Neatly stacked, two pans of lasagna chilled in the refrigerator for the teacher dinner that evening. She jimmed them out of the crammed space and cautiously carried them out of the apartment to the car.
“The back, yes. The back. It would be better for these pans to be in the back of the Jeep,” she declared with split-second reasoning. A flat space welcomed the cookie sheet base of the two perched casseroles.
“Careful on the ramps and around the curves,” the girl reminded herself driving quickly down the straight stretches to make up for it. “The lasagna could slosh and spill. Then, it would be no good to bake for my meal.”
Speed. Drive-thru. Stoplight. Traffic line-ups.....and a wish.
(A wish that she'd drive into the parking lot at the same time as a colleague who could let her in the building. The electronic key lost in last weekend's purse shuffle really served to annoy.)
Pulling up beside a newly parked Ford, the girl bolted out of her car to keep her peer from waiting as she unloaded each dinner detail and made plans to maneuver everything inside. The last step...the lift gate; which, without fanfare (or really any preparation), swung open.
A flash of light.
One foil-covered baking dish flew through the air…
SPLAT. Meat sauce on leggings. Meat sauce on shoes. Meat sauce on asphalt. Noodly layers askew. Now for a millisecond, she wondered if anyone witnessed this embarrassing gaffe. But those thoughts were quickly preempted by musings of how fast the disheveled dinner could be reconfigured. With speedy, tomato-stained hands she found out.
“Awwwwww. Can I help you?” her key-holding colleague asked empathetically while getting an actual glimpse of this real-life cautionary tale,
“No, not at all,” she recovered, “I’m just rushing around this morning.”
And this girl in a hurry learned, yet again, the virtue of slow and steady wins the race.
The lasagna was saved and baked beautifully. She fed all her guests and even had a half-pan left over. No one was any wiser; only the security officers who may have caught the debacle on tape. :)