On a sunny summer afternoon, an air horn blares as a tow truck approaches a gas station in central Kansas.
The attendant’s voice booms in my ear: “If you need a tow, pull up in the gas station parking lot.”
I’m standing on the shoulder of a dirt road, looking at a line of cars.
My eyes are drawn to the black SUV on the other side of the line.
I’m looking to get in, but the attendant says: “We’re going to have to close for a while.”
I tell her I’m in a hurry.
She says she’s sorry.
The attendant says, “We’ll call you back.”
I drive into the parking lot, where a couple of people are sitting on a curb.
They’re still holding onto their vehicles, but I’m starting to get a little worried.
The tow truck is parked outside, but it’s too late.
The car is on its roof, still on the side of a highway.
I’m not worried, because I know how dangerous it is to be in the middle of the country without a car.
The road is muddy, and the gas is so high it can make you dizzy.
My hands feel numb.
I can see the gas pump is still in operation.
I pull up and look out over the water, hoping it’s still working.
The attendants are waiting for me to drive away.
I don’t even want to drive.
My fingers twitch, as if they’re twitching.
I think, I’m going to die, and this is my only chance to escape this terrible situation.
I can feel the anxiety creeping in my chest.
I drive on, driving at a high speed, into the gas.
It takes me about 10 minutes to drive to a gas pump.
The attendants are all looking at me, and one of them is crying.
She’s crying because she knows she’s going to be stranded, stranded in Kansas for days.
I feel like I’m losing my mind, but when I get home, I am relieved to see that she’s OK.
I call her and tell her that I’m sorry and that I know what to do.
I told her to call me back.
I call back and tell the attendant that I’ll be back in minutes.
The next time I see her, she will be in a wheelchair.
She is in a nursing home in the town of Kansas City.
I don’t want to be the person who drives her to the nursing home.
She was born with cerebral palsy.
The day after we met, I called her and told her that my son had been born.
The nursing home was filled with people in wheelchairs.
I remember her telling me that she was so happy to see him.
I said, “Your son is fine.
Your baby’s fine.
That was just so amazing.”
She said, I want to go home now.
I want my son home.
I didn’t know she had a disability, so I didn’t feel like calling her.
I was still shocked when she told me that my husband had been shot.
I still don’t understand what was going on, but after we got married, I did call her.
She called me back and said, ‘I love you so much.’
I want to get back to my car and tell my wife, ‘It’s okay, honey.
You’ll be OK.’
She’s just a very caring woman.
The next time she called, she asked me to come back to her apartment, where I stayed until the following day.
The day after she told my wife that I had gone to the hospital, I went home and got the car repaired.
I went to work that day, but my work schedule didn’t allow for me.
When I got home, the mechanic came to the door and asked, “What’s wrong?”
I said I couldn’t find the vehicle.
He said, it’s just not there anymore.
I told him it was my wife.
I didn�t know where it was.
He took me back to the car, but couldn’t get in.
I called the tow company, but they said that they couldn’t fix it.
They didn’t have a tow car.
They couldn’t drive the car.
I drove to the gas store and asked the attendant if I could borrow a car, because there were still cars there.
I had to call the car rental company, and I had to wait a while for someone to come.
After several hours, someone finally came.
They drove me to the parking space, but not my car.
The tow company came to pick up my car, and they said they were taking the car back.
I asked if I would have to pay for the car and take the rental company to get it.
I drove to a store and picked up the car with a friend.
The man was still