The Longest Ride Home

After turning the key and cranking up the radio, Blake backed out and left. He contemplated the day’s events while driving home in his 1999 Chevy pickup truck. His Sunday night tennis league had finished later than normal, but to his liking. Finally, Blake got the best of Matt Eglesederman, the club’s best player. Things were looking good in life for Blake. He had recently graduated from college and gotten a quality job, he had a gorgeous girlfriend, and now his tennis game was top notch. To Blake, it seemed like nothing in the world could go wrong. Little did he know that the events that would occur on his drive home would be so obscure compared to his normally sweet lifestyle.

The car ride started off just like his life, easy going and great. Jenna, his girlfriend, called, and Blake turned down the radio to talk about the day’s events. The two had been high school sweethearts and they were still dating. Blake loved the times that he could just talk to her on the phone because being in a ong distance was becoming tougher for him. They discussed their families, jobs, lifestyles, and yes, even tennis. It was at a high scool tennis mathch that the two met, and they remained best friends ever since.

“I gotta go, honey” said Blake. “I’m getting on the interstate and it seems pretty busy so I just wanna stay safe. Talk to you soon!”

“Okay, Blake. I’ll call you tomorrow; goodnight” Jenna replied.

Blake was, at twenty-six years old, a young, passionate high school math teacher. After graduation from Marquette with his major in mathematics and a teaching degree, he decided that he liked the area and found a teaching job at a local high school in Milwaukee. Jenna lived back in Nebraska where they both were from. He taught a couple of freshman algebra classes, a sophomore geometry class, observed a senior study hall, and had cafeteria duty sixth period. Blake was also the Varsity tennis coach for the boys, and he was the girls’ freshman basketball coach. His dream of becoming a coach and teacher were finally fulfilled. Living life to the fullest and living the American dream could sum up the life of Blake Zacek.

Onto the interstate he drove, to make the ride home as short as possible. Normally, his voyage from Johnson Tennis Center to his apartment was a good thirty minute drive, but on this Sunday night, the interstate was unusually crowded.

“Probably and accident” thought Blake. “I won’t be getting home in thirty minutes tonight.”

Bored by the slow moving traffic, Blake cranked the radio back up. He enjoyed listening to what he considers “good music.” Even though he was only twenty-six, Blake loved the oldies. He turned the radio to his favorite oldies station, “The Mix,” and rocked out. One of his favorite Billy Joel songs, “Sometimes a Fantasy,” came on shortly after he turned it on, and during it he practiced his best Billy Joel impression with harmonica in hand. Just after the song ended, he remembered that milk, bread, and cereal were needed from the store for his breakfast and lunch the next day.

“Oh shoot” he thought. “Just what I want right now. Make a long drive home even longer.”

Blake slowly and deliberately moved his car over to the right lane to exit Interstate 94. Eventually, he entered a suburb of Milwaukee named Brookfield. In the city he found a nice, little family owned convenient store where he got his supplies for the week’s meals. It was just after he picked up his groceries that the strange events stared to occur.

Backing out of the almost empty parking lot, Blake came utterly close to hitting a police car.
“Whew!” he managed to say aloud to himself after just missing the vehicle.

Once again Blake turned up the radio as loud as it could go this time humming along to the Beatles’ “Hey Jude.” He was cruising down 48th street when a cop cruiser zoomed past him going the opposite direction three times faster than the speed limit allowed. Surprised by the sudden onslaught of headlights, Blake turned the radio off and slowed down himself, becoming a bit more conscience of his surroundings. No less than a minute later another cop car came racing by Blake’s car this time with lights and sirens blaring. By now, Blake was a bit freaked out and his adrenaline was rushing…





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