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A youthful Commute
I'm a high school student
The time was getting a bit too close for comfort for Ben as he was pacing around the kitchen in his soccer uniform waiting for the arrival of his parents. He had gone over everything a few times in his head making sure he was as ready as he could be. His anxiety now kicked in as he thought to himself that he might be late for todays game if his parents don’t get home soon.
Trying to remain calm he went over to the kitchen calendar just to double check that he had everything right. It was Sunday, Sundays agenda said that his mother should’ve got home this morning, she was a nurse and was home for the majority of the days but when she was working she usually had a twelve hour shift. The agenda also said that his father should be on a business trip, that was typical of his father, he usually had at least one or two trips a week. He checked his phone and made sure that he was looking at the correct day of the month but then it hit him. He was looking at Saturday the fourteenth but today was the twenty first.
He vigorously flipped the page to the next week and read aloud
“Kate, work six AM to six PM, Rob, trip to California,” Ben stood now for a second in shock, his heart sank and a panic came over him, he immediately got his phone and called his teammate Josh. The phone rang, Ben paced anxiously around the kitchen table where his phone was placed and put on speaker. Finally Josh picked up.
“Hey what’s up” Josh said over the line
“Hey, umm my parents wont be able to take me to the game do you think you could give me a ride” Ben responded in a fast tone. But then a silence filled the call, Josh was thinking about how to take this as nicely as possible and responded.
“Wait you said you would be able to give me a ride after practice Thursday, are you serious?” His frustration could be felt through the phone. Ben remained silent then responded
“Im Sorry my parents are both out Im not going to be able to get to the game myself.”
“So are mine, what are we gonna do,” the call went silent for a few moments before the three beeps of the call being ended.
Ben sat now and thought of what he could do to try and save both himself and now Josh from this situation. He looked outside and saw his dads car sitting there and thought. It had crossed his mind to drive himself earlier but he knew how much trouble he would be in. He thought about it for a few minutes and said to himself
“if I take the car they might not notice, Ill leave now and be back in tops three hours. Im sure I can drive, Ive driven my older brothers car in a parking lot once when he was trying to teach me. And this will also take the stress of josh and I can pick him up.”
He called Josh again, this time Josh picked up his phone on the first ring.
“What’s up” Josh said in a mellow tone.
“I can pick you up I’ll be at your place in ten, be ready!” Ben said in a mischievous voice.
“Thanks goodness, I was so stress thank you I’ll be ready,” responded Josh in relief.
“Okay sounds good bye,” The house was silenced once again. Ben acted quickly in order to get over the guilt and scared feeling he had within him. He got his bag and his fathers keys. He got to the car and put his bags in the back and before getting in the car himself, he grabbed four rocks marking the location of where each tire was so that when he returned he would know exactly where the car was parked.
He was really feeling the nerves and adrenaline now as he entered the car but he tried to remain calm. He looked down at the pedals and saw the two, he tried to recall which was which is nearly positive that the one on the right was the brake. He then turned the key to start the ignition. The cars started rung but the rumble of the motor didn’t follow after. He tried again this time not having any fear and fully cranked the key. The car started and the rumble of the car exited the exhaust, the car sounded angry, he then put his foot on the brake but the cars engine only roared louder and the hand on the odometer shot up. Ben thought to himself for a second and conclude that he had hit the gas pedal and the car reved up. Breathing and feeling the knock of his heart beat within his head Ben sat second guessing his idea, but he knew he couldn’t back out now Josh was depending on him. He fixed the seat of his fathers white Audi, placed his foot on what he could now confirm was the brake and placed the gear knob in reverse. He backed out of the drive way and as he was about to drive off he randomly made eye contact with his neighbor, she waved at his but he pretended not to see it and in panic he put the car in drive and he was off.
He knew how to get to Josh’s house and the sports park from there luckily. He headed over to Josh’s house and it was all going smoothly, Ben was getting familiar again with driving and thought it was quite easy, he noted how much fast this car was to his brothers old junky car. As he approached the first turn he would need to stop at a stop sign. It occurred to him that he must put his blinkers on to indicate where he was going.
