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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