So Wednesday started out pretty typical. We had the Mia Hamm signing that night, and I had agreed to get a wristband for Josh and save a place for him in line until he could get there from work. Then me, Josh, Matt and Sally were going to go eat dinner after Josh drooled over Mia a little. When I woke up, Josh had sent me an IM saying his wisdom teeth were driving him crazy, so he wouldn't be able to meet us. Not a problem--when I got to work, Sally and I agreed we'd still do dinner, and we called Matt and he said he'd still come out to us @ S.Point. Then it started snowing, but it really was no big deal, I mean, it was really pretty. People started calling to see if we were gonna cancel the Mia Hamm thing, and we're like "no, it's not that bad. we're not cancelling. she's still coming." Jackson and I even went out and played in the snow on our lunch break--he told me that I looked good with the snow in my hair and on my sweater. Awww. So we chilled at work, it stopped snowing at like 2, Matt called back and said that there would be no more snow, and that we'd still hang out after work, when Sally got off at 6:30 (I was off at 4). We were goofing off at work because really, we had no customers. It was dead. There was one point where there was like one customer in the store. Chris Myers asked me to go play in the snow with him, and I said that Jackson and I already had, Chris just laughed. Then he went back to receiving to tell Jackson that he had a big kiss from Courtney for him--and then he tried to kiss Jackson, who pulled a box cutter on him. Hahahahaha. Jackson comes running up to me at the front and tells me this, and he goes "next time, come do your dirty work yourself" and then he winks. awwww..So you see, we really didn't think much of the snow.
But, then they let school out early, which turned out to be a mistake. The sun came out, started melting things, and we thought we were golden, until we started getting these reports of "I-40 being a parking lot." Ok, so makes sense, RTP and other businesses probably let out early, plus people probably left to go get their kids, so not to worry. Jackson and Ruishon said they'd go with us to dinner, and Ruishon and I agreed that would be better, because by the time we finished dinner, rush hour would be over, and all the crazies who rushed out at 2 o'clock would have left the highway. Famous last words.
I chilled with Eric for a while, and then I went downstairs to hang out with Jackson until his shift was over-he said he was having trouble concentrating on work with me there ;). We still had to wait for Matt to arrive and Sally's shift to be over. Mia Hamm arrived, we met her in the break room, so that was pretty cool. She looks a lot older than I thought she would look, and she's a lot shorter. But she's very very nice. I guess Chris Myers and I expected her to be some sort of hoss or something. So finally, Matt, Ruishon, Sally, Jackson and I go to eat over across the street at Moe's. It was a little slippery, but really, didn't think much of it. We had a good time...even though Matt told me later that Jackson and I were a little lovey on each other (which really, I don't remember. I remember him holding my hand, and us leaning on each other, but that was it). Apparently, Matt, Sally, and Ru were making comments the entire time--I only heard Ru say "I feel like we're interrupting y'all"--but she and Sally apparently said that they were on the eating side of the table, not the loving side. Matt was next to me and Jackson in the booth, and he kept saying he was "uncomfortable sitting between us and the wall" but Sally said "at least you don't have to look at it." Ok whatever. We were not misbehaving. Grow up. Anyway, we all left--Ruishon and I agreed to follow each other home since we're only 4 exits apart. Jackson told me to call him when I got home or if he needed to come get me. We set off, and I talked to my mom who said that it took my neighbor 5 hours to get home from RTP. Ok, trouble. Also, Falls of Neuse was apparently out near the entrance to Bedford, so I had to take the back way in thru Durant. Ok noted.
At 7:30pm, Ruishon and I get on the highway--mistake no. 1. It looked ok until you rounded the bend and it was just massive gridlock. She called and we agreed to get off at the next exit at Hwy 55/54 and take 54 home. Plus, I had to pee really badly, should have gone before I left Moe's, oh well, so we're trying to make it to the exit, which is 2 miles down from our exit at Fayetteville Road. It took us an hour. One fucking hour to go two miles. I called Sonya and said I was gonna pee on myself if we didn't get there soon, and I was gonna have frozen pee drawers the whole ride home. She's like "Just do it, it's your car!" I called Jackson and talked to him for a while, which was really nice--we had a very good conversation and it made me like him even more and I just realized that he really is a very complex person--he's like "I hope you don't think I'm ignorant" NO way! I said I wouldn't waste my time talking to you at all, I just think he's wonderful. I talked to him until we actually got off the highway at 55 and stopped at Taco Bell to use their bathroom. Ru let me go first cos it was a one person stall, and then she couldn't wait, she just barged into the men's room and used that one. Haha. Anyway, so we're much better, we decide to take 54 to Davis Dr and then rejoin the highway. We get back in our cars, I call Jackson back, I'm talking to him, and Ru buzzes in saying "I just talked to my mom, don't take Davis, it's a parking lot, we need to take Alexander to 70." So I basically skidded across the intersection to make a left on Alexander cos we were right there---Jackson's like "ok, you need to get off the phone and concentrate. Call me when you get home so I know you got there safe" Ok done. So Ruishon and I are on Alexander, it backs up, we finally get to 70, and she goes to her apt near Brier Creek, saying "call me when you get home." I continued on to 540, it looked pretty clear coming over the bridge. And then my nightmare began.
