Life On Contract

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.


  1. I suppose I shouldn’t have, but I found that amusing. Maybe because I could relate. XP

    “No”, I thought, “They wouldn’t just leave the car, it’s too much money”

    I am sure your parents have invested way too much money in you over the course of time that by now you are worth more….XP Kidding kidding. Of course you’re worth more than a car to your parents. At least, you should be. ;)

  2. There is a character in the Dark Tower series, in the first and second books specifically, who tells stories of his parents in a similar fashion. His name is Jake and he would’ve told a story just like this, I think.

  3. JC: Hopefully, one day I’ll be able to look back on anything and laugh.

    N18: You mention the Dark Tower series fairly often, I’ll have to check it out even though I’ll probably shit my pants reading them.

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