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Today I noticed a small hand waving.

Approaching Adams Avenue from 805 south this afternoon, traffic suddenly slowed. Cars darted out of my lane but a large black Ford blocked my view. The squeaky brakes of empty school buses and semis joined the chorus of horns.

As the truck switched lanes I saw the problem. An old dark green Buick was stalled in the center lane. Water poured from underneath the engine like a scared puppy peeing. The emergency flashers blinked weakly. A woman frantically tried restarting the car. Once. Twice. Again. It only shuddered and stalled.

I turned on my flashers as I reached for my cellphone. That’s when I saw the small hand. It belonged to a young girl in the backseat waving at me. She beamed a huge smile.

All I could imagine was her mother’s panic. The only option was getting the car off the freeway. Leaving it was sure suicide. Every terrible movie in which bad things happen to good people flashed through my mind. Imaging a worst case scenario of fiery explosions I could almost hear the screams.

Several impatient moments passed before a semi truck pulled up. He angled his truck blocking our lane and the one beside it. Flashing every light and blowing his horn, he stuck is very un-small hand out his window and waved me on. I drove away knowing she would be okay, vowing to be even kinder to truck drivers everywhere, and waved back. 9-1-1 never answered.

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