i’m such a hero

crashThe other day, I received an urgent call from a friend in a bind: His wife has just had an accident on the 101, near me, with her very pregnant friend as a passenger. As my friend was stuck at home with two wee children, could I please check up on them and offer whatever assistance was needed?

Of course! How often do we get a chance to help in such dramatic fashion? I leapt in to action � donned my best emergency/rain gear (it was pouring) and hit the road. Found them in no time, thanks to the emergency vehicles and traffic… Damn, so we’re talking about a real accident! So… Wife okay? Check. Pregnant friend okay? Check � but shaken, needing to meet her husband and doc at the hospital, just to be sure. I followed the wife while she limped the car (still semi-drivable) off the freeway, then took preggers to my friend so he could whisk her to the hospital � while I watch the kids (ages ~1 & ~4), who were both asleep upstairs. Gulp. “What do I do, if they, um…?” I whimpered. “Improvise!” My friend chuckled confidently, then vanished. I settled in. Silence, upstairs. Okay. Good. I watched TV. Time passed. Then, the scariest sound I could have imagined:

samara“Daddy…?” Their little girl, the oldest, clearly not so asleep anymore. Alone with me, a messy, unshaved, strange man in her house. Sure she’d met me several times, at the house, but it’d been a while, and despite my friends enthusiasm (“It’s Uncle Victor!”), she’d remained decidedly circumspect. Again: “Daddy?” I ignored it. “Daddy??”. Jesus, someone, please help. “Daddy!” What the hell am I going to say? She stopped. Okay. Again, silence. But later, more insistent: “DADDY??” So ignoring her was not an option. I greeted her by name, in my sweetest voice, explained (up the stairwell) that Daddy had to leave for a few minutes, it’s Victor, remember me? I don’t think she did. Her cute little head poked around a corner, then vanished. Wow, she’s grown! But, so… Now she’s probably gonna call the cops or something. Or what if she just runs screaming from the house!? Do I try and stop her? Isn’t that some sort of crime? Or…

Then, the happiest sound I could’ve imagined: Keys, in the door! I ran to greet them, Mom, with Daddy close behind. Whew, that was close. Favor returned, job done… Oh, and the pregnant friend? She’s fine, too.