first of all, i got in a minor car accident today. that's never happened. let me just explain to you that i really hate car accidents. i remember my sister ripping the side mirror off of her hand-me-down, 1970-something, maroon buick lasabre from our grandma by backing up into the garage. i remember sitting at the top of the stairs of our old house while my parents sat her down to, what seemed at the time, yell at her. it was one of those things you always remember. life lessons. growing up. i also hate car accidents, even cars in general. my cousin, brent, was paralyzed when he was 19. he fell asleep at the wheel at night and laid in a field until somebody found him. he's paralyzed from the waist down. i remember going into the hospital with my father, who always gives him crap. i had no idea what to say. on the other hand, my father waltzes in and says "what are you doing laying around all day for, junior?" although still in an unimaginable amount of pain and grief, brent lit up at the familiarity and from the tension that had been lifted from the room.
the scenario of my day is this. i had left that 8:30 am theory test i talked about yesterday, which i feel i did pretty well on, went to get some tea at the java house, and walked back to my car. everything's normal. i'm actually smiling at the thought of how well i think i did on that test, and how it's nice that the sun is out (you know me and the weather these days). i look in my mirrors. i see a tan SUV in the left lane. i'm parked about two stalls in from a stop sign, so this car had about 10 feet to go until the red light. in my subconscious, i decide to go ahead into the right lane and proceed normally off into my daydreams of sugary summer sun and no more theory tests. i quickly see the tan SUV fly past me, along with a honk, and a lot of scratching. i do nothing but panic. i get out of my car, quickly say "i didn't see you there, are you okay?" (i'm way too nice sometimes). she said nothing. she looked down at her vehicle. she had a tiny bit of my red paint on her car. i wanted it back. she goes, "oh, well this tire might not be okay in awhile. do you have your information?". thinking, "oh well this is what happens, she'll give me hers, too", in my subconscious (stupid subconscious). i never asked her for her information. she says, "i'm blocking traffic! just go write it down". i can hear my dad yelling now. i go to my car. i sit down, and start bawling. ugly crying. i rip out a piece of paper and start writing down meaningless numbers, my name, and phone number. my hand is shaking. she's standing in the street, and i know she can see me. she walks up to my car and taps on the window. i keep crying and shaking and blubbering. i open the door, but don't look up or say anything. i'm having a meltdown. now would've been the time to call the cops, or about 10 minutes prior to this. like, right when it happened. i crush the paper in my hand and give it to her. she says, "listen, your car got it worse anyway. don't worry. it'll be okay." IT'LL BE OKAY? my life is flashing before my eyes. the scrape is huge. it has to be growing in size by now.
she drives off.
i call clayton, and blubber about getting in a wreck. audibly frightened, he asks me if i'm okay. nobody died, but my emotional and dramatic needs are more scraped up than my car. i tell him i'm an idiot and i already wish i could take everything back. my parents are going to kill me. he tries to console me on a time crunch, as he has a few seconds to get to class. "i'll call you later," he says.
i call my mom's office, with no answer. i leave a message- no way she will understand a word of it. i wipe my face of snot, and start driving. i hate driving. i hate driving. i hate driving.
maybe there's a shot in hell she'll answer her cellphone. i call it- while driving. screw it all at this point. she answers. don't start crying. "oh god mom," i whine.
"honey, don't get upset. it's an older car. nothing stays perfect forever. lots of people get in wrecks. even if she does call the insurance company, which she probably won't, we'll take care of it then. calm down and drive home". wow. i was already home at this point, but i was expecting the worst here. it never came. i apologized, kept blubbering, offered to pay for the damage, repeatedly called myself the idiot that i am.
"people make mistakes. you have to learn somehow".
i had called my father somewhere between my mom's office and her cellphone, but he didn't answer. probably a good thing. he called back while i was talking to my mom. i called him back. i tried to regain composure. my father is a hairy, gruff, intimidating at times (most of the time), manly man. he has much less hair than in the picture above, and it's lost the red color now. i still picture him as very hairy, however. i started crying anyway. i rambled on and on, and he sat and listened quietly the whole time. after i offered to pay him for the damage to his car, he said, "don't worry about it, amy". i was really shocked, and really relieved at how nice he was being. "it sounds like it's not that bad, and as long as it's still drivable, you'll be okay". he proceeded to tell me a story about a couple of times the same thing had happened to him. once, being too kind, he and the other car involved agreed to pull around a corner out of traffic, and instead of stopping- the other car kept driving away. "nothing happened to your [precious cellist] hands, or to either of you. you still have everything you love and need, and you have to learn things the hard way. especially when people are as nice as you, and that's not always a bad thing. now when you look at that spot on the car, it can be a constant reminder not to take anybody's crap. go enjoy the pretty day, and keep your chin up".
oh, will it ever.
i really love my parents a lot. i realize this more and more every day.