On a bright and sunny July day, Joy and I are stretched out on my queen-sized bed. We had just gotten back from playing tennis in the sweltering heat and we were exhausted. All of the sudden, I hear my dad holler up the stairs, “Hannah! Can you come down here for a minute please?” I started picking my brain apart asking myself, “What did I do?” I gestured for Joy to come with me as we cautiously made our way down the stairs and out into the garage. I kept glancing at Joy with a worried and confused look, and she giggled nervously. When we stepped outside, I saw my dad pointing at a spot on my mom’s car. I started freaking out, struggling to remember if I had accidentally brushed against something while driving. My worries were relieved when my dad handed me the keys to my first car.
In my unfinished garage, my family was crowded in one little area waiting patiently to see my reaction as my dad handed me my car keys. I was confused at first, because my mom had a rental car parked in our driveway for work. I questioned, “You’re giving me the rental car?” My dad explained, “No, you’re not getting the rental car. Look somewhere else.” I couldn’t seem to find any cars I didn’t recognize, so I set off the car alarm.
The noise blasted through my quiet little neighborhood like the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I heard slight giggles from my family and neighbors. I saw the car that had gone off was across the street at my neighbor’s house. I exclaimed, “It’s white! Just like I wanted!” My dad nodded and said excitedly, “Well, let’s go look at it!” So Joy, my family, and I scurried across the street to meet my very first car. As we headed over, Joy called out, “This is so exciting!”
When I got my car keys, I gained freedom. I gained the freedom to go as I please, the freedom to go places by myself, and the freedom to to decide how and when I get there. But with this freedom came great responsibility. I have the ability to kill someone if I drive recklessly, I have to pay for gas, and I have to be very careful and watch for other drivers or things that could get in the way of me making it safely from place to place. So although I now have freedom, I also carry the weight of the responsibility of being a safe driver and taking care of my car.
The evening sunlight shined down on my neighbor’s driveway like a spotlight on a stage, and my new car was the star of the show. The road we walked across to get there pained my feet as I hopped across it like a bed of hot coals. The grass we encountered after the road was emerald green and clean cut. It was soft on my bare feet and caused relief after the painful walk on the road. The air smelled like summer and freshly cut grass. The sun was kissing us with its warmth without suffocating us with heat. The white paint on the car gleamed in the sun’s light. Excitement was in the air. I heard the chatter of my neighbors discussing about their own first cars and what I could name mine. I was the only one besides Joy who was surprised about the news.
Joy really lived up to her name that day. I swear she was more excited about my car than I was. She looked like she had just received a puppy for Christmas. We got into the car to check out the interior and Joy looked around and started touching things asking, “What does this do?” Every other sentence that came out of her mouth was something about how cool this was. She has not yet gained the freedom that I have and does not understand the possible obstacles I could face.
You are most likely already aware of the freedoms and dangers of receiving a car because you already have one, but this is my story of my experience with it. Take this into consideration as you continue to drive and as always, be careful.