Just Driving

It all started innocently, my dad was just drinking one or two beers, but those beers turned to ten or twenty. Eventually, the ten beers turned to ten tequilas and his whole demeanor changed. It led to my uncle screaming, my mom pleading, and me just staring. The minutes seemed like hours and the fear set in. My mother struggled to keep the keys, but they were snatched away and I was furious but I wasn’t sure why.

After all, he was just driving.

 

But he wasn’t just driving he was speeding, he was swerving, he was almost crashing. He was driving off the road and having blind fits of anger. While at the same time screaming, “You blew it; you blew it. Why’d you have to make a scene?” My mother finally snapped and screamed, “Stop the car, stop the car.” I just stared motionless, numb, scared. I saw the lights of cars that weren’t supposed to be there or were we not supposed to be there,

but to him, he was just driving.

 

I pleaded and pleaded and felt not numbness, but sadness. Where was my loving and caring father I questioned? Not here, not driving. A flicker of understanding seemed to cross his mind. We arrived at home and everything became a blur; all I remember is that I just wanted all the arguing to be over. The next day he awoke fresh and undisturbed and didn’t have any memory of the previous events. I remained frightened. How long before this happens again? Will I not be so lucky the next time? Safety, that’s all I wanted, all I needed. I wasn’t sure I would receive it. I always felt safe with my father; I always felt like he could do anything and nothing would ever go wrong with him by my side. It’s funny how one night can change the way I feel about a person. I still love my father, but I wish I could feel as safe as I did when I was five and all I knew was my father keeping me from falling off my bike and swinging too high on the park swings. I wish my daddy would know how I feel and how strongly it’s affecting me. Next time I hope he will be

Just driving.

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