I remember once when I was younger, say about nine or ten, my parents took me for a car ride. I had no idea where we were going, because I never questioned them whenever they told me to get in the car. I’ve always been a victim of humming engines, and even today I find it hard to stay awake while riding in a car. I fell asleep and eventually woke up in a parked car with my seatbelt still on, uncertain of how much time had passed or where my parents had gone. The surroundings were unfamiliar, the parking lot, half-full, even more so. I sat there, expecting my parents to come back any second.
Not knowing how much more time went by, I started to question whether or not they had purposely left me there, some decade-late, do-it-yourself, abortion. “No”, I thought, “They wouldn’t just leave the car, it’s too much money”. When I couldn’t fight against my suspicion any longer, couldn’t convince myself that they wouldn’t just leave me in this lot like a baby on a doorstep, I started to cry. I didn’t know what to do. I gathered up the courage to leave the saftey of the car, and locked the door, knowing that in doing so I wouldn’t be able to get back in, but too scared of getting in trouble if my parents were ever to find out.
Wandering around the adjacent plaza, my face a complete sobbing mess, I looked for them through the store windows. Excuses, apologies, promises to be a good kid kept racing through my mind as I wondered from store to store, being careful not to let my eyes off the car. Eventually, I found them in a light fixture store, chatting with a sales clerk about some wood grain ceiling fan. I went in, approached them, and all I could say was, “Where did you go?”. They told me, matter-of-factly, that they went shopping and that I should have stayed asleep in the car. After finishing their conversation with the clerk, they left with me, and we all went home. I was shaken, but happy that I wasn’t discarded because of poor marks of bad piano form.
And even though I wish that the entire incident didn’t happen in the first place, a part of me wonders what it would be like if I had never found them. Perhaps a resolution.
An end to the stipulations of a conditional life.