Hello, my name is Peter, but most of my friends call me Pete. I would like to tell you a little story about something happened to me when I was about 20.
I had been out with Josh, a great friend of mine, the night before this whole thing started. It had been a long night; we had gone out for dinner, followed by a movie called 'The Descent.' Although I don’t remember much about it after what happened.
Snapping upright, alarm blaring, I looked at the clock 7:01 AM on Sunday, February 13. “What in the world was that all about?” I asked myself putting my hand on my forehead in confusion. “I have never had that happen.”
My apartment was a small and not too spacious bachelor pad just big enough for a bed, dresser, a couch, a small kitchen, and a very small bathroom with a shower stall. To the right and at the head of my bed was the door to my apartment, to my left also at the head of the bed was the bathroom with a small, antique-looking nightstand, on it was a very loud and obnoxious alarm clock that was still ringing. Directly across from the bed on my right was a small, prefabricated brown chest of drawers that in 7 or 8 months still needs cleaning. At the foot of the bed was a pile of dirty laundry that I was to have cleaned the day before.
Drat forgot the laundry again. Oh well that can wait for another day.
Next to the chest of drawers sat my suitcase. It was packed and ready for the trip that was the next day. Josh and I were leaving for Orlando, Florida for a big concert; we both had taken two weeks off so we could go to this concert and take our time getting there.
Deciding to pray about what I had dreamt, it all began.
Suddenly, without warning, someone pounded on my door.
Startled, I shrieked, “Who is it?!”
From the other side of the door I heard the surprised voice of my friend. “It’s Josh. Are you alright?”
I began to roll over to reach the door but did not realize just how close to the edge of my bed I was. I rolled right onto the floor, yelped, grabbing the door handle as I hit the floor.
“What the heck are you still doing in bed?” Josh questioned, “We were supposed to leave for Orlando an hour ago.”
Feeling a shot of panic, looking at him sheepishly, still in my pajamas, I smiled and said with a cool, casual tone. “Just give me half an hour, then we can hit the road.” Grabbing some clean clothes out of the dresser, I headed for the shower.
After my shower we rushed out the door, almost forgetting my suitcase on the way.
The day looked like it was going to be a nice one, sunny and very white, a rare vacation from the February weather. The forecast had been for about minus 25°C, with light snow. Josh had decided to buy tickets for my birthday to a huge concert featuring Michael W. Smith, Casting Crowns, Steven Curtis Chapman, Starfield and others. We were both stoked, and couldn’t wait to get on the road. As he didn’t have a vehicle, we were going to take mine, a 1975 red and green VW bus. It had been a gift from another friend of mine a few years previous.
This bus had all we needed, plenty of room to sleep when needed. I had also made a few special modifications to this little beauty; I had installed a dresser for our clothes the week before at the very back just below the rear window. I had then put in red and green curtains on both sides along with a red and green mixed curtain all of which I had sewed myself, for the back window for that extra privacy. It had two Hammocks hanging from the roof diagonally one in front of the other, as they were more comfortable then sleeping on the floor. The floor was a rich red velvety carpet. It also had the travelers ‘best friend’ the portable commode enclosed in a small built in bathroom, so we wouldn’t have to stop for breaks, when we had to go we just stopped on the side of the road, took care of business and kept right on trucking. I also had installed a mini fridge in the front seat between the driver and passenger seats to hold all the food and snacks. The only things we would have to stop for were the occasional hot meal and fuel. Because of that bus, others know me as ‘Red,’ short for ‘Red Green,’ due to the red and green of the bus as there was a lack of duct tape on the bus. I didn’t mind, I rather liked the name, but Josh never called me ‘Red’, just Pete.
A quarter hour later we were leaving our hometown of Grande Prairie, Alberta, heading south in my VW Bus, ready to take on the world.
Ok, not the world, but the torturously icy roads anyway.