Please don’t fly through this windshield, I thought. She’s not wearing a seat belt. “She” was the petite star athlete, who bounced beside me, as I decelerated when my beige big body, Javier, got hot mess on me.
While traveling about 75 miles per hour, midday heat and weathered rubber created what could have been formulaic catastrophe.
My back left tire blew out on I-20 West en route to the Port City Classic.
As I veered onto the nearest shoulder and away from distant traffic, I remembered the six lives for which I was responsible.
Thank God no one was directly in front of or behind me.
My friends remained calm when we heard the pop that rendered us roadside for hours. I called AAA, my parents and waited for the tire fiasco to work itself out.
To make a long story short: my spare tire was a bust. My bumper suffered aesthetic damage. I was miffed as a few dingbat truckers honked at the Vitamin D damsels in the grass.
But, we were alive.
As I tried to regain composure and avoid a panic attack, my friends cracked jokes. Finally help arrived in form of two men: the Simpsons arrived.
Both men happened to be former Gramblinites and were dispatched by AAA.
Captain S.L. Simpson and his nephew Gerald, not only quipped and kept us hydrated, but also replaced my tire for free.
We made it to the game sans drama. After it, I dropped everyone off safely and made it back to my apartment.
Then the near-death magnitude of the day’s events crystallized.
As I reflected, I momentarily lost my “G” status as stray saline ventured down my chin.
First of all, I was grateful that no one was harmed or killed. But second, I was moved by the love of Gramblinites and Southern hospitality that my friends and I were shown.
I dislike for people to worry about me. So as the events unfolded I did not text, tweet or Facebook for help. I called my parents and AAA to minimize confusion.
However, since we were roadside on the momentous Port City Classic Saturday, it seemed like everyone saw us.
My phone nearly exploded from calls and texts of concern and offers to rescue us.
My all-kinds-of-illegal linesister drove backward beside traffic, hopped out with her larger -than- life bravado and teensy frame, to check on us.
She offered us a ride until we figured out what we wanted to do. A Caucasian lady and her son, (also illegally) crossed the grass from I-20 East to the West make sure we were OK.
My uncle’s frat brother stopped to help. An older gentleman brought us water and watched until we were OK. Alumni stopped to assist us.
I’m nobody’s hyper-religious so-and-so, but I believe in God. I believe S/He divinely planned that day to not only remind me to take better care of my booski Javier, but to also remain grateful for the Grambling State University family.
The constant calls, flapping flags with gold Gs on vehicles that halted to help, and numerous good Samaritans, remind me to appreciate this special place I momentarily call home.
We lost the game, but my Gramblinite family continues to win my heart. I can’t wait to pay it forward.
Editor-in-chief Imani Jackson is a senior mass communication major from Jacksonville, Fla.