‘Yes mum.’ I said in a monotone drone much similar to a Dalek out to exterminate everyone in a Dr Who series.
‘No need to speak like that. Do you want to drive this morning?’
‘Yes, I do.’
‘Right then, concentrate!’
My mother and I sat side by side in the front of her Nissan Pulsar hatch the colour of rancid snot, me in the driver’s seat, mum in the passenger.
She had questioned if I was ready. Of course I was ready, why wouldn’t I be.
I had dawdled my way round this little fishing town for weeks now, I’m sure I could make the 20 min drive to the city.
The learner plates glistened in the early morning sun radiating my cockiness as I had pleaded my way into this position and was finally allowed to drive us to work.
The garage walls surrounded us closing in with every icy moment I spent in the seat. Mums jaw was tense, she ground her teeth and her eyes darted from doorway to dash as she looked for the help of my father. But he had disappeared to the office on the other side of the wall. He knew safe ground and was leaving us to our own peril.
‘Push the clutch in. That’s it, now, change it into gear then slowly let the clutch out. Accelerate a little, you need to pick the revs up.’
I look in my mirrors. The driveway behind remained clear, as though the seas had parted and no-one was game to near the slice of bitumen I was about to enter.
The car growled as the revs shook through its body, slowly I let the clutch out and still watching in my mirror we begin to move… forward.
‘BANG.’ Then expletives followed.
With this it seemed the ice wall that had formed between us broke, shards shot in all directions shattering everything, especially my confidence.
Mum lost it completely as we fathomed what I had just done. Yes. What I had just done. I had put the car in first, not reverse. In front of us was a deep freezer, now toppled on its edge and teetering through the wall where my father sat on the other side.
He peered through the hole somewhat stunned at having the front wall of the garage smash in on him. I had gone from the freezer to the fire, or the volcano it may have been. The eruption that exploded from the office on that morning was not worth the freedom of driving.
I stopped trying for a while, nagging that was. My confidence bubble had burst but my parents trust and expectations had disintegrated.
Need I say I finally did get my licence; I had to move out of home eventually.