but a minute, until the impatient guy driving a gray sports car tried to go around her.
Not so quick, fellow. Besides, you won’t get very far or fast. Blinkers off, Okay?
She made one last attempt to alert the driver in front who apparently thought rear view mirrors were useless decorations.
THIS. you gotta hear!
With desperation overtaking common sense, Addie gave her horn a work-out with three quick, loud, beeps and turned on her headlights.
No, Miss, I’m not the police. Oh, my gosh, she’s stopping in the middle of the road. Blinkers, Addie, quick, quick!
She slowed, stopped, and held her breath, hoping that her rear end would escape injury. After not hearing or feeling a back-ender, Addie got out of her car, cast an apologetic smile at any of the irate drivers who could see her, and ran towards the stopped car.
Yep! Just as I thought. She’s somebody’s grandmother.
“Were you blowing your horn, Sweetie?” Her smile reminded Addie of angels.
“Yes, I was trying to let you know your signal light is on,” Addie answered amid the chorus of horns that almost drowned out their conversation.
Reaching inside the window, Addie pulled the signal level to off.
“Oh, thank you,” she crooned. “I’d forgotten how to turn it off. I was just beginning to enjoy the sound.”
“We’d better get going,” Addie yelled above the din. “We’re holding up traffic.”
Back in the car and no longer staring at the incessant stimulus to her annoyance level, she had time to mull over Grandma’s words.
“I was just beginning to enjoy the sound.” What?
Click-a, click-a, click-a, click-a. Drip, drip, drip, drip…does anyone “enjoy” torture?
But what was torture for me was a soothing sound for her. Why, that’s exactly what Amy Carmichael was talking about when she wrote the poem – “In Acceptance Lieth Peace.” Grandma accepted what she couldn’t change, while I almost caused an accident trying to change what I could not accept.
Stricken with remorse, Addie put her car on automatic drive at forty miles an hour and continued to follow the white car for the next ten miles, until Grandma turned on her left signal, made the left turn, and drove down a side street.
For the next several miles, Addie couldn’t stop wondering if the click of the left blinker lights was still “soothing” Grandma.
At the intersection of Grove and Main, she made a left turn and headed home.
Watch out, Addie! Her foot slammed on the brake just in time to avoid going through a red light. As she waited for the light to turn, the sound of click-a, click-a, click-a, filled the car. Her left signal light was going a mile and minute, and somehow the sound wasn’t so bad after all.
With a quick glance in her rear view mirror, she could see the driver behind her, and he was frantically gesturing in her direction.
Sorry, Charlie, I’m just learning how to enjoy the sound.
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