On the Go

The boy packed his bags and left the house. It was his 13th birthday and this convinced him he was a man able to survive on his own. Five pairs of socks and two pairs of underwear was all he had rolled up in a paper bag he stole from the local grocer. This was his day and he was sure to make the most of it. Anything else he needed, he assumed he’d find in one way or another when he needed them.

He’d driven a car once before with his older brother when he was eleven years old and only for a moment. He’d learned a lot from Stuart, the least of which how to survive away from home for an extended amount of time. It was their parents shot forced his exit one summer when finally having enough with his late nights and even later mornings. That had run in the family and now at thirteen, Will was not going to wait to meet the same fate. He was taking matters into his own hands and moving on.

He slid the key into the ignition and turned it. The engine was louder than he expected and he feared he woke his parents in the house only feet away. He turned it off and waited looking for the glare of the bedside lamp. Moments seemed like forever and his timidity annoyed him. He quickly put his full force behind the key and turned it roaring the engine. He felt a rush of adrenaline and pushed his foot into the pedal. The engine roared again. The car didn’t move.

The glow of lamp quickly made his throat drop into his stomach. He didn’t care at this point. He was free. He pushed down the pedal again even harder and readied himself for the turn. Smoke bellowed from the rear exhaust and the noise was almost deafening. He looked out the window to see the porch still next to him. This surprised him. His mother standing in her robe glaring him in the eye surprised him even more.

This can’t be happening. This is his night.

As he was taken out of the car by an angry middle aged woman screaming obscenities at him in her bathrobe, he quickly came to the conclusion it was possible he’d over calculated himself. That was not a mistake he wanted to make twice. It seemed learning to drive may be an important planning step for the next chapter in his life to start and so learn to drive he shall. When he was again let out of the house, that is. He had time to wait. He had just turned thirteen.