I was driving up the highway between Saint John and Sussex, and I was speeding; not because I was in a hurry, but because it felt right.
It was a beautiful evening in New Brunswick. It was about half-an-hour before sunset. The scenery was golden as I chased the long shadow of my car up Route One.
Rolling hills stretched away into the distance. Down in a valley I saw a little village with a church spire. The entire landscape seemed to glow in the warm light.
Switching lanes, I had a brief race of doom as I accelerated past a Tercel. My automatic transmission shifted in and out of passing gear with a pleasant whine.
I didn’t even see the deer until it was already on the highway. It came straight towards me. Instinctively I yanked the steering wheel to the right; the deer dodged back to my left. Somehow I swerved around it.
The look in its eyes did not miss me.
I was back in the right lane. My heart pounded. Quickly I checked the rear view mirror. A few seconds earlier, and there would’ve been a car beside me.
The deer galloped past the Tercel and then made a break for it. From my angle, it looked as if the car behind the Tercel was sure to collide with the animal. But the deer made it past and ran down off the side of the road.
The cars behind me seemed to slow down, as if the drivers were pausing to catch their breath. My own adrenalin rush carried me even faster up the highway. The near-miss with the beautiful young buck left me feeling strangely exhilarated.
I wonder if it would have smashed right through the windshield?
I wonder if I would have died.