It was one of those instances when I actually didn’t know how to react; and if you know me, you know those instances are rare. I almost always have some type of snappy comeback or quick retort, but not this time. This time, I was silent, but most of all, I was pensive.
As we huddled near a crackling fire, listening to a story being told by my friend’s friend, we all gave each other inconspicuous glances, wondering if the story could actually be true. You see, it all began when my friend suggested that we get together after the holidays. We hadn’t seen each other since the summer, and she felt that our getting together was long overdue. So she invited us up to her cabin in Lake George, New York for a weekend of pigging-out and dishing the dirt. Little did I know what I would soon encounter.
Anyway, after hugging each other on the front lawn of her massive lakefront property, we went into the house and got settled into our rooms. Later, after a fattening and fabulous dinner consisting of pasta, fried chicken, and dessert, we huddled around her enormous fireplace, with five bottles of red and white wine, and played catch-up with each other. That’s when Sophie, my friend’s friend, who was invited for some unknown reason, broke into a story that left each of us speechless.
It appears that Sophie was in Oklahoma, visiting her mother, when she was in the backyard picking corn. She said that the sky had turned a hazy shade of dark gray and that the wind had begun to pick up. She claimed that normally, if the weather changed suddenly the way it did that day, usually a tornado wasn’t far behind, but this was not a tornado, she said. It was a storm brewing, just a rain storm with dots of lightning. Well, anyway. She was picking her corn when a bolt of lightning crashed in the sky, leaving her no time to run. Then bam! She was hit by lightning.
We all snapped into attention and just stared into her face. I mean, what were the chances of surviving a lightning hit? So, my friend, Jayne, said to her, “Dear God! So what happened to you? Were you burned or knocked unconscious?”
We all waited to hear Sophie’s answer. Sophie said, and I quote, “I was knocked to the ground but got right up. That was it. Not a mark or blemish, nothing.”
“Nothing?” we all said at the same time.
“Not a thing,” Sophie said.
Now keep in mind that we didn’t know Sophie. She was invited by our friend, Joanna. So we glanced over to Joanna, waiting for a nod of approval, or a shoulder shrug, or something to validate her friend. But Joanna was so flabbergasted that she couldn’t respond.
Now, I ask you. What do you say to a person who says they walked away totally unscathed from being struck by lightning?
Do you call them out, or do you just politely nod, smile, and change the subject?