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Joy Rides Don't Work at Age 14
It was a hot sticky Thursday evening when my grandpa let me have an overnight guest if I promised to keep the noise down. I invited my best friend, Monica, who lives a couple houses from me. She got here about ten pm, the time my grandparents go to bed. We played on the computer in my room and listened to music until 1:30 when my mother finally went to bed. Running out of things to do, we decided to prepare the indoor deck area to sleep. We lay on the two separate couches for awhile, unable to sleep. Then I said out of nowhere, “Let’s take my grandpa’s car and go into town for a drive!” Monica didn’t give it much thought before saying, “Ok, I guess!” Maybe she thought I was just talking and didn’t really mean it.
We started to get ready by doing our makeup, changing clothes and locating the car keys. As a final thought I put socks in my bra so that I could look a little older. It was now around 2:30 am; we were ready to go! We snuck outside very quietly and looked around to make sure no one was nearby, especially if they were outside. We saw no sign of anybody. Then we got into the car and just sat there for a little bit to calm down and make sure that we wanted to do this.
Well, we decided we could so we put our seat belts on. I put the key in the ignition and turned on the car. When the car started, the headlights immediately came on. I quickly turned off the lights so no one would see us leave. Then I put the car in drive and it started to slowly move forward. The car was parked on the street so I had to pull into the driveway, back out and then drive to the end of the road. I knew I could accomplish this and it wouldn’t be hard. The headlights stayed off until I came up to the stop sign at the end of the road.
I turned onto the county road from my side street before turning on my lights. Monica and I were both nervous but I thought we would overcome it. Unlike normal teenagers, we didn’t turn on the radio or roll down the windows. We barely even talked and when we did, it was about my driving or where we were going. Since we had no money and no clue where we wanted to go, we just decided to drive around awhile and then go home.
The next road was much wider, a very busy highway during the day and with many curves. We went past the now quiet drive-in theatre and were trying to be very calm but I don’t think we were yet. When we got to the first stop light, I turned to Monica and asked her if she was feeling any better about what we were doing. She shrugs and asks me the same question. I tell her I’m not sure but I was trying to gain confidence. The traffic light turns green and I go. There isn’t a lot of traffic at this time in the morning, which I like so I can concentrate more. We were in town now and nothing is open; it’s very quiet and dull.
Monica turns to me and says, "Ashley"? Where are we going to go?”
I keep my eyes on the road and said to her, “I’m not too sure. Do you think we should drive around some more?”
She waits a moment before saying, “Sure.”
We’ve been driving for a while now and no one is around except a few cars. I saw a police car in a Walgreens parking lot, but I was driving fine and Monica was helping me with the speed limits; I didn’t go over or under too much. I’m not swerving at all, at least I don’t think I am or Monica would have told me already. I seem to be driving steady and relaxed. My nerves have come down a little bit, but I’m still a little scared. I know Monica’s is too because she isn’t talking fast anymore. I think, as a team, Monica and I are good together.
“Where are we going?” Monica says aloud.
“I don’t know!” I say to her. We come to this big area of road construction where you have to be very cautious. “Oh no!” I hate construction!” I say very loud.
Monica tries to calm me down and say, “It’s ok, just go slow and watch out for the cones and the side of the road.”
Right now, I’m trying to remain calm because I am very scared. “A car is behind us, a little ways back!” I say in fear. When I’m driving, cars can be in front of me or on the side of me but I hate when cars are behind me, especially when I’m in a construction area.
“Just keep going and don’t pay attention to that car. Just keep your eyes on the road,” Monica says with a peaceful, calming voice.
We finally get out of the construction area and I’m much relieved, but there’s still that car behind me. It isn’t that close to me, maybe about 30 feet away. I’m still scared.
“I know where we are and I know how to get home! Do you?” Monica says with excitement.
“Yes of coarse I know how to get home, I come out here all the time. Monica is sounding happier right now, knowing where she is and that we’re going home now.
We come to a red light, and the car is still behind us. I look back through my mirror; just a car! I take a double-take because until now I never got a close look. It’s a cop car! “Monica! It’s a cop car!” I say very fast.
“What? Are you serious?” she loudly says.
At first Monica doesn’t really believe this startling news, but when she looks back and she sees the dark big light on top of the car, she realizes I’m not lying.
“Ok,” she says, “Just calm down and drive good. Remember this is a big turn you have to make, so try your best!”
I’m starting to really panic and I don’t know what we’re going to do; I didn’t have any plans for something like this. The traffic light turns green and I can feel my stomach turning. I turn left and try to make it a great turn. I try the hardest I can to concentrate on the road, and to drive well, but for some reason I keep looking back in the mirror at the cop car. “Monica! I can’t do this! I’m not going to be able to drive ok!”
