This is part two of this story. Before you read this, read part one.
Suddenly, John felt like he couldn’t see straight. In that moment, he could feel his heart beating. His feet seemed stuck to the ground. Time seemed to have stopped. Everything seemed to be in slow motion.
Everything except the pickup truck barreling down the road going 40 miles an hour faster than it should have been.
All at once, with a force that seemed otherworldly, John was thrown off his feet, flying through the air—straight in front of the truck. Just as the girl turned in terror, frozen in utter shock, John clotheslined her in the stomach with one arm, making her fly backwards into the other lane and to safety. They tumbled onto the pavement.
There was a loud screech as the truck came to a stop twenty feet away from them. The driver appeared to lean out the window, seeing they were okay, and then he drove away. Hit and run.
The next thing John felt was pain. His knees were bleeding, and he’d smashed his chin on the road when he’d fallen forward. Ouch.
The girl sat up slowly, her eyes wide. “Are you okay?”
He shook his head to clear it. “Am I okay? Yes! Are you?”
“Yeah, don’t think anything’s broken… except my phone.” She pointed to four broken pieces of iPhone that were scattered across the lane. “That’s okay. That conversation needed to end anyway.”
After rising painfully to his feet, he followed her to the side of the road. She turned and offered him a handshake. “I’m Dana. Thanks for saving my life.”
Pausing, John finally took her hand. “I’m John. Thank my biology test.”
“It’s a long story. But if it weren’t for a missed soccer tryout, a late arrival to class, a failed biology test, and a subsequent walk to blow off steam about the coming bad grade, you probably wouldn’t be alive right now.”
“Series of fortunate events?” she asked.
“I guess they are now,” he said. John wouldn’t have traded Dana’s life for an A on that biology test.
She glanced at his jaw, which was obviously scraped and bruised. “Come on… let’s go to the nurse. What did you say about soccer tryouts?”
“I’m a transfer student, and I just barely got my transcripts turned in in time to get into college at all. Too late to come three weeks early to try out for the team.”
Dana’s eyebrows settled low over her green eyes as she thought something through carefully. “My brother’s the only senior on the team. They lost quite a few players last year. Maybe he can pull a few strings with the coach,” Dana said casually.
John stopped walking to stare at her. “You think so?”
“Not making any promises, but hey, it’s worth a try.” They started walking again.
In high school, John had just been a face in the crowd… the kid who played chess and sat on the bench in soccer. After working hard for years, he’d finally gotten to start at forward on the college team his sophomore year… and it was great until the whole cheating accusation had flunked him off the team and made him lose his scholarships.
“Where are you from?” Dana suddenly questioned.
“Iowa. I’ve already heard people refer to me as ‘that weird transfer dude from Iowa,’” he replied.
She laughed. “Well, now you’re that cool transfer dude from Iowa who saves lives… and hopefully plays soccer.”
With a smile and a glance at Dana’s bangs, which were slipping into her eyes again, John thought carefully about what she had just said. I think I’m okay with that.