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The Long Drive (1)

A long boring drive...
I see a triangular sign up ahead, with two stickfigures holding hands (one is an adult, the other is a child).

"What's that?" I ask, pointing to the sign. I already know what it is, but sometimes I like to double-check my general knowledge.

"That's a sign warning us that there's people on the road. We have to be careful we don't hit anyone," my mother explains.

I feel an urge to run people over and watch their blood smear across the road. But I keep the dark thought to myself, since I don't want to lose any pocket money this week.

My mother is turning left at a junction, where an elderly couple are crossing the road extremely slowly. I get annoyed when my mother stops and waits for them to finish crossing. With each step they take, I swear the sky is getting darker.

"Look, that person is deaf and blind," my mother says, looking towards the pavement at the man wearing his dark-brown shades. "You can tell from his walking stick, which is white with a red band."

"What? That guy?" I ask, pointing towards the man, which is pretty stupid of me since there's no other guy with a candy-cane walking stick.

"Don't point!" My mother hisses. "It's rude."

I roll my eyes. Then I see a motorbike up ahead and I imagine how awesome it will be to have my own custom-styled motorbike. It will blue like Luke Skywalker's lightsaber, shiny like the crystallized ocean under a moonlight, and it will have the symbol of lightning imprinted on it. Just beautiful.

I realize that we are moving slowly again.

"Mom, why don't you overtake the motorcyclist? He's slower than the old people, for god's sake," I say, beginning to get irritated.

"We have to be patient and stay behind him, in case he stops or changes direction suddenly," my mother answers. "See, he's looking over his right shoulder. That means he's going to turn right."

No, shit. You don't say, I think bitterly. When I'm old enough to drive, I will definitely overtake these slow motherfu-

"Horses!" My mother exclaims in a child-like manner. Her eyes lit up with excitement, as if she's never seen a horse in her goddamn life. There were two black horses, tied to a carriage with an expressionless rider on top.

I reach over to honk the horn, but my mother stops me in super ninja mode. It was a lame honk, like barely a mouse's squeak, but that set my mother off.

"You IDIOT! Goddamn idiot! What were you thinking? You could've startled the horses and that poor innocent horse rider could've been hurt! What would people think of me then? I'll be seen as the most pathetic excuse of a mother! Never, I repeat, NEVER touch the horn without my permission or I will hug you in front of your friends. Understood?"

I shrink in my seat, feeling my face heat up at the thought of her embarrassing me. I know she won't hesitate to hug me, maybe even kiss my cheek, while my friends will laugh at me. It'll be the worst day of my life.

"Fine, sheesh. Sorry," I mumble. We just passed the horse rider and we're approaching a dual carriageway. Up ahead there is a small vehicle, that kinda looks like an electric scooter, and it's moving very slowly. The woman driving it is clearly disabled.

"Thank god, her vehicle has a flashing amber light. Otherwise I'm scared I won't see her and I'll hit her. Once, I almost hit someone because, for some reason, he wasn't flashing his amber light. It was one of my scariest driving experiences, alongside you almost killing that horse rider," my mother says.

I roll my eyes. My mother gets scared easily over the silliest things and she usually exaggerates everything. We see an elderly man with a dog wearing a burgundy coat, and my mother makes a face of distaste. She still stops for them and allows them to cross the road.

"Before you ask, he's deaf," my mother says.

"I wasn't going to ask that," I lie, hating the fact that I'm so predictable. "I was gonna ask, why can't we have a dog?"

"We already went through this. No," she says firmly.

"But why-"

"I'm allergic to dogs, okay?"

I sneeze loudly and deliberately. "Sorry. I'm allergic to your lies," I retort.

My mother gives me an angry look - one that reads I won't be getting pudding tonight if I push my luck. So I decide to shut up.

Finally, the deaf old man and his dog are on the other side of the road. I heave a sigh of irritation. There's just too many slow-as-snail people on the road today. It's like they all met up and agreed that they should travel at this time, knowing that we'll be on the road, just so they can torture us. Well, torture me, since I don't think my mother even cares. In fact, I think she likes it, as we're spending an awfully long time together.

I yawn. It was a small one, but my mother notices it.

"I feel tired too. Let's get a drink, that'll wake us up," my mother says. She wants to reverse the car into a side road. As she's doing so, she tells me to look out for any children behind. "They're so tiny. Once, the windshield covered a child and I barely saw her. After that day, I'm cautious about children running around."

"Hmm," I say, almost dozing off. I just want to go home and lock myself in my bedroom for hours, being the introvert that I am.

After getting hot drinks, black coffee for my mother (which I despite) and hot chocolate for me, we're back on the road. It's definitely late. The sky is black by this time, even though it's not really night-time. There is a car behind us, dazzling us with its light. I get annoyed, the light is so bright that I'm surprised I don't have an epileptic fit. My mother notices me squinting from the light, and so she readjusts the interior mirror.

"There, it won't bother you as much," she says. She's wrong. The dazzle has been reduced, yes, but it's still irritating me. I have a pounding headache, up until the point the driver turns onto a side road and finally leaves with its blinding light. Thank god.

"Be thankful it's not foggy. The lights are extremely bright then," my mother says. She continues rambling on, but I block out her voice. At this point, I'm so tired that my mind cannot register anymore and I simply do not care anymore.

I am about to fall asleep, but the sudden panic in my mother's voice startles me.

"Oh god... I think that yellow car is following us."
By
Published: 5/29/2017
Bouquets and Brickbats
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