“Yes you can, you’ve got to. Just try!” She says with encouragement.
As we continue driving, I am panicking even more! I try to drive straight as possible, but I don’t think I am. I see a flashing red traffic light up ahead. When I get to it, I pause and then go. The cop car’s big light isn’t dark anymore; it’s flashing blue and red. BUSTED!
“Oh no, Monica I’m going to be in so much trouble!” I say, about to cry.
“I know, me too!” Monica says quietly.
“Why were we so stupid to do this?”
“I don’t know!” Here comes the cop!” Monica says really fast.
It’s a woman and she’s about average weight and kind of tall. I can’t tell much more because it’s dark out. She comes to the window and signals for me to roll it down. I’m so nervous and worried right now that when I push the button to roll down the window I push the button for the back window. Then I push the button for Monica’s window. Finally I get it right and push the bottom for my window!
“License and registration?” she says firmly, shining the flashlight on our faces.
“No, I don’t have any license,” I tell her.
“Why don’t you have it?”
“Because I don’t have an actual license,” I respond. Then I tell Monica to open the glove compartment so I can get the registration.
“How old are you?”
“About 14….” I grabbed the registration from Monica and hand it to the cop.
“This is why 14 year olds don’t drive, they don’t know how. Whose car is this and where do you live?”
“This is my grandpa’s car and I live by Wauhob Lake.”
“And what is his name?”
I gave her the information. I think she wanted to catch me in a lie.
”Do you live with him?”
“Yes, I live with my grandparents and my mom”
“And what’s their name?”
I told her.
“And your name?” she asks again while writing all this information down.
Again, I told her.
“Ok, hold on. I’ll be back.” The cop walks away and is now talking to the other cop that came to the scene. The other cop is a man and that’s all I know.
I begin to cry a little bit. “No Ashley, don’t cry, its ok.” Monica says while trying to comfort me.
“I’m going to be in so much trouble!” I tell her.
“I will too. I’ll probably get in more trouble because I’m older and I should’ve said not to do this.”
I just shrug and put my head on the steering wheel. I never realized until now that when you see someone pulled over, don’t keep staring at them. I’ve always done it and now I know how it feels. Just about every car passing by has stared at us while driving past and it isn’t that wonderful to have people staring at you like a hawk looking for a mouse to eat.
The cop is heading back towards the car. I wipe my tears. “You said this was your grandpa’s car, right?” she says right away.
“Yes it is.” I am trying very hard to hold in my tears.
“Ok, well I need to know your phone number.”
I told her.
“And you said you live with your mom too, so what’s her number?”
Again, I told her along with my birth date.
“Alright thank you. So I guess you two got bored and decided to go for a drive?
“Yeah that’s basically it.”
“Well you know if I charge you, you won’t be able to drive until your 18.”
“Really? I didn’t know that.”
“Yes, but I don’t want to do that, so I won’t if you promise me one thing.”
“To not do this again until you have your license.”
“And that goes for you too.” She points to Monica.
“Yes of course!” Monica says.
“Ok, thank you, I’m going to go call your parents, don’t get out of the car or turn the car on. Just sit here. Ok?”
I tell her ok and watch her leave.
I realize how much trouble I’m going to get in and I start to cry again. “I rather have my dog eat me right now!” I said to Monica.
“I’d rather be in JD right now then here!” Monica tells me.
“Same here.” I respond with out a doubt.
“Why can’t we just be at home? Ashley?”
“I don’t know, we could’ve if we didn’t do this stupid stunt.”
“I just want this to be over!”
The cop comes to the car and says. ”Does your mom have a car?”
“Ok, but this is your grandpa’s car right?”
“Yes.” It seems like I’ve told her that about a million times now.
“Well I just called your mom and she’s on her way. She’s going to have somebody bring her here and pick you girls up, so just sit here in the car and wait.”
Monica and I both agree with the cop. The cop leaves, goes, and sits in her car.
“I wonder who my mom’s going to bring with her.” I say in fear.
“I know, she has to wake up one of your grandparents. Who else could she get at three o’clock in the morning?” Monica tells me.
“I don’t know, I hope she brings my grandma because if she brings my grandpa, he’ll probably tell the cop to charge me or put me in JD. Oh please mom, don’t bring grandpa!”
I’m praying to God right now. All I’m saying is, “Please God, make my mom think right now and not get grandpa!” I keep repeating it for about three minutes then I stop and talk to Monica. “Oh, why did we do this Monica?”
“I’m not really sure. I think it was just a spur of the moment kind of thing, I guess we really didn’t think this out.”
I snort. “Obviously!”
“She can’t bring my grandpa! SHE CAN’T!”
