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The Test This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     As I blew out the candles on my sixteenth birthday, a vision of a car floated into my head. A week later, I headed to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) to get a permit. Without studying, I aced the test. My parents made me take a driving class and the teacher gave me the go-ahead to sign up for the road test. He said I was a natural at driving and could pass with no problem. My whole driving career began to seem like a juggernaut of success so I signed up to take the test. I couldn’t wait to pass and earn some freedom.

The day after I signed up, everything went downhill. It all began in a parking lot. Yeah, I know, a parking lot. I was backing out of a space, looking behind me, not paying attention to the front of my mom’s car. Before I knew it, I discovered that if you don’t back out straight, you can hit the car parked next to you.

I heard a loud scrape, which startled the heck out of me. I got nervous and pressed the gas even harder. I checked both vehicles for damage and discovered I was the luckiest person in the world - not a scratch on either car! I drove home paranoid, my eyes observing every little thing. I had fallen out of my good-driving groove. That parking lot incident showed me that my car, which I had only thought of as freedom, could also kill me or cost me a lot of cash. I would never forget that.

A week later it was time for my driving test. I hadn’t had much time to practice, but still had the confidence of a lion about to battle a squirrel.

“Hey, how is it going? Is this your first time taking this test? Because I rarely pass people the first time,” the proctor greeted me.

“Yes, it’s my first time, and I am doing pretty well,” I responded. I was also thinking, Should I just walk away? If I have no shot, why would I be here?

The test began and I lost points right off the bat because I didn’t look over my left shoulder. At the second turn, the proctor claimed that I didn’t see a car that was right in front of me and impossible to miss. There went ten of the 30 points that I could lose and still pass. Next I completed the three-point turn and parallel parked perfectly. Then I got on a busy street with a truck in front of me. I was at a red light with a skateboarder sitting on the curb where I was about to make a turn. The light turned green, the truck made the turn, and I followed. I lost 20 points because of the skateboarder sitting on the curb. There were my 30 points, so I failed. It seems as though the proctor wanted to fail me. I mean, how did I endanger the pedestrian’s life when he was sitting?

Did I give up? No. Three days later I signed up for another test, and I am going to practice until I can pass in my sleep. Next time, I don’t think I will be as cocky. But I know I will pass.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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