Tuesday, March 5, 2013

#sliceoflife 5 of 31

Day Five of the #sliceoflife challenge.

So far, as my mom jokingly pointed out, I have looked like a fairly depressed teenager on here, which is definitely not who I am. I have another slightly deep story to share, but I will save it for another time. For now, I will try to balance out my stories about bullying and scary life decisions with some humorous ones. This one that I am about to write actually happened the very first day I drove myself to school.

The day that I got my license was one of the best days of my life. I drove myself to dance that very night and could not stop smiling. At all. Not for a second. My happiness was also prolonged by the fact that I got my license the first week of February vacation. Pretty much the best day ever.

That feeling of complete and overwhelming joy and freedom carried over for the entire week. As I pull into the student parking lot at my high school next Monday morning, I'm still feeling pretty good. I've gotten more comfortable behind the wheel during my week off and am more than a little excited to show off my hand-me-down 7-seater Volvo to all of my friends.

I see my friend Tara sitting in her car right in the spot she said she'd be in--the second row next to the second island. By island, I'm guessing you realize that I don't mean a sunny patch of sand. Our school's parking lot has a few randomly placed islands for plants and things when the snow actually decides to melt. They're cute, but sort of pointless. Of all things to decorate, why choose a parking lot?

Tara motions for me to park in the empty space directly in front of her, right alongside the island's curb. I carefully pull up as close the curb as I dare and begin to pull in to the spot. I feel my tire graze the granite, but keep going until I am comfortably sitting across from Tara's Honda. I smile to myself, pretty proud at my first ever school parking job. That is, until I see Tara's face.

"Don't worry about it!" I call out, turning the car off. "That little scratch was already there!" My mom had hit a rock a couple years ago, giving the front right of the car a small dent and a couple scratches.

Tara just shakes her head.

"What, then?" I call. I hope she can hear me because I don't feel like turning the car back on and opening the window. Plus it's cold. She shakes her head again and smiles a sort of disbelieving, scared smile. She yells something to me, but I can't hear her. "What?" I shout.

She walks over to my window and motions for me to roll down my window. I roll my eyes and open the door, and she just looks at me, her eyes huge. I raise my eyebrows. "You just popped your tire."

I freeze for half a second, and then laugh. "No, I didn't."

"Yes, you did."

"No, I didn't. Tara that isn't funny."

"Fine. Come look if you don't believe me." I reluctantly get out of the safety of my warm car and follow her to look at my front right tire. I gasp. It wasn't really fair for her to call it a tire. The thing was completely flat. Parallel to the ground. Smushed.

"Oh my god." I fall to my knees to examine it more carefully. The sharp granite curb I had grazed so lightly had cut straight through the rubber. There's a gash about five inches long. I am no expert on popped tires, but this one looks pretty popped. "I am sooo dead."

"That's more of the reaction I was looking for." Tara laughs and helps me up. "Call your dad, do you have Triple A?"

It's all I can do to force myself to nod. Words just don't seem to be coming.

"Larkin, relax," Tara smiles. "You have Triple A, your tire will get fixed, and you will laugh about this in a couple days."

I force a small smile. "Okay, but you have to promise me that we will keep this as secret as possible. No one needs to know that I sliced my tire my first day driving to school."

Tara shakes her head, laughing, as I walk back to my car to call my dad. "I promise."


  1. You tell a great story! Slowly you reel in the reader and deliver the punch. I knew it wasn't going to be good for the tire when you grazed it. You will have quite a collection of short stories when this month is over. Can't wait for the next one.

  2. Thanks for helping remember that perspective is a lie and that what we call little things looking back on them aren't really little at all.

  3. You create a strong visual. I was right in my high school parking lot with you.

  4. This was a great slice - I could feel your excitement, and then that sinking gloom. Oh well, you have the right perspective, though, you must have known even at that horrible moment that one day you'd look back and smile...and write!

  5. I remember when I got my license. I wasn't smiling. I was deathly afraid. In fact, my hands were shaking on the steering wheel after I dropped my mom off at work and drove a few miles to school. By the afternoon, when I went to pick her up, I was completely fine. However that first drive by myself was terrifying.

    You're a great writer, Larkin. I'm so glad you're slicing with us this month.