“Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly.”
I find it difficult to believe in ghosts, but I do believe in angels.
In 1985, I moved to San Diego. Shortly afterwards, I began dating Rob, a handsome photographer. I enjoyed his company, but it was nothing serious. We went out on a couple of fun dates. I thought he was an interesting, arty type of guy.
One night, he invited me for dinner and a movie. Following dinner, the weather turned cold and Rob asked if we could drop by his home to pick up his jacket. I had not been there before, but felt comfortable enough to agree.
Rob’s car twisted and turned up a hillside road leading through a charming tree-lined neighborhood to his home. Once inside his unusual and eclectic bungalow, he gave me a tour. I was impressed by his sophisticated taste. I enjoyed looking at his black and white photography and stylish European furnishings. Yet I could not shake the feeling that his interiors appeared more like a movie set than a personal home. Scenic photography backdrops framed the setting. Stainless steel lights and professional equipment were used like props—or even sculpture. Picture perfect!
This guy seemed to have potential - handsome, fit, talented and charismatic. Suddenly, he kissed me once and then again. He didn't stop. He wanted more. "Slow down—not so fast," I insisted. I discouraged more advances and reminded him of our movie plans. But he persisted. I grew fearful as he became more agitated and aggressive. What could I have done to make this guy so angry?
I found out quickly that saying “no” to him did not work. Instinct told me to get out of there. But out to where? Where exactly was there? Once outside, where would I go and how?
It was dark, and I was in an unfamiliar neighborhood. When I attempted to leave, Rob tried to block the door with his body. Fortunately, I was faster. I jerked the door open and rushed down steps leading to the street. Unbelievably, a yellow cab was speeding towards me. I hailed the taxi and it screeched to a stop, just like I’d seen in movies.
M i r a c u l o u s!
In an instant, I was seated inside a smokey cab. For once, I didn't mind the smoke. In moments, the cab was flying down Interstate 5. With only $50 in my purse, I nervously watched as dollars clicked by on the mounting meter. I prayed $50 would cover my trip home. Should I ask the driver to let me out early—and where would early be? I was a stranger to San Diego. I leaned back and decided to work out the tab when I arrived home.
The sounds of reggae - and my heart thumping in time with its steel drums - momentarily distracted me from Rob's intentions. Ziggy Marley’s voice came through the car’s tinny speakers as I watched my driver’s dreadlocks swing rhythmically across her beaded seat. Recovering my composure, I quietly spoke, “Ma’am. I think you just rescued me from a very bad situation.”
Her crystal blue eyes glowed against her dark Jamaican skin as she turned to respond. “Yah, mon. Angels are everywhere.”
It was midnight-quiet when we arrived at my place. I gratefully breathed in the calming scent of eucalyptus that grew near my front door. Ah! The lovely scent of home and safety!
Leaning forward to check the meter, I was stunned to read the fare $50-even, leaving no money for a tip. Guiltily, I apologized to my angel. She laughed and said, “Well, my good deed is done.” I thanked her and stepped outside the car. The sounds of reggae still drifting from its windows, I watched her cab fade into the night.
I’ve often wondered if my cab driver’s appearance on that dark, secluded San Diego street was mere coincidence? Perhaps. I don’t think so. I believe it was divine intervention.
I know one thing for certain, my photographer's “too perfect” bungalow was staged for disaster and I got the picture. If intuition is the voice of our guardian angel, thank God I listened to mine. I am forever grateful.