At 9:30pm, after I talked to Ruishon, 540 backed up right around the Leesville exit. I called Scott to see where he was because I figured that he was probably heading home from the Mia Hamm thing. He said he also took Alexander to 70 but had talked to Annie, his roommate, who was stuck about 1/2 mile up from me between the Leesville and Creedmoor exits for two hours. So he took Westgate to Strickland to avoid the gridlock that she and I were both stuck in on 540. I started panicking. Two hours she had been there?! Nooooo. So Scott agreed to wait for me at the bottom of the Creedmoor exit and pick me up to take me home. I called Jackson and said "ok, Scott's gonna come get me, I'll be ok." Jackson was like "thank god for Scott, stay with him." Scott stayed on the phone w/ me, cheering me up, making me laugh. After over an hour, I had .4 of a mile to go before I got to him. So we're talking 10:30 ish. A police man had tapped on Annie's window to tell her that they were trying to get a sand/salt truck on the exit b/c it was so bad, so they were stopping traffic on the ramp. So she made it through. I told Scott there was no way I could get to him then, and I thought that since the left and middle lanes were empty, that maybe 540 wasn't so bad on down, maybe b/c this exit was being closed, I could just scoot on down. So he's like "try it, but I can't get to you then." So I said that was ok, I'd just continue. He said to get off at 6 forks and take that road in, avoid Durant b/c there's no lights, but just see if you can get off. So I was motoring on down, and hit another gridlock at 6 fks, no better than the last one. I was really panicking at that point. My cell phone was running low, it was after 11pm, my gas was running out. I called Cori and was absolutely panicked, hysterically screaming. I called my mom, she's like "you have got to get a hold of yourself." I wasn't worried that I would wreck my car, I was worried about running out of gas.
Scott then called me back and stayed on the phone with me for about another hour, singing to me, trying to get me to laugh, anything from me crying. I told him he could ask me anything he wanted to, and he said "that's opening a can of worms." I thought it meant that he wanted to ask what was going on w/ me and Jackson (of which, I have no clue) but he wouldn't say. Then we started talking about our dating history, blah blah and how I'm still his favorite girlfriend (but also his least favorite hahahah since i'm the only one). He really honestly kept me sane. Had I not had him to talk to, I probably would have freaked the shit out. That is why I love Scott, because he is one of a very very very few people who can keep me calm. I needed him that night, and he was really there for me. He said he couldn't resist me being a damsel in distress, and that he needed to be my knight in shining armor, which he truly was. So he stayed on the phone w/ me right until the phone died. The last call I made was to my mom, saying "you have got to come get me, I can't make it." She said if I could get to the Harris Teeter off of Falls, she'd meet me there, no matter how long it took. That was at midnight. I was 2 miles from my exit.
So the phone was dead. I was by myself. I started singing, thinking about Jackson, anything really. Cars next to me were pulling off the road cos they ran out of gas or overheated. I inched closer to my exit, and when I got there, I could see what was causing the backup. There were about 50 cars abandoned b/c they ran out of gas or wrecked on the exit ramp. It was an ice skating rink. The entire ramp was a sheet of ice--and cars were blocking the exit. A Highway Patrol was there directing people to go over the median and the grass to rejoin the exit at the top, where it was still treacherous ice. I finally made it onto Falls, creeping at 3 miles an hour, and coasted into the HT parking lot, which had turned into a shelter from all those people stranded on 540. I was so glad to see my mother, I was shaking. We left my car in the parking lot, and tried to get home, which was only about 2-3 miles away, but it still took us about 20 minutes to get there. Bedford and Falls River was horrible--with all the hills, it was all ice, and more cars were abandoned on the sides and up on the sidewalks even. I finally got home at 1:30am, plugged my phone in, called Scott and just broke down crying. My body was so tense and achy from six hours of being stuck in gridlock. Scott had fallen asleep but he just wanted to hear that I was home and I thanked him about 792743 times. He's like "you're not going to work tomorrow!" Nope. Then I sent Ruishon a text msg saying I was home. I checked my voice mail and I had 7 messages--Ruishon, Matty, Josh (who left the best one--Matt must have told him I was stranded, and Josh said "atta girl, you just sit in your car, I can see you now, singing away to Tift and Ryan Adams"), my mom had all called to see where I was. Matty's away msg said "Courtney, send me an IM when you get home so I know you're there". I was so relieved to be home. I just cried again because so many people were worried. I went to bed around 2 and woke up at 7 to call and tell them what happened, Ginny was like "I figured you wouldn't be able to make it in". Jackson called me at 11 after I got my car back to check on me--he's like "I didn't hear from you, and then you weren't at work, so I worried until Ginny told me what happened, so I had to check on you." Ugh, it was horrendous.
I was so grateful to my mom, and Scott and Jackson and whoever else I had talked to to keep me sane. But really, had it not been for Scott, I would have seriously flipped out. Matt asked me last night why Scott and I just didn't get back together because it's clear to him that Scott would take me back in a second, and I said that the fact we work together is not good, plus there are times when Scott annoys the poop outta me, and then there are times like Wednesday night when I needed him most and he was there, no questions asked. It's just a crazy situation. Plus, in Matt's words, I gotta "work thru the Jackson thing." Jackson. He really is impressing me.
So, that being all written down, and my ordeal is over, I am thankful for being home and having such good friends and family. I love you all. Esp you, SMD.