“I remember one time my mother got pulled over by the cops for not making a complete stop and not turning on her turn signal. I should probably try and figure it out” He thought to himself. Ben approached the stop sign and started to decelerate, he quickly glanced over the wheel to try and find the bunker knob but this car wasn’t life his brothers, there were paddles on the back of the steering wheel and two strange modern looking knobs that ware sleek and elegant but he decide he’d try to push one of them and hope for the best. As he did so the glass in front of him was splashed with water and the arms of the wipers screeched as they passed by his face a few times. He pushed the the knob back where it was and it all stoped. Ben sat wide eyed a bit started as the car came to a complete stop. He tried another knob on the other side of the wheel and felt such a great relief when he heard the familiar click of the arrow on his dash. From then the ride was smooth, Ben remained extra cautious but he had gotten somewhat okay about the feeling he had as he sat behind the wheel.
When he got to he picked up his phone and send Josh a text saying
“Hey I’m here when you get in the car don’t panic just make sure to close the door quickly and we need to leave quick,” he sent it and within thirty seconds josh was out the front door running. He opened the backseat expecting Ben to be in the passenger seat but he opened it, made eye contact with Ben and knew exactly what was going on. He threw his bag in the back and entered the passenger seat.
“Are you crazy Ben? This is absolutely outrageous” exclaimed Josh
“Just relax this isn’t that long of a drive,” replied Ben trying to play it cool
“Ben do you realize how much trouble we could get in?” By this point ben had already put the car back in drive and was off.
“Josh look I know this is crazy but do you want to get to the game?” Responded Ben extremely focused on the road.
“Yes yes but your absolutely nuts dude,” signed Josh.
“Okay then shut up and let me drive”. A second of silence filled the car as Josh thought to himself then said
“this is absolutely bizarre but its kinda cool, we all look forward to being able to drive around with our friends, Ben really took matters into his own hands today,” And laughed.
Disturbing this awkward silence josh asked
“how is driving, is it fun?”
“Honestly its quite stressful, but I also don’t think I’d be that bad If I’d just know what everything was on the car and on the road.” Ben said still extremely focused.
“Yea makes sense” the was a second before Josh spoke again “Is she fast?”
“I haven’t found out completely for myself and I don’t intend in getting to know that today I just want to assure we get to the game and that’s it” Ben rolled his eyes as he said this.
“Good call I don’t feel like dying today, thank you for the ride,” Josh added.
They soon made it too the park and parked in a spot extremely far away from where they would play so that none of their teammates would see them get off the car. When they got to the field where they would soon play on, they saw the rest of the team was getting warmed up, they said It was about 15 minutes until they played.
During the game Ben noticed a car similar to the one his mother drove. As he was on the field he started to panic thinking this might be his mother who showed up. He pointed this out to Josh and he was convinced it was his mother. The whole game Ben was filled with anxiety and thought about what his mother would say if she figure out he had drove himself to the game . He was definitely going to be grounded after this. The game ended and he tried to keep cool around his team but he lost track of his mother and searched around. A sense of relief came over him when he saw the lady He saw get off the car hugging a player on the other team.
Josh and Ben stayed around for a while and watched some other game assuring all of there teammates had left before they would head over to their car. When they headed over they were both spent and exhausted after their game and they had this long walk ahead of them
“You played well today Ben, I’m glad we were able to both make it to the game” said Josh.
“Thanks, you to, that was a fun game, do you know what I’m craving?” Replied Ben.
“I don’t know what your thinking but your gonna take me straight home” Josh said this with a stern look in his face staring down Ben.
Ben not turning to look at Josh suggested
“Come on a quick trip to the gas station on our way home for a Gatorade”.
“Ben you’ve got to be kidding me do you realize how lucky we are to have made it here without anything happening”
“Exactly we made it here just fine what can possibly happen if we make a quick pit stop?”
“Ben I don’t think this is a good idea but I’ll leave it up to you.”
They got in the car and sat for a second to catch their breath. Ben started the car this time holding the key fully turned for long enough for the motor to start. They were off to the gas station that was on there way home. They pulled into the parking lot and parked right in the front and center. They entered and grabbed a Gatorade each, as they headed to the cashier they saw a car pull up in front of the gas station right next to theirs, they didn’t think much of it. They paid for their drinks and headed to the door when they got there they were struck in seeing what car was next to theirs. It was a police car, black and white, and they panicked, looking at each other in shock Ben walked to the left of the store pulling Josh along with him. They walked trying there best not to make such a big deal of themselves now heading to the back of the building where they hopefully were out of sight from the cop. They turned the corner and sat next the dumpster by to the gas station and stood for a second
“Oh no dude that was close” Josh said trying not to voice the elevated nerves and adrenaline he had just Been struck by. “I told you this was a bad idea we should have just gone home.”
