The Defraud. This short story occurs in a city of eastern USA. It is based on the reaction of a middle aged person to a situation in which he is treated in an unrighteous manner.
Today I woke up in a contented mood. I thanked God for this day that He allows me to see
and got ready to live the day fully. I live a tranquil life and even though Susan and I have a
few health problems our children are independent adults and all of them live well. I’m
expecting a good day at work since the goals assigned to the section I supervise are in good
pace to be met and exceeded. Each member of our group is doing his part with good attitude
and strong effort. I leave home early, as always, to arrive ten to fifteen minutes before starting
time, while driving at normal speed. Besides I have to take into consideration the traffic jam
at Main Street, due to the underground piping repair being carried out by the electric power
As I approach downtown there is a line of slowly moving cars. Main Street is a five lanes
avenue. In the early morning, three lanes travel in the same direction I’m going, the two
east side lanes and the central lane which is reversible. The construction project covers
the length of the block between Washington and Wilson streets. The line of cars extends
up to Hill street, approximately two blocks.
I decide to move into the lane on my left since the lane in which I am driving is
interrupted about four hundred feet ahead. The cars are alternating in an orderly manner
so I don’t expect to have a significant delay. As I get closer to the bottleneck in which
there is a lane reduction, I notice the cars to my left are moving faster than my lane.
The cars on the lane to my right side are entering my lane and all are moving at a slow pace.
Approaching the point where the lane reduction is completed, the cars on my lane and
those to my right are interweaving alternatively. Slowly I allow space so that the car to my
right can merge in front of me. Suddenly, as I advance to take my place in the line, a blue
car darts forward aggressively and tries to cut in front of me. It moved so fast and violently
that I was not able to react on time. Instantly, I felt the shake of the car bumping into mine
and heard the sound of crushing metal. I quickly braked and tried to veer to the left lane
but the cars already passing there were moving bumper to bumper posing too much of a risk
for a sudden change of lane. The crushing noise of sheet metal being torn apart seemed to
echo in slow motion for an eternity until both cars came to a stop. Quietly I began to talk
“Oh Lord, what has this man done?”
“Well, calm yourself Mark, let’s see how we handle this situation.”
I noticed my safety belt was still secured, and besides the emotional strain there didn’t seem
to be any physical harm. Several of the drivers of cars nearby came and asked if I was
all right. They helped me out of the car. I noticed the driver in the other car was also being
helped out of his car, because the door on his side was deformed in such way that it would
not open. He appeared to be a young man, in his mid-twenties, and as he walked toward me
“Sir, are you all right?”
“Yes, only a bit shaken and you,” I answered.
“ I’m fine, my name is Ken Bauer” he said.
“ I am Mark Anderson, lets park over there beyond the construction site and clear the
way while the police arrive.”
“Fine” said Ken “that seems like a good idea.”
It’s the best we could do, I thought, that way this enormous traffic jam will start flowing.
With the help of other drivers we separated the cars. Ken’s car is an early nineties, two
door, blue, Chevrolet Lumina.
A couple of minutes after we parked; the traffic which had stopped for several minutes
due to the accident, was already restored to normal movement. Before long a policeman
arrived at the scene.
“Good morning, I’m officer Albert Green. Are you the drivers of the cars involved in the
“Yes, officer, I’m Mark Anderson.”
“My name is Ken Bauer.”
“Please show me your driver’s licences, your cars certificate of registry and your accident
We both had the documents ready and Policeman Green examined them. Afterwards he
went to both cars checking carefully the damages of both. My car had the right fender
bumped and also the right bumped was extremely twisted and broken at the joint to the
spar. Ken’s car had the left side front fender, door, and rear quarter panel heavily
bumped and cut. The shape of the collision showed that his car had hit mine and
continued moving while my car’s bumped crushed and cut its left side.
“Mister Anderson, tell me what happened,” asked Officer Green.
“I was driving on Main Street in the next to last lane and upon reaching the lane reduction
mister Bauer’s car tried to cross in front of me just before the lane reduction at a very fast
speed. Because the lane to my left was crowded, I couldn’t avoid him and he moved so
fast that I had no time to break.” I explained.
“Mister Bauer, what’s your version of the accident?”
“Well, I was on hurry and thought I had space to pass in front of Mr. Anderson’s car,
but he didn’t allow me and we crashed” said Ken.
Officer Green looked at both of us and went again to calmly examine the cars, he then said.
“Mr. Bauer in my report I’m saying that you provoked the accident. Since you both have
the state government accident insurance policy, please agree to visit the insurance agency
office and make the arrangements for the repair of Mr. Anderson’s car. Have a good day.”
said Officer Green and left.
“Mark, I can go tomorrow afternoon to the office on Helm street on the East side, Ken
“I prefer the office close to here at Main and Elizabeth.” I replied.
“This week I have some commitments close to the East side office and it will be difficult
for me to come here, the sooner we make this appointment, the better” he said.
I reluctantly agreed,” Ok at the Helm street office at 1:00 P.M.” I said.
Ken’s insistence on going to the East side office concerned me. It was far from my work
and my home, but since on this days us persons are more concerned with satisfying our
personal conveniences above other considerations, I accepted. Besides Ken is young man
and at his age I also had my time very limited with the thousand things I had to do to earn our
living. Besides it was getting late in the morning and although I left home early, I would
arrive at work about two hours late. Looking for a public phone along the way, I stopped
and called the company to let them know about my tardiness. All the way to work I hashed
over the events that had occurred. The damage suffered by Ken’s car is considerable and
the idea of going to the East side to solve this situation concerns me. I’ll have to make
arrangements at work to be absent tomorrow afternoon. It would have been better in the
morning, that way we would be out of that early.
