By Sylvie Fox, author of Puppy Love
I quit practicing law about a million times. I hated law school, and the daily grind of libraries, research, and sad clients was no better. My last job was as a corporate real estate lawyer – about ten miles from my house. In any reasonable part of the world, my commute would have been fifteen minutes. In Los Angeles – well – let’s just say I finished an audio book a week during my daily drives.
On a sunny, warm day no different from any other, I was on my way to work and the usually hectic traffic was worse than usual – though it’s often impossible to tell bad from hellish. But this day, I was stuck on the entrance ramp for about fifteen minutes – when five was the norm. The only other time that had happened to me, a county coroner’s van zoomed by on the shoulder, and I knew something really bad had happened. After fifteen minutes – nothing – no LAPD, no CHiPs, no coroner. When I finally inched my way onto the freeway – everything was at a standstill. I could not see an accident, nor were the usual group of news helicopters making their lazy, noisy circles over the cars.
Instead, I noticed that people were opening their doors and getting out of their cars. I’d seen a lot of things happen on the freeway during my time in California – including one fistfight – but I’d never seen that many people open their car doors. The bubble inside an Angeleno’s car is sacrosanct and rarely breached for any reason.
Then I saw it. A small reddish dog was running down the dotted lines of the freeway. It was both horrifying and fascinating. Would the dog be saved? What would happen? We Angeleno’s may hate many things associated with driving, but dogs are not among them. Rarely do such intense dramas play out in real life. I wish I could tell you that the dog had a happy ending. It escaped from everyone who tried to save it. I think a friend who had a later commute on the same stretch of the 101 told me, the animal had been saved, but that memory may just be wishful thinking on my part.
What I remember is running into work, turning on my computer, and starting Puppy Love. The characters had been taking up space in my head since they had appeared in another book I had written, In the Nick of Time, but for the life of me, I couldn’t ever see them meeting because they were from such different worlds. Then this happened, and a chance meeting between the hero, Ryan Becker, and the heroine, Sophie Reid was born.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen while driving or stuck in traffic? Share your own stories in the comments!