Looking at the License Plate

Here is the latest episode, #11 to be exact, in the story “Looking Back”.

I was watching TV when from outside I heard the unmistakable noise of tires skidding to a stop. I held my breath waiting for the sickening crunch of metal. It didn’t come. Instead I remembered driver’s education. The classroom stuff was excruciating. The videos had to have been made in the 1950s. The narrator droned. I was not the only one to nod off. Of course no one could tell since my hair was a veil over my face. Our instructor was Mr. Garvey, who usually taught the shop classes. He wasn’t the kind of teacher who smiled. We had spent several weeks driving in circles around the school parking lot. The first day of street driving I managed to change lanes without incurring Mr. Garvey’s wrath. One of the kids in my group was named Kevin. He was mostly brain dead from too much booze and too much dope. We had just gone on the highway for the first time and we were supposed to merge and then get into the left lane and pass the slower vehicles. Kevin was behind the wheel. I don’t think he had any clue but he loved to drive fast. He merged into traffic like a mad man. In the back seat I held my breath as Kevin swerved into the passing lane. I was sitting in the middle and could see the speedometer numbers climbing. As he hit 80 miles per hour, I knew it wasn’t going to end well. He was flying past cars like they were standing still. Mr. Garvey had tried to modulate his voice to sound calm as he ordered him to slow down. Kevin wasn’t listening. I can still see the back of the car ahead of us. The license plate got closer, close enough to read the words on the frame, “No worries… Jesus has my back” and then Kevin hit the brakes. We had been going close to 90 mph when he decided not to ram that car. The world spun as the tires made a sustained screeching sound against the pavement. There was an instant of silence before we hit the guard rail. The car scraped the rail throwing sparks as the metal ground a long groove along the passenger side. When the car stopped moving, Mr. Garvey tried to open his door. He ended up shoving Kevin over and out of the driver’s side door until he was able to climb out. He then nearly ripped the back door off and ordered the rest of us out of the car. Kevin was comatose and just stood there as Mr. Garvey screamed at him. When he was done yelling at Kevin, he turned and vomited. I wanted to throw up too but there wasn’t anything in my stomach.

8 thoughts on “Looking at the License Plate

  1. LMAO! But I know it’s wrong on so many levels. That Jesus license plate frame–hysterical! That poor teacher wasn’t paid enough to have to risk his life. I’m wondering if this is why many school systems no longer offer driver’s ed. Plus, you don’t see too many companies putting multiple students in a Student Driver car–lawsuits.


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