Whoosh. The roof of the jeep slithered off like an outrageously expensive silk slip, and she looked behind her to be sure it had done no harm. Nope. There it was, bumping along the side of the highway, harmlessly heading for the grassy middle divider. Her hair lifted and she looked around, feeling the fresh air on her face, like Dorothy in Oz.
A convertible Jeep? She looked in the rear view mirror, luckily affixed to the front panel of the car, and not the roof which was behind her just to the north of Exit 106 – she made a mental note of that so she could hire a truck to go back and get it – and checked to make sure the boys were safe.
Silent, speechless, both mouths in round ‘O’s that perfectly telegraphed their utter amazement that she, with her words, could make this happen.
Of course, she knew it was a coincidence. But what a happy coincidence! One likely to keep them under control until adulthood, if she played her cards right. They weren’t the brightest boys. It would take them a long time to realize it was just a fluke that the roof blew right off at the precise moment when she said, “I’ve got to get some space! This Jeep is too small for the three of us, with your antics and fighting and whining! I wish…..” It would take them a very long time to realize she said those same sentences every day, sometimes several times a day, and that it was just fortuitous that she happened to be saying them seconds before the roof spontaneously separated from the car.
And no one was hurt after all. That had to be an omen. It would be okay for her to take advantage of the roof separation, to create a little bit of magical thinking that would serve her well for years to come.
“See what you’ve done,” she yelled, in order to be heard over the sound of traffic around them and the wind. “You got me so upset that my anger pushed the roof right off the Jeep. I wished so hard for more space that I blew the roof right off the top of the car.”
The wind whistled past her ears and the sun beat down into the car. All the loose papers from the passenger seat and the trash from the floor of the car blew out. Even the beach sand left in the crevices of the cup holder blew out. It was as if the car was being attacked by a giant leaf blower. After all, the Jeep wasn’t built to be a convertible, with a design that held everything in place despite wind. She began to anticipate exit 109, and question whether it might be okay to just stay on the road to exit 112. This was quite the adventure. And the boys were quiet.
She looked behind her in the mirror again. Both boys stared straight ahead, their hair plastered back against their skulls like a diving dogs. Like longhaired Springer spaniels or Irish setters maybe, taking off running from docks into a lake. They both had identical big, crooked-tooth smiles on their faces. This fluke tickled them, just as it tickled her. She could tell. What the heck, she thought, passing exit 109.