The next day, I left the company building shortly after 12:00 noon. I had to cross the
whole city to get to the insurance company office on the East side. It took me around fifty
minutes due to the intense traffic through the center of the city. The insurance company
office is located on the second floor of a small shopping mall. I parked on the mall’s
parking lot and as I exit my car, I noticed Ken’s car parked several spaces beyond mine.
This surprised me because I didn’t expect him to arrive so early. I went to the exterior
stairs that led to the second floor.
The second floor has a central aisle eight feet wide with several offices and businesses
on each side. A sports outfits and equipment store, a travel agency , a beauty parlor until
I came to the State Accident Insurance Company office. The lobby was about fifteen feet by
fifteen feet with ten folding chairs placed against the light blue wall. Lightning would have been
adequate if all the fluorescent tubes lit. As I was going to enter the door that connected the lobby
to the office area Ken came out.
“Hello Mark, I’m glad you arrived. I was writing my name on the waiting list so they
attend us as soon as you arrive” he said.
I became suspicious that Ken had entered the office previous to my arrival but I didn’t say
anything, I’m not accustomed to discussions, public or private.
“Good afternoon Ken, I said, lets get in so we can be attended. Let’s see if one of the
appraiser is available.”
We entered through the lobby’s interior door into an area about twenty-five feet long and
fifteen feet wide. It has a lateral aisle that runs in front and gives access to two offices
approximately twelve feet each, separated by wood panel partitions six feet high. Each
office has a wood panel partition that defines the aisle and its entrance door. In each
office is a desk with its roller chair, a metal file cabinet, a computer with a printer on its
computer desk and four folding chairs. The office is well illuminated with hanging
fluorescent tube lamps and its ventilated with a “split type” air-conditioning unit. In the
first cubicle was a young man seated at the desk. Ken entered and I followed.
“My name is Jason Kelly, please be seated, how may I serve you?” the insurance
company employee said.
“Yesterday we had an accident at Main Street and we are here to present the claim for the
damages suffered. My name is Ken Bauer.”
“Mark Anderson, nice to meet you.” I said.
“Have you filled out the accident report form,” mister Kelly asked.
“Here is mine,” said Ken.
“Please give me copy of the form and I’ll fill it right away,” I added.
“Please fill out your personal information and your description of the accident,” Kelly said.
I took the form and filled out the information. I felt uncomfortable because businesses
was being handled some what informally. My estimate for the repairs to the damages to my
car is $500.00. The repairs to Ken’s car will probably cost around $4000.00 since all the
left side has to be repaired including a new door. At least the door’s glass is manually
operated which makes the door cheaper. I handled the completed form to Jason Kelly who
examined both forms.
“Mr. Anderson, said Kelly, I see that your car impacted mister Bauer’s car as it was entering
the lane in which you traveled.”
“That is not exactly what happened” I argued firmly, “Ken tried to cut violently in front of
me, crashing my car and causing the accident. The policeman that covered the accident
affirmed and reported this in his report.”
“I want to see and photograph the cars, gentlemen, please come with me to the parking lot,”
The three of us went to the parking lot and Kelly saw and took pictures of both cars.
Meanwhile I wondered why Ken had not said a word? Afterwards we returned to the office.
Kelly began to describe his assessment of the damage.
“Mr. Bauer, I’m going to assign $3750.00 as payment for the repairs required by your car.
You will be given a certification letter which you must take to the auto body repair shop
that you select from within the list of shops that will also be given to you. If you want to
use a shop that is not on the list, the shop owner will have to submit a written estimate
for our approval.” Kelly continued.
“What about the damages suffered by my car, who’s going to pay for them” I asked.
“After examining the accident descriptions and the damages suffered by the cars I believe
that you, mister Anderson, are responsible for the accident so the insurance company
won’t pay for your car repairs” Kelly stated bluntly.
“This is abusive. I’m not going to accept this in any way. You are a thief, Kelly,”
I left the office abruptly and arrived at home furious and very upset. My wife Susan, asked
me and as I told her what was wrong about the fraud at the insurance company, I began
to recover control of myself. Together we examined what could be done to impede this
“The first alternative, Susan said, would be to file a complaint with the insurance company
“I don’t like that, Susan, because the company would protect its employee and its good
standing in front of the public. Also, if there is a plot between Bauer and Kelly, as I
suspect, they will take care to protect themselves against any management investigation.
Maybe I could go to policeman Green and ask him to reopen the case” I suggested.
“That’s a good alternative, said Susan, except it will take you lots of time and you may have
to hire a lawyer which will cost us more than the costs of the repairs.”
“Speaking of lawyers, I said, I could visit one, to see what he can do and how much time
and money we would have to invest.”
“The lawyer will probably ask you to go to a physician and take some physical therapies in
order for him to claim physical harm in a judicial suit,” said Susan.
“Forget it, I’ll fix my car and forget about those bandits, I said. It’s so frustrating to live a
long, decent life and still become the victim of corruption by someone who should
watch out for careful drivers and ensure they are treated fairly?”
Two months had passed and one day Susan and I were on a toll highway returning home
from visiting our daughter. It was a Friday afternoon and traffic was very heavy. Upon
arriving at Dale toll station there was a long line of about fifteen cars in front of me.
“Mark, Susan told me, I’ve noticed that you are driving at a higher speed than what we are
accustomed to. You also seem to be more aggressive, what is happening to you?”
“Susan, I cannot stand these drivers that drive do thoughtlessly” I said.
“Try to calm yourself, she suggested, or this is going to harm your character.”
Meanwhile, we had advanced to become the second car in the line. Suddenly a car advanced
on the right side and crossed partially in front of me. When I saw this, I accelerated and .....
“let the insurance company pay for the crash”.