A Lonely Road
Darkness had already fallen, and the night breezed with cool air around them. They were a long way from the city, with trees and shrubs around them. No one would come this way for hours.
He turned around to find the man had fallen over the backseat. He was unresponsive. The man’s life was now in his hands.
Driving In The City
Cody was a driver in Chicago. For the past two years, he’d spent his time balancing work and school. He’d worked in most professions, but driving around the city spoke to him.
Driving under Chicago’s towering skyscrapers made him feel alive as an architecture major. He had no idea that his life behind the wheel would bring him to someone he’d always wanted to meet.
We All Want Something
Cody was born and raised in Printers Row. An only child, he was raised by his mom after his parents separated before his birth. He’d never met his father.
Among the things that Cody craved the most was to sit with his dad and talk. He’d seen his friends with their dads playing baseball as a kid. A twenty-year-old now, all Cody wanted was to drive around the city with his dad.
The Day It Happened
That Monday evening started as most did. Cody finished his classes and hurried home to freshen up. He hopped into his car and headed straight into the city.
Few people were moving around since it was a Monday. Cody was about to call it a night when he received a request. A passenger needed a ride out of the city. Cody accepted, not knowing his life was about to change.
Cody parked his car outside a movie theater, and an older man stepped in. He greeted Cody, his voice a gentle rumble. Cody said hi back, and they were on their way to their destination.
But halfway through, the man began coughing uncontrollably. He asked Cody to stop, falling over the backseat, and started convulsing.
Is He Okay?
Dark trees and distant lights surrounded Cody as he drove to the side of the road. “Hey, mister,” Cody called. He peeped at his rearview mirror before swinging around. Was the man having an attack?
Confused, Cody threw his door open and rushed to the back. He found the man twitching before he went completely still.
There was no time to think about what was happening. Cody helped the man up the backseat and lay him on his back.
He didn’t know what was happening and wondered what the right thing to do when someone passed out was. Cody pressed a finger against the man’s neck and stepped back.
A Frightening Revelation
The man had no pulse. “No,” Cody cried out, fisting his hair. He looked at the stretch of road between them and the city. There was no way he could drive back in time to get the man to a hospital.
Could he call someone? “Call 911,” he yelled at his phone, and as it dialed, hurried to the man. Cody pulled the man’s sleeve and ran a thumb against his wrist. What he found made his heart jump.
An Unexpected Answer
There was a faint pulse in the man’s wrist. He was still alive. But Cody didn’t have a lot of time.
He set the man on his back and begged his own heart to stop beating so furiously. He breathed in with adversity and let the breath out in a slow whistle. I hope this works.
Cody placed his palm on the man’s chest. His hand was trembling, and he felt like the entire world was crashing down on him. He breathed in again, calming his mind. “Okay,” he grated and placed his other hand on top of the other.
“Breathe with me,” he told the man, a sheen of sweat covering his face as he began pressing.
Breathe With Me
Cody squared his shoulders and pressed his hands down. “One,” he counted. “Two, three.” After a few pumps, he lifted the man’s chin and breathed air into him.
“Come on,” Cody cried, compressing again. “Breathe,” he said unto himself, fear bubbling through his veins. He was unsure of what he was doing, but he wouldn’t doubt himself now. Would the man make it?
Cody was about to repeat the third stretch of compressions when the man surged with life. He coughed, and Cody hugged him tightly. His eyes smarted with tears, and his whole body shook.
“It’s alright,” the man said. He seemed shaken as well. “What is your name?” he croaked. “Cody Halpert. We need to get you to a hospital first,” Cody answered. “Cody Halpert?” the man froze.
He Knows Him
“Yes,” Cody answered as he helped the man with his seatbelt. He hurried over to his seat and strapped in as well, turning the car around.
“I know a Cody Halpert,” the man smiled at the back. “He’s about your age, studying to be an architect, I’m told. He has no idea how proud of him I am.” Cody swung around, seeing something. How could he have missed it before?
A Chance Meeting
A gasp left Cody’s mouth. He reached out for his wallet on the dash, pulling out a picture of his dad and mom from twenty years before.
“What are the odds?” he asked, tears flooding his sight. “What are the odds?” the man said as well, his tears dammed by his eyelashes. “Please tell me you’re studying to be an architect.”
Ride Of A Lifetime
“I am,” Cody breathed. “I really am. Dad?” The man rubbed a hand down his face disbelievingly. “Yes, oh, Cody.”
Cody braked the car and invited his dad to the front. He’d always dreamt of sharing a car ride with him, of telling him about his dreams and fears. Life was finally giving him the ride of a lifetime.