Thursday, October 19, 2006

Near miss/close call

It's my last day of driver's ed. I am in a rush to get my license because on July 1, the law changes and your probationary license lasts a year, during which you can't drive after midnight. If I get my license between my birthday on May 28 and July 1, I will only have a 6 month probation and can be out until 1 a.m. Who can get home before midnight?

My driver's ed teacher is weird and a little too familiar. He usually picks me up for our 2 hour driving sessions with another student, then I drive her home and we drive aimlessly until it's time to drive to the next student's house. One day we have to take the 40-something daughter of the driving school's owner to her beauty salon appointment in Pikesville. Then he wants to take me to lunch, which is a little weird but I am able to get him to skip it. Us 15 year olds, got to get home because we have busy busy lives, right?

Today, a Friday, I have the last session of the day. He says my driving is good but I need to work on my parallel parking. We drive to some parking lot in the northeast section. I can hear the traffic from a boulevard slightly above us. Even though we are so close to traffic it is actually pretty isolated. No one can really see us, and this huge lot is deserted.

We practice parking for a while. I'm actually pretty decent at it. Then he gives me a standard-sounding talk about the dangers of drunk driving and suggests we role-play a drunk driving scenario. It's weird, but I need to finish this class so I can get to my babysitting job at 6:30, so I say, sure.

So I am the teen who has been drinking and driving, and he is the cop who pulls me over. He asks me if I've been drinking and true to form for me, I say yes. I have a keen sense of when to lie and when to just fess up because you're going to get figured out anyway. He lectures me and then says he has to arrest me. He tells me to get in the back seat and lie down. Then he uses the seat belts in the back to strap me to the seat and tie me up.

I feel like I've very slowly fallen into a deep pit, so slowly I didn't even know I was falling. And now it occurs to me where I am. And I have no way to escape.

He stands over me for a while, just watching. We are both silent and barely breathing. The traffic hums behind him.

Then just like that, it is over. He clears his throat and unstraps me, resuming the teacher-lectute voice while he releases me. I climb into the driver's seat and drive us out of the lot, heading to Kate and Mike's house where tonight I will watch Ben while they go to the movies. During the drive there he talks about how special I am, how much he really likes me, he wants to see me again, can we meet next week?

I smile and nod and say, it's been great, thank you so much. I step onto the curb at Kate's house, dash down her sidewalk and into the house. My hair flies behind me as I run as fast as I can without looking scared. I don't look back.


At 3:32 PM, Blogger Laura said...

This is the kind of story that makes parenting really goddamn scary. How terrified you must have been. God.


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