Learning to Drive
The sun was just rising as I followed my father outside. I had no idea what was so important that I needed to be awake at the crack of dawn, but he sure was excited about it. When I looked down the driveway I couldn’t believe my eyes. There sat a brand new Audi A6. I sprinted over to it and ran my hands over the glassy smooth hood.
“Jordan, you earned this car,” my father said. “You’ve been busting your ass off in school and around the house, and your mother and I want to show you how proud we are of you.”
“Thank you so much Dad!”
“Your welcome, son. I know you’re excited, but this is not a toy, and I’ll take it from you if you mistreat it.”
“I know, Dad,” I said. I honestly wasn’t listening to anything he said. My mind was focused on the car.
“No Jordan, look at me,” he said. I peered up at him, struggling to take my eyes off of the beautiful car. “Consider this car a privilege that will be taken from you if you do not respect it,” he said.
“Alright, I got it,” I said. “Can I take it for a drive?”
“Yeah go on, have fun,” he said.
At the age of seventeen, freedom was rare for me. My parents treated me like a little child, always watching my every move, and telling me what to do. Of course all of the protection was because they “loved me so much,” but a little space would have been nice. Unlike my friends, I had a weekend curfew of 11:00 and going out on weeknights was never an option. These were rules that I strictly adhered to in order to appease my father. He was a large man, standing tall at 6’1” and weighing nearly 250 pounds. My friends joke that when he puts on his black pinstriped suit with his slicked back hair he looks like the head of the mafia.
We told these jokes about my father, but at the end of the day we all feared him. It wasn’t just his appearance that was intimidating, but it was his personality as well. My father was a man of principle. He doesn’t steal, he holds to all of his promises, and he believes in a good work ethic. All of the miniscule daily decisions that i made were influenced by him. Right before he gets home from work, I quickly turn off the video games and pretend to be doing homework as if I had been solving algebraic equations for hours. My posture quickly gets much better when he enters the room. I even tend to walk the dogs a couple more blocks then usual when he is around.
The pressure I had to earn his approval was a little overwhelming. Sometimes I needed a break from it. One of the few chances I had to escape from my dad’s overbearing watch came one week after I was given my new car. It was my parents’ twenty-fourth anniversary and they were out at their favorite restaurant. With the distraction of their anniversary night. I was free to do whatever I wanted.
I decided to take my new car out for a drive. It was a metallic blue, Audi A6. This car was uncommon among high school kids. In the school parking lot it’s sleek design and shiny finish made it stand out like the moon amongst the stars on a clear night. But I didn’t care about the cars looks. I loved it for the speed! The car was fast and it seemed to float on the road. This night was the perfect chance for me to really test it’s limits.
I drove to my friend Mike’s house to pick him up and show off my car. He was the center of my high school’s basketball team and his big body sat very uncomfortably in the passenger seat of my tiny car. With Mike hunched over in the front seat we went speeding through town with little regard for the speed limit. I made a turn into Burgundy Hills, which was very familiar to me. I knew this neighborhood well, so I had no problem blowing stop signs and racing around blind turns. My car was fast, and it handled like no other car either of us have ever driven. “Punch it,” mike said. I pushed the gas pedal to the ground, and the force of the car’s acceleration held me and mike tight into our seats. As I...
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