Vance McCallum was never the kind of guy to be on time and those who knew and loved him accepted that was just the way things were with him. He never did it on purpose, but there was always a project at work, or something with the kids, and that cause him to be late for supper, gatherings, or anywhere else he was expected to be. While some would call it being dedicated to his job, other would call him a workaholic and lecture him about managing his time better. Vance knew he had to do better, but at the end of the year that was easier said than done. The law firm he worked at was very demanding, and if he wanted to make partner one day then saying no wasn't something he could say when any case was tossed his way. He was clocking a lot of serious hours, billing even more hours for his clients, and making his partners very happy in the process. Since joining the firm straight out of law school four years ago, Vance had a total of three serious girlfriends and even one fiancé that never made it to the altar. For some reason a relationship never seemed to gel with the job that he was dedicating too much of himself towards. He was sitting at his desk seven days from Christmas, working on a motion that he needed to finish for the next day. He was still working on it when his cell phone started to sing a specific ringtone. He looked at the phone and sighed, well aware of who was calling. All Vance's contacts had personalized ringtones so he would know who it was just by hearing the phone ring. He took a deep breath and then picked up the cell and opened the line with a swipe of his finger across the screen.
"Mom," Vance said, checking the clock. "I'm almost done, I'll be leaving soon."
"It's already six o'clock, Vance!" she protested. "Can't this wait?"
"It can't," Vance informed her, "It will be going out with the firm's courier first thing in the morning, and I'd rather do it now than show up early to finish it before the courier shows for pick up."
"Alright," his mother conceded, "But we're starting supper. I'll save a plate."
"Thanks Mom," Vance said, smiling. "I'll be there soon."
"Just be careful," his mother warned him, "It's starting to snow. So drive carefully on your way here."
"I promise," Vance said, "See you soon!"
He wasn't lying to his mother, as the motion was finished in less than a half hour and he quickly grabbed his coat once it was tossed into the courier bin and raced for the elevator to get down to the parking lot. Once he was down there, Vance got a taste of how cold it was that night, as he buttoned up his coat. He stepped into the fancy car he bought last year with his bonus, and revved the engines. It wasn't a sports car, but it was one fancy enough to turn heads and that was the point. His mother didn't like the purchase as she was afraid that he's speed to much in it but he never did. It was more for show than showing off, which is why Vance never saw the point of speeding. You can't show it off if you're not around long enough to show it to those looking on. It was dark by the time he hit the highway and his mother wasn't kidding, the snow made the road ahead of him even less visible. He had taken the highway home to visit his parents so many times that he was confident enough to brave the storm and get there to claim his plate and enjoy mom's cooking. He slowed down and drove cautiously, but the outside was so hard to see, that he missed an important road sign that put him on the wrong highway. It wasn't until a half hour past that point where Vance began to realize he was off course. He tried to use his cell phone to find out where the hell he was, but it was this point when he was checking his cell when the car hit a bad patch of black ice. The car began to slide out of control and Vance dropped his phone to put both hands on the wheel as he tried to regain control. It was an attempt that would be in vain as the card skipped off the highway and slammed right into a tree. The car was totalled, but luckily for Vance, the passenger side was the part the slammed into the tree. Airbags were deployed but Vance still hit his head which caused him to lose consciousness.
He wasn't conscious when his car was discovered by someone driving a few hours later after the weather died down a bit. That person happened to be a trucker, who used his radio to call for help. It took a half hour after that for a town deputy and an ambulance showed up on the scene.
"How long has he been here?" The deputy asked.
"I only found him a half hour ago," the trucker informed him, "But look at the snow on the ground, all his tracks are gone. I'd say he's been here at least an few hours, maybe longer."
"Thankfully he's not badly hurt," the paramedic called out, "He's probably got a concussion, but nothing else seems broken. Thankfully there was no one on the other side. They would have been killed instantly."
"I would call that Christmas miracle," The deputy said, sighing. "Wouldn't you?"
"Someone was watching out for him," The trucker conceded.
"Don't use sirens unless his condition changes," The deputy told the paramedics were walking past him with Vance in the stretcher. "Last thing I need is more accidents if it can be helped. Are we clear?"
"Yes deputy," The paramedic replied, "We'll be careful."
As the two men watched the ambulance roll away to head for the hospital, the deputy looked back at the car that was in pretty rough shape.
"That is a total write off," The Trucker said, "Should we call it a tow?"
"I'll give Jimbo a call," the deputy agreed, "Last thing I want is someone stopped to look for something and cause more traffic issues. Better to take this to town to eventually be scrapped. But we should let the driver have a chance to take what he wants from it first."
"Fair enough," the trucker said, gesturing to his truck. "I got an important load to get into town, some serious holiday business. Do you mind if I get back on the road, deputy?"
"Of course not," The deputy answered, "The last thing I want to do is get in the way of holiday business. If you boss gives you any flack, you tell him to talk to me and I'll set him straight. This was a good thing you did here, and trust me ... the big guy will know about it too."
"From your ears to his list," the Trucker agreed, "But I didn't do it for reward, I was just trying to help someone in need."
"Alright, get outta here." The deputy said, "And Merry Christmas."
"To you as well, my friend." The Trucker said, as he opened the door to his truck, "And Santa's blessings be with you."
The deputy tipped his hat and watched as the trucker got back into his heavy loaded truck and resumed his trip into town. Once the truck was gone, the deputy called into Jimbo to get a tow. He was going to stay there at the scene until the car was taken care of. Jimbo never kept him waiting, especially when this close to the big day.