“I know that we just have to hope it’s your grandma!” I’m shaking and crying now. I’m too scared to even think what would happen if my grandpa came.
Monica starts to cry a little bit. “I’ve been trying to hold it in, but I can’t any longer!” Monica says with tears in her eyes. “We are probably not going to be able to be around each other anymore!”
“Monica! Don’t say that!”
“What? It’s probably true.”
“Yeah, well I don’t want to think about that right now! I can’t picture not being able to see my best friend!” Monica and I are both crying now. We finally realize how stupid this stunt was and we just want to go home. We’ve been trying to sit here patiently waiting for my mom and this mystery person to come. Finally, they’re here!
It’s the silver car, but it could be my grandma or grandpa with my mom because I have my grandpa’s car and my mom’s car doesn’t have that much gas in it. At least I had enough common sense to take the only other car outside with gas in it. The only car left is my grandma’s, so that doesn’t help Monica and me any. I try to look back to see if I can see anyone, but the cop’s eye-throbbing lights are still on! Monica can see a little better out of her mirror because it’s at a different angle. A car opens and shuts.
“M-Moni-i-ica-a….!” I say worried. She is trying to look back, but can’t see anyone right now. “Monica, I love you!”
“I love you too!” Monica and I are both a little panicky. I’m still crying, but not as much. Monica has slowed down her crying too.
“Monica! Keep looking!” I say anxiously.
“Wait! I see your mom…”
“And someone else but I can’t tell who it is right now.”
“I see the other person!” Monica says as she searches her mind for some recognition of who’s come for us.
“Yeah! Who is it?”
Right now Monica is looking through the mirror out the side window. “Give me time! I’m trying to see!” All of a sudden Monica jerks all the way back in her seat. “IT’S YOUR GRANDPA!”
“No! It’s not!”
“Ashley! Yes it is!”
I gulp. “Are you serious?” I begin to cry again. “He’s probably going to have her charge me or send me to JD, Monica!”
Monica is trying to tell me that everything is going to be ok, but it’s hard for her because she’s now crying too. I grab Monica’s hand and squeeze it tightly. She doesn’t seem to mind.
“I think I’m going to tell my mom about this.” Monica says.
“Yeah, I think you should!”
“Ok! I will.”
We are still crying a little bit and squeezing hands at the same time, waiting for someone to come.
“I see your mom walking to the car.” Monica says out of nowhere.
“At least my mom’s driving us home!”
“Yeah, that’s one good thing.” Monica says. “The cop is walking with her.”
“Yeah.” My mom gets in the car.
“Ashley, remember not to do this again.” The cop tells me. I can’t reply very well because I’m crying.
“Mhm.” I say because that’s all I can.
“Ok, you have a good night.” The cop waves and goes back to her car. Monica and I are in the back crying. I realize I still have the socks in my bra. I take them out and Monica laughs a little. I put them in the pocket behind the passenger seat.
It’s quiet. This ride home is the worst I’ve ever had. My mom hasn’t said a word and all Monica and I are doing is crying. My grandpa is ahead of us in the silver car and I don’t feel like facing him yet. It’s still dark outside. There are a few cars that go past but barely any. I get more scared as we get closer to home. I keep thinking of the punishment I’m going to have and all of these questions that I’m going to have to answer. The closer we get to home the more I feel like I’m going to be sick. I want to be anywhere right now then in this car going home.
I step out of the car with Monica by my side. We slowly walk up the wide driveway. When we get in the door we meet up with my grandpa and he says, “Monica, it’s best you get your things and go home, you won’t be associating with Ashley for three months. She’s a bad influence towards you.”
I’m cracked. I can’t stop crying. I go with Monica to get her things on the deck. Before she opens the door she says, “See you in three months.”
“Bye.” That’s all I could say, I’m crying to heavily to say more. I watch Monica leave.
I go into the house and see that my grandma has gotten up. I don’t want to face any of them right now so I go straight up to my room. I fall right there on the floor next to my bed and cry. I cry for a long time. My mom comes up to my room and sees that I ripped up a pillow and cotton stuffing is everywhere. She sits next to me and holds me in her arms. I really need this moment with her.
I had a difficult time sleeping the rest of the night, not getting out of bed until 5P.M the following day. Grandpa finally talked to me, telling me what he thought of the situation before applying restrictions on me.
I can’t say too much of why I did it, but I know now that I risked my life very much that night. I am very lucky to be alive. I see that I didn’t think about this at all or else I wouldn’t have done it. I don’t think I was that bored to do something like this. I thought that I could drive because of past experiences and in some way, I’m glad I was pulled over. From that night, I have learned a valuable lesson. You can be sure that I am never going to do this again.