It was just another day in Maryland, where Chad and his two parents lived their quiet life. It was a perfect October Sunday for his small family on the bay. The sun shone bright in his eyes as it reflected off the peaceful water. Chad looked out to the water for a few minutes and noticed one boat speed by. When Chad saw the glass like water being broke it made him more and more excited for the day ahead. He remembered the days when he would not worry about his games, but today was different. Chad was 16, 6’ with short brown hair and blue eyes. Today was the day he would play in the high school football state championship. He was the star quarterback for his team. Today couldn’t be more important to him and his family. His parents were the only family he had, which made them extremely close, and he would never want anything bad to happen to them.
After lunch, Chad took a short bike ride to his best friend Dave’s house. Chad just got his driver’s permit and didn’t want to take his car out for a short ride yet, so he decided to bike down the windy dirt roads. He arrived at his friend’s massive house and knocked on the large blue door. He could smell the new wood inside of the house. The door slowly creaked open with a person’s head popping out the side.
“Hey, Chad,” he heard the friendly voice say, “You ready?”
Chad excited responded, “Yeah, I am!”
Dave is not only Chad’s best friend, but also the number one wide receiver on the team. David and Chad have known each other since kindergarten and were like brothers to one another. After a few hours of running over plays and enjoying themselves it was time to get ready for the game.
Eight o’clock, game time, they were ready to win the biggest game of their lives. The whole town was watching. Some shops closed for the night to see them play. The school had never been in a state championship. Chad could feel the excitement inside of him like a volcano about to erupt.
He looked out onto the Maryland University football field, grass perfectly cut with fresh paint that said his high school’s name on it.
Set, HIKE! The game has started. The first quarter went by too fast with them up 10 to 7, anyone’s game. Another quarter gone as the ear piercing whistle blew for halftime. The game was tied at 17 and each team was battling it out up to this point.
There was no score in the 3rd quarter, and fans for both teams were getting restless. Now it was down to the fourth quarter and Chad and the team had to win.
The first drives for each team resulted in a touchdown making the score 24 to 24.
The opposing team got the ball with 6 minutes to go and scored a field goal.
Now it was Chad’s time. They drove down to the 40-yard line with 5 seconds left on the clock. The lights were bright in their eyes, as the rain started to pour down on the field.
They all knew this was their last chance, and it was too far for them to kick a field goal to tie it. Chad got the ball, he sees Dave cut in then up, just the way they planned it. Chad planted his foot and threw the ball, and the whole world stopped around him as they watched the ball soar through the air.
TOUCHDOWN! Everyone on the field rushed to the end zone and dog piled on Dave. It all went by too fast for Chad, as he was awarded the state championship trophy. It was late at night when he was going back to the locker room to change and go home. 12:26 to be exact, but he wanted this night to last forever.
Walking off the field, he heard his mom’s voice, “We are heading home, it’s too late for us.”
Finally, Chad got in his car to leave the game. It was 1:30 am in the morning and still an hour ride home. His parents probably had gotten home and were probably asleep. Chad turned on the radio and listened to his favorite tunes the whole ride home. When he was going through the dense woods before he got to his neighborhood, he saw a light in the forest.
He was drawn to the light and got out of his car to investigate. When he stepped into the woods he heard the leaves crunch under his feet. As he looked in closer he noticed that it was a car and not just any car it was his parent’s black BMW.
He was in shock! “How did this happen?” he thought to himself. He slowly made his way closer and saw that there was no one inside.
Chad was immensely confused and kept thinking about what had happened to his parents. He looked around a little more and couldn’t find any evidence of what was going on. He drove a few more blocks to his house thinking that maybe they walked home and were waiting for him to come back. He opened the front door and yelled out to see if they were there, but there was no sign of them. It was now 3 a.m. in the morning and Chad was petrified with no sighting of his parents. He called the police.
Meanwhile, further into the woods, his parents were stumbling around trying to find a way out, but they were really digging themselves deeper and deeper into the thick forest. They did not know where they were, not even who they were since they hit their heads hard in the crash. They noticed a clearing and went to the nearby road. They sat down on the side taking a break from the pain of the headaches they dealt with. A man who was driving home late at night saw them on the side of the road. He stopped his car immediately. They looked horrible. This man had no clue who they were or why they were in this much pain, but he got out of his car to help.
Almost sunrise, 5 in the morning, and no one has gotten any sleep. The man asked them many simple questions, asking who they were and why they were hurt so badly. Chad’s parents honestly responded with “I don’t know,” because they were clueless. The man explained his name was Billy and he was visiting his relatives that lived here, but now he was leaving early in the morning to beat traffic. As Billy explained more and more about them, where they were, and what he knew, their memories started to slowly come back. When they were getting back their memories, Billy was gathering things that could help clean the wounds made from the crash and help the headaches from getting worse. The second his dad remembered his son Chad, he knew he needed to make sure he was okay.
At 5:30 a.m. Chad was about to give up until he heard the phone ring. It was an out of state number but he knew this was his final hope. He picked up the phone, although he wasn’t sure who it was. His dad was on the other end of the call. Chad tried his best to stay calm while his dad talked to him. For the next 15 minutes, his dad relayed the horror of the night in the best detail he could remember. When Chad heard the words, “We are heading home.” He couldn’t have been happier. After 10 minutes waiting at the front door for his parents, they came home. He thanked the unknown man and then made his way to his parents. To Chad and his family this was the longest night of their lives, but they were happy to be together. No matter how hard the night was on them, Chad learned that family was even more important than he thought and it was all thanks to the kindness of a stranger.