Belle was riding a red sedan and her parents were waiting on the corner. It was one of those windless hot days where she doesn’t seem to be bothered by the heat but more by the glaring sun.
Hands on the steering wheel she peered again, she knew these were her parents but there was something off. Both were standing on the corner looking at her blankly while patiently waiting. It was strange in a way, because her mom never looked like the mom she remembered. The woman was wearing a printed floral balloon skirt dress, typical women fashion during the ’60s while her father was wearing white suit and pants, including a fedora hat, not exactly the way she last remembered them.
Her parents were one of the hippiest persons she knew, they would never wear those outfits. Besides, in her grown up years, there were very little occasion that they would be together. They’ve already separated a long time ago, why would they be together now?
It was a hot afternoon in a place she has never been before and, so not of her time. The road was empty except for the car she was driving, she was trying to swerve to the right where her parents were waiting. There was a mossed wall behind them and tall vibrant trees that was supposed to provide shelter, but somehow, since it was so glaring, she couldn’t remember if she saw any shades.
She checked again, Mom and Dad were still standing on the corner, blankly waiting. She felt she knew they were going someplace, she just can’t seem to remember where.
Somehow, the car got stuck. It became such an effort on driving the thing even when she knew she was a good driver. She felt like she was battling with the shift gears each time the car was moving forward. She looked down on her pedal and tried it, it seemed to be both working well. What was wrong with the stupid thing!
She looked up again, this time she was already on the corner where she wanted to be. She was so busy on making the car move that she cannot seem to remember if her parents had alighted onto the car. She admonished herself that she needed to peek at the back mirror to check if her parents were already there, but she also needed to shift gears first, so they can finally get a move on.
You just step on the clutch, shift slightly left then up, then voila, you’re on 1st gear, the engine is already engaged for moving, and all of it was a skill that comes naturally with every stick shift driver. What was wrong with this car!
She looked down to her right as she was handling the stick, strangely enough, the slats for gear shifting only had left and right, there was no up or down. She could not go forward or back. It was as if the car was only made for neutral. Whadda? No wonder she couldn’t move on, she was stuck in a quicksand of neutral. Where did she get this stupid car?! but how did she get to the corner?
Frustrated and hot, with a blinding glare of the sun that makes everything around her surreal, she was stymied by her unresolvable constant neutral, she bowed and banged her head on the steering wheel. Stupid car.
And she woke up. Opened eyes, she saw the ceiling of her room, what must have banged her awake was the laptop that may have fallen off the pillow in front her and clipped her chin. She just uncannily remembered, with goosebumps, both of her parents were already dead.
That’s it, I’m not buying sedan type cars anymore and they are not going to be red. Belle promised herself.