“It’s okay I don’t think he saw us, he also doesn’t know that we drove that car here” responded Ben also trying to calm down. “Let’s wait like ten minutes back here then we go back and hopefully he’s gone, then I’ve really got to go drop you off before my mom Gets home.” They waited ten minutes before coming up with a plan of heading back to their car.
“Okay we are gonna walk back and hopefully the cop is gone, if not we are still going to get in the car and dip as fast as possible” Ben said. Josh simply nodded as he drank the last of his Gatorade. They started to walk from the back of the gas station and turned to corner. They both saw the cop car there and tried their best to not make any eye contact or be noticed by the cop. They got in the car and Ben anxiously turned it on. He looked over to his left where the cop was sitting as he put his seatbelt on, the cop cars window was beginning to be rolled down. Ben went on with his business pretending not to have seen this and immediately turned the volume on the radio, they could hear the cop yelling but pretending not to hear him over the loud music. Ben put the car in reverse and backed out as fast as he could, yet trying to make it seem normal as their red faces bobbed to the beat of the music.
“Bro go, hopefully he wont try and follow us” yelled Josh as they exited the parking lot and onto the main road. Ben accelerated faster than he had and the power of the car jolted them into the back of the seats. They heard the wheels scream as they spun. This was all soon to stop as the light they were approaching had turned red. They had to stop so Ben quickly and firmly hit the brakes.
“Dude is he still parked, He definitely heard that” Ben frantically asked
“I don’t know, I don’t think I should look over we already must seem suspicious” Josh said
They sat for a second then Ben saw in the side mirror, the cop car pulling out of the gas station headed there way. The blue and red lights went off and the sound of the loud sirens scared them both to death. Ben knew it was over, he knew he had to pull over. He got in the right turning lane and turned right then pulled to the side of the road. He saw the police car follow him, his knees where shivering and tears were dripping from his eyes he looked down crying and breathing uncontrollably. Then he turned the car off, as he did so the cop cars motor rev extremely loud and the cop past them going at such a great speed it left him in a second state of shock, the cop car flew right past them, he wasn’t after them he was off to somewhere else.
Now both in the car that was absolutely silent, they didn’t know how to feel, both shaky and dumbfounded they looked at one another. They saw the fear and regret in each others eyes, there emotions were all too much and all they could do is try and breathe as they both sat and cried. Eventually Josh’s shaky voice broke the science,
“Are you okay?” There was no response “Let’s get off the side of the road at least this isn’t a good spot to be in.”
Without saying a word Ben started the car and started to drive. He took it slow and was as careful as he possibly could be, the drive to Josh’s house was absolutely silent. The emotion within the car were strong and very felt by both of them, the whole drive they sat still and marinated in this mix of sadness, fear, and anxiety.
When they arrived, Josh looked over at Ben and took a deep breath, he made it a whole body movement signaling Ben to do the same.
“Let’s never do this again, but thanks again for the ride” Josh said in as calm of a voice as he could
“Agreed” in a shaking low voice came from Ben as he tried to control his emotions again looking into Josh’s eyes.
Josh now got off the car, collected his items and closed the door shut. Soon Ben drove off back to his house, he carefully picked up the rocks that were placed to mark the tires, grabbed his belonging and headed inside. He cleaned up quickly before his mother got home. That night he was extremely quiet and not much was said as he ate dinner with his mother.
The next morning when his father got home he had some errands to run and was out before Ben had woke up. When he was up he noticed the car was gone, thoughts crossed his head but he was confident that his parents had no idea about yesterday. When his father got back he came in and asked Ben to help him carry in the groceries, Ben put on his shoes and went out. When he got to the car he saw that there were only two bags in the backseat.
“Dad why’d you ask me for my help there is only two bags, you could’ve done this yourself” said Ben. With no reply his father reached under the seat and pulled out a soccer ball. His father shot him a look with raised questioning eyebrows. Bens heart sank for a second but within a split second his fathers face had changes and he now shot Ben a quick wink, they went inside and never mentioned that encounter again, it had stayed between them.