Highway Hypnosis | Teen Ink

Highway Hypnosis

January 9, 2023
By Anonymous

Interstate 15 was the closest route to work. It takes me about ten minutes to get to the law office, but I’m never the first one there. Sometimes I get there a whole hour before work, yet there's always a line waiting outside for me. Maybe I should quit airing those commercials. Those cheap, vibrant videos always attract the junkies that are never out of trouble. 

My mind is always clear when I’m driving on Interstate 15. My playlist plays faintly, while my finger taps the steering wheel to the beat of the song. The lanes remain quiet in the mornings, never as much traffic as in the afternoon. My coffee mug sits perfectly in the cupholder, making it almost impossible to spill. 

“County’s Best Lawyer.” It was a gift from a friend from law school. He turned out way more successful than me though, he was offered to work in a big corporation, but I never remember the name of it. Some fancy stuff, whatever. I always felt happier in my over capacitated rental office anyways. He asked me to have lunch with him sometime. I said sure, but I knew he would just talk about some huge case he’s working on, making him stay awake all night planning on what he’ll say in court. I always wanted an interesting case like that, but I’m always stuck with the awkward, embarrassing cases. 

“Next exit 1 mile ahead.” I switch to the right lane, ready to get off the highway. Another day with a peaceful route to work. What more do I have to ask for? With thirty minutes left before opening hours, I decided to open early. The outside line seemed longer than usual, so might as well get a head start. Jane, my secretary, was preparing herself for another stressful day. She wasn’t used to having to attend so many people that didn’t want to wait in a sitting room for an hour. She’s been wanting to quit for awhile, but everytime I mention an increase in salary, she suddenly loves her job. 

The same days go by, no difference in routine. Interstate 15 remains quiet, my coffee mug sits perfectly, my finger continues to tap on the steering wheel, and the playlist shuffles everyday. Except, my mind isn’t as clear anymore. My cases start turning more difficult, suddenly everybody’s legal problems get more complicated. I start to practice in the car what I will be saying in court. Suddenly there’s more traffic too. 6:30 AM and there’s more traffic than in the afternoon? I get a sip of coffee to clear my mind, but as I place the mug back, it doesn’t fit in the cupholder? More stress starts building up on me, I try finding a way to get the mug back in the hole but nothing works. The car starts drifting farther to the left, making me quickly move back in my lane before someone starts honking. I slam the coffee mug on the center console, making it chip and spill on the floor. As the coffee mug rolls under my feet, I start to quickly wipe everything off with my coat. My playlist slowly stops playing as Jane’s name pops up on the display screen. 

“What do you need?”

“It’s 7:10, where are you?” Jane responds.

“Please Jane, I already have a lot going on right now, just let the clients in and tell them I’ll be there-”

“I’m tired of these people, they keep slamming on the windows as if I’m their lawyer. I’m done with this, no amount of money can get me to cooperate with these people. I’m done with you crook!” She hung up instantly.

Filled with anger, I start speeding up. If Jane leaves the office right now, all my clients will soon be gone before I even arrive! I am no crook, never once have I lied to her, sure maybe we’ve had difficulties with the office, but I always kept my word! 

Suddenly, I was no longer on Interstate 15. I was having lunch with my friend. But instead of him telling me about his absurd cases, I’m talking about mine. I tell him about Jane quitting, about my clients slamming on the windows, the traffic on early mornings, everything. He listened as he drank his coffee, his coffee mug looked nothing like mine. His was a tall yellow cup, with red cursive reading, “World’s Best Lawyer.”

Interstate 15 was nowhere in sight, I was focused on the vibrant cup of coffee that wasn’t even mine. I continued to drive like I knew what I was doing. But I was in some type of dream, a hypnosis. I snapped back into reality once I felt the coffee mug stuck behind the brake metal. In one blink of an eye, my car slams onto the rear end of another car. The windshield shatters instantly, but I wasn’t awake to even feel it.

“Car crash on Interstate 15, two miles before exit 24”

“Any injuries?”

“One death, 2 drivers with slight injuries.”

“Any evidence on what caused the crash?”

“20 oz coffee mug caught behind brakes, instantly crashing into the front vehicle.”

“Got it.”

“County’s Best Lawyer, what a shame.”

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