*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a family friend, who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.
And they lived happily ever after.
My mother had a close friend when I was a child who spent a lot of time gossiping at our kitchen table over a cup of tea. One thing I remember most about this family friend is that she seemed happy all the time, especially when she talked about her husband.
It was clear; she was smitten with him.
The way they met was quite unusual. What's even more unusual? It was love at first sight for both of them. There was only one problem. She was already married.
He was a bachelor who had given up on love.
It was a dark and rainy night, just like you might see in the movies. My mother's friend was driving home from work when she hit a pothole and her tire ruptured.
Fortunately, she could pull to the side of the road safely. Unfortunately, this happened before the age of cell phones. That meant all she could do was sit in her car on the side of the road as it listed toward the tire that was missing a chunk of rubber and most of its air.
She cautiously emerged from her car and checked the trunk for a spare tire. In the trunk, she found a spare tire—full-sized, not those mini-donuts cars come with now—and a tire jack.
It was too bad she had never learned how to change a car tire.
Just when she thought about walking home in the darkness, a car pulled up behind her, and a man stepped out into the rain. He helped her change her tire, and he asked her out on a date.
She knew she should say, "No," but her heart was screaming, "Yes."
I don't know all the details about their whirlwind romance, because I was just a little girl when it happened. So I was hardly a confidante when it came to this woman's love life, but I did attend her wedding.
According to my mother, who knew them well, they were just about the happiest couple you could ever hope to meet. As for me, well, I never heard her complain about him as all the other adults did about their spouses, including my mother.
That's right. My mother's friend left her husband for the man who changed her tire in the pouring rain. They got married and had a son, and they lived happily ever after... almost.
Their marriage was a success, but like they say, "Good things don't end unless they end badly." What could be a worse way to end than death? Unfortunately, her husband passed away a few years ago. They had been happily married for decades by then.
She never remarried.
Was it fate that brought them together that rainy long-ago night? I don't know whether her first husband would think so, but I do.