I woke up at eight in the morning, being that it was May and spring was in the air I knew that my day would be perfect. As I leaped out of my warm and comfortable bed to put on my Bullwinkle slippers, my stomach nerves began to tighten. I figured it was just a small bellyache and I would get over it soon. I walked slowly to the bathroom not really realizing that the house was not filled with sunshine as it usually is during these beautiful spring days. As I began to brush my teeth my eyes caught a glimpse of the window that I now noticed was so close to the mirror.
I could have died when I noticed that the rain was coming down like a storm. It was at that moment that I ran to mother’s room to tell her that I couldn’t go driving today. My whole body was tense, I knew this was a sign for me to stay home, I was scared and would never be able to drive in the horrible storm. I don’t know how, but she convinced me to just try, “It’s just a driving test,” is what she continued to repeat, “if you fail, your not ready. ” I knew she wanted me to fail anyway. As she drove into the driveway that seemed to be the size of a football field, my stomach nerves began to tighten once again.
There were a few cars in front of us forming a line, and three cars pulled up behind us as soon as the car stopped. I sat in the passenger’s seat watching a car on the winding trail, looking as if it was going back and forth on the course. It seemed as everything that was happening at that moment was irritating me, the tapping of the rain on the car, the windshield wipers swishing back and forth on the windshield and the whining of the saxophone that was playing along with the jazz song on the radio. I knew that my patience was being tested that day and I was sure I would fail.
For the next ten minutes I watched as the instructors, that looked as if someone dropped a bucket of water on them even with the yellow raincoats, left one car that was on the course to get into another car that was on the line. The cars seemed to move quickly and it seemed as if my turn was coming to quick. It was at that moment that I felt like I wanted to cry, the wet figure in the yellow raincoat was approaching our car. I wanted to scream for my mother to turn around but I was stuck in the moment I didn’t know what to do.
My mother called me and it reminded me of summer nights when she would call me to come in the house because the street lights were on, “Teeeerrrrriiii”, is what snapped me out of my momentary daze. The nerves in my stomach were coming back, the figure in the yellow coat, who by this time was standing beside me with the car door open, told me to get in on the driver’s side. I hesitantly got out of the car, put my jacket over my head to try and keep dry and ran around the front of the car to get in on the other side.
In the ten seconds it took me to get from the passenger’s side to the driver’s side of the car, I noticed that the my jeans were drenched with rain from my knees too my ankles. My sneakers were wet and I began to feel to cold water dripping down my socks to my heel. I got into the car and hurriedly slammed the door of the car, not noticing that my jacket was stuck. I wanted to impress the instructor, so I thought it was a bright idea to adjust my mirrors and my seat, even though my mother was the same height and weight.
I then turned to the figure not looking directly at him but noticing his wet salt and pepper hair and “woodsmen” like mustache. I politely said, “Hello, how is your day going so far? ” The only response I got was what I believe to be to grunts that sounded more like a horse than a man’s answer. I started the car and waited for further instructions, hopefully in English. I watched as he scribbled my information from the registration card that my mother gave him. Continuing to write, he told me to drive ahead without ever looking up. Noticing a stop sign ahead, I became confused, should I stop or keep going.
I assumed he wouldn’t notice because his head was still looking down at the clipboard that he was writing on. Scared to just past the sign, I came to an abrupt stop, causing the both of us to jerk forward. This caused him to look up, and very nonchalantly he said, “Continue. ” As I continued down the path I began to approach what looked to be a dead end, I was told to stop and make a three point turn. When I had one more point to go, I tried to overlap my hands to turn, but my arm began to tug because of what I know now as my coat stuck in the door.
I made the decision to turn the wheel inches at a time when I noticed that there was a huge puddle of water in front of me. I decided to go a normal speed because I assumed I had enough room. Just as I thought I was complete, the car jerked, went up slightly and slammed back down to the ground. It seemed as the next thirty seconds were going in slow motion. I began to turn my head because I noticed the figure’s arm move closer too me as he reached for the emergency brake. The car immediately came to a halt and we both jerked forward and I almost bumped my head on the steering wheel.
Sitting in the car confused the next sound I heard was out of the instructor’s mouth as he began to speak in the same tone as earlier. As calm as possible he said, “The test is over, proceed to the parking space. ” It was at the space that he said I ran over the curb and a movement like that was an automatic failure. The figure began to gain human-like qualities as he kindly explained that I should relax and adjust my car seat to make me more comfortable. He stressed to me to take my time as I was preparing to drive so I wouldn’t be uptight.
He then handed me the piece of paper, the same one he scribbled on the whole time I was driving, and told me to make an appointment to take the test over again. I then watched as the medium framed man got out of the car and walked to the next car on line. When my mother returned to the car, yes I cried, but she made me feel better by promising ice cream and saying that I would definitely pass the next time. On the drive home we blamed everything for the failure, the weather, my nerves, the test trail and even her insistence.
I thought that my life was over without a driver’s license. I started at that moment to strategize and decide how I would take the test next time. I would be much calmer whether the sun was shining in the eighty-five degree weather or the snow was coming down in minus twenty. I knew that I wasn’t ready a, but I figured it still wasn’t a waste of time because I was able to take the valuable advice that the instructor gave me that day and even apply it to my next test.