A Second Chance
By Jay Abington • April 18, 2019
On the last night of the trip I had about an hour's daylight left for a ride so I took off and headed for the back side of the lake about 4 miles from camp as I come around a corner and I'm suddenly engulfed in a cloud of dust but I can see well enough to make out tire tracks going from the middle of the road then around the corner .as I proceed with caution around the corner. I see a truck has just went off the road and hit a fir tree just behind the driver's door then it spun around back on the road and it looks like the driver must have had his foot mashed on the accelerator because there are two black burnouts leading off the edge of the road and down the bank.
As I pull to the side of the road my mind is getting me ready for the possibilities by pumping adrenalin into my veins and bringing my heart rate up, at the same time calming me down allowing me to feel nothing but confidence so I can do whatever needs to be done. All previous similar experiences and their lessons pass through my head in the blink of my eye. The second I saw the marks a word had been flashing in my mind [Alcohol]
What comes into view is a red full size truck with an ATV in the back. The truck is bent to a 45-degree angle and the tree pushed so far into the cab and bed that the front of the ATV was crushed to half its width.
The driver was hanging half way out his window unconscious and I didn't see any one else in the truck.
As I trudge through the brush I can see the front wind shield and it has no damage from a head impact so I was reasonably confident when I lift his head I was going to see a face. There was no blood running off of him and that is always a good sign.
I grab his hair and turn his face towards me, not a scratch, I pulled off a glove and checked for a pulse, he had a good one and he was breathing.
My guess he is about 25 yo No shirt just shorts, physically fit, smelled like he had been drinking all day, I hear this rustling in the bushes on the other side of the truck so I climbed over the hood of the truck and dropped down the other side I was expecting to see a dog, he looked like the kind of guy that would have a dog.
Evidently, he was the kind of guy that had a girlfriend. About 10 ft. down the bank I see this blond girl in her early twenty's clawing her way out of the bushes with nothing on but a bikini. I can see that she has no broken bones but she had blood running from a cut at the bridge of her nose and a big cut on her knee that wasn't bleeding yet.
As I help her to the road prince charming comes to and flops out the window to the ground babbling about his girlfriend I ask the girl his name and get this she says Jay.
I yelled she is ok Jay we are on the road.
To my surprise, the girl hadn't been drinking. I gave her a Pendleton shirt I had in my saddlebags and wrapped her knee with a T-shirt I tore up and gave her the rest for her nose.
I told her Jay was ok from what I could see and he comes stumbling up the bank they hug for a minute and he starts crying saying I love you honey I love you. Then Jay turns to me and says thanks man about 20 times. Then wanders down to the truck looking for something.
I tell the girl look you have some decisions to make that are going to be made for you if you wait for very long.
It will be dark as a cave in thirty minutes, the truck is not going any ware without a wrecker and neither of you have life treating injuries .It seemed to me that he was a good kid and they loved each other. She said he owned a landscaping business and was a real responsible guy but the beer got to him today. I believed her.
I had been in his shoes and I had an idea but I had to talk with jay for a minute. So I tell him to come up and talk with me for a second but he is down by his truck crying about how he almost got his girl killed. Well-drunk yes but at least he was upset about the right thing. I went down there and said look Jay you let out all the tears you need to on this now it's time to man up and turn this thing around.
I grab him by the arms and get him to his feet and he pulls it together as best as he can mumbling man up to himself.
I thought about it for a minute and said to them look as of now no calls have been made; the nearest fire station is no less than twenty minutes from here. If they show up and Jay is here he is going to jail for sure.
If you don't want that to happen then we have to get one of your friends to come and gather him up.
I figure ya have about 45 minutes max and that is if none comes buy. So see if ya can get someone and I hand her the phone. Jay was doing his best to tell me how much he appreciated my help. I said look jay the only way I will ever know how much you appreciate my help is if you take this second chance and change some things in your behavior .while I am telling him this I know he isn't going to remember a word of it. He has no clue at the moment how big a gamble it is for me because if he don't wake up tomorrow and realize he got a second chance then jail was ware he might have learned what needed changing and I made the wrong call.
I will tell you this I trust my instincts completely and I felt I was doing the right thing. These two were not a couple derelicts they were defiantly in love with each other and I could tell he was a hard working kid by looking at his hands.
That said she tells me a friend is on their way from their campsite 20 minutes away.
I said great, she said OMG thank you so much.. And I heard what you said to jay and you are right.
I know my Jay and he will defiantly change some things because he put me in danger. I said to her well I am counting on it for both your sakes but the clock is ticking so I gathered up all the liquor , put it in the cooler and took it into the woods ware I covered it up.
It is now dark and getting cold. I made him get a coat on and she found some sweats to put on.
It had been 30 minutes and they called saying they couldn't find the place, I asked what they could see from ware they were and she described a hunters cabin .I had also seen that cabin on one of my rides.
They were on the other side of the lake. I told them to stay there I will come get you and bring you in. I explained to Jay's girl that you could see lights coming from ether direction around the lake. If ya see a car coming you have about 5 minutes to get him into the woods and I will show ya ware I want him so they can grab him up without being seen if you have company before we get back. She said ok.
I went and found their friends brought them in. They got Jay in the car ware he passed out thank god. I waited until fire showed up. She gave me his business card with her number on the back. I wished her luck and took off.
A couple weeks later, I called to see how they were doing. She said that it all worked as planned, she got 18 stitches in her knee, Jay was making the best of his seconded chance and they are getting married. she said this may sound strange but we are closer than before the accident. I said nah that isn't strange at all that is what I meant when I said you could turn this thing around. Good for both of you and thanks for doing the right thing.
Now I know that I did the right thing and that's important to me you know.
She said thank you so much for being there you're an angel.
I said we all are aren't we and your welcome just pass it on ok.
You know I never got your name she said. I said my name is jay and there was a pause she says you're kidding I said nope and yours. My name is Jamie glad to meet you. well listen Jamie I have to go you two have a good life ok she said you too, Jay.
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