I was nineteen and dating the young man who would be my first husband at the time that this happened. I've seen some strange things since then, but never anything quite like what happened that night, whatever it was. Anyway, it was a Friday night and K had worked that day so we went out to eat a little later than normal. After our meal K asked me what I'd like to do then. Where I'd like to go. I had been looking forward to Friday night and regretted the fact that when it came I was tired.
I tried to talk myself out of the tired but found that I couldn't and said I thought I would like to go home, get a good night's rest and do something together on Saturday. K agreed and headed towards my house. We lived in a college town. Johnson City, TN--in the event that you are familiar with it. Not that it matters, maybe, where we lived. It's just that my house was at the very edge of the city limits (nudging country) only about five miles away from the campus.
It was normally a fairly busy road until you passed the small section where there was a little grocery store, a convenience store and a not very large apartment complex. After that, there were no more streetlights. It was a dark section of road, to be sure; and just as we were coming into it I said something about how my parents were going to be surprised to see me in early on a Friday night. K asked me what time it was and I looked at my watch. It was ten minutes til nine.
Right then, and I mean exactly then, the road was flooded with light. It was white light. Not just on the road, but all around us. I assume, at least, that it was all around us, but in truth it was so bright that we couldn't really see all around us. We could see only the light, each other and the inside of the car, which was unmoving. K had stopped the car in the middle of the road the moment the light came.
We were not afraid; simply awed, and, after our first exclamations of surprise and "look at that's" there was silence as we pressed our faces upward against the windshield as best we could.
We could hear something. Or I could, anyway. Something not loud or recognizable in any way. Just a sensation of hearing something. Maybe something electric. A humming. It seemed like it was no time at all before suddenly the light was gone. We hadn't even seen it go. It was just gone as if it had never been and we were left with hearts racing in excitement, eyes like saucers and questions on our lips.
The really freaky thing was that I glanced at my watch, quite by accident, and froze. I said, "K. What time did I say it was?"
He said, "Ten til nine. Why?"
I said, "It's an hour later. It's ten minutes til ten."
We'd been sitting in his car in the middle of the road (At least, we believe so.) for exactly an hour at a time when normally there would be some traffic, but apparently that night not one soul went by. For surely, they would have stopped to check on us. We tried many times together to reconstruct that night in our minds and find out what happened in that hour, but we were never able to remember any more than what you see here.
I wonder, sometimes, if K ever thinks about that night as I occasionally do.
And I wonder if anything like that has ever happened to you.