I was sitting in the car, waiting for the good lady who was in the shop getting our winning lotto ticket (for tonight…). Anyway, the window was open a tad and a fresh rain squall notified me that it was aiming at me. I looked up… and the thought process went as follows:
Camera ► manual focus ► set out of focus ► Who’ll Stop the Rain…
Simple – until I say the movie had a profound impact on my life. So much so that I will watch it again… soon. I have previously threatened to tell the tale but it takes a bit of doing for me to do so. You see, one night I’d gone with Ronny, a friend – to watch the movie when it first released. We’d gone on his bike so we could get parking close to the movie house. When we came out of the show it was pouring… and we had to get back to the residence – before the doors closed at midnight… so, we couldn’t wait out the storm… we had to ride in the rain.
Two nights later we were to go visit friends in a nearby suburb and then from there we were going to see the movie again, with them. Again, we were going to get to the friends house on Ronny’s bike… for ease. It was summer so it made no sense sitting in rush hour traffic when we could jump on the bike and zip there in no time. However, after class I’d just felt in the mood for a quick snooze.
I’ll remind you, this was in the days when mobile phones were not yet even a twinkle in father communication’s eye. OK… Ronny had, apparently, come into my room to wake me… to no avail. The next morning I woke and when I left my room to go off I noticed Ronny’s room light was on. I tried the door… locked. No sign of him in the food hall. I recalled the planned events of the previous evening and thought immediately that he must have stayed over at the friend’s house.
However, our first lesson for the day was maths – in this class Ronny’s desk was the one just to the left of mine. The desk stayed conspicuously empty. OK, I thought – he must’ve overslept and then got caught in the traffic. However, I had an eerie feeling. I wondered why I’d fallen asleep… why I hadn’t woken to go with Ronny. Well, it didn’t take long to work it out.
Halfway through the lesson there was a knock on the classroom door – our course leader opened and looked straight at me – a chill ran along my spine.
“Where’s Ronny… ?” I muttered under my breath… my hairs on end.
“He won’t be back – he was killed last night… a car slid in the rain, on the rail bridge in Lyttelton – into his bike… he was killed instantly. The people in the car following him saw it all – they were his friends.”
Yes, they were my friends too…
I got chills as I typed the story. Yes, folk – I have always believed that I was protected that night – and many other nights too! Yes folk – I should’ve been pillion that night…
I say no more!
I chose this particular clip as it has extracts from the movie… memories… and… reason for gratitude!
PS – I did a map search… the bridge is still there but it seems the road has been upgraded to a dual carriageway – thankfully!