The Key | Teen Ink

The Key

October 11, 2018
By GabeRegalado BRONZE, Lambertville, Michigan
GabeRegalado BRONZE, Lambertville, Michigan
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

I open up my brown leather wallet and see the plastic card with the faint image of my smiling face. This card not only says who I am but it is the key to freedom. With it I can go anywhere I want and do the things I had never been able to do before. However, with this new found freedom there is new found responsibility. I must make sure to follow the rules and be safe on my travels. If I fail to follow these rules, then this key to freedom can become the key to captivity. Although it may seem flimsy, this simple piece of plastic holds unlimited power.

I ask my mother the forbidden question, “What’s for dinner?”. She rolls her eyes and gives me an even more forbidden answer “You’re on your own for tonight”. Usually this means I have to make myself something simple for dinner like eggs and toast or I’ll have to warm up some leftovers from the past few nights. However, I remember I now possess an item that can unlock the culinary universe for me, my license. I inform my mother of my new plan to go search for something to satisfy my hunger. The only problem is this will be my first time ever driving on my own and this makes my mom very nervous. But after a few minutes of persuasion I convince her to allow me to take her car on my quest for nourishment. I grab her keys and walk out to the car ready to start this new chapter in my life.

I turn the car on and the slight smell of exhaust fills the concrete car cubby. I shift the car into reverse and break the seal to the outside world and into freedom. As the car creeps backward, my hands start to sweat from the nerves of my first solo drive and I begin to think about all the things that could go wrong. However, I know that I cannot let these thoughts affect my actions and I tell myself if I do the right then I will be okay. I reach the stop sign at the exit in my neighborhood and watch as cars zoom by. I wait for a break in the chaos and when it finally arrives I take it. Immediately, I am thrust into a whole new world full of freedom and responsibility. I tell myself that it isn’t so bad and that I had nothing to worry about. I arrive to my destination and line my car up perfectly in a parking spot.  

I swing open the door to the business and immediately the smell of freshly baked bread overwhelms my senses. I order a turkey sandwich on wheat bread and instruct the sandwich artist on what veggies to put on my culinary creation. I pay for the sandwich and walk out with a smile on my face because I have finally completed by quest for dinner. I start the car and once again I plunge into the world of freedom and responsibility. This time, however, I am more comfortable and I know I can survive as long as I am safe. When I finally pull into the driveway, I can see my mom overcome with relief because I drove by myself and lived to tell the tale. I walk into the house, set my food down, and devour my delicious sandwich.

A driving license not only grants the privilege of driving but it also grants the privilege of a new life and experiences. However, in order to ensure I can keep this privilege I must follow the rules and make sure I am always safe. The possibilities of this piece of plastic are endless. Whether it is for a short run to Subway or a cross country trip, I would not be able to go anywhere without the most important thing I carry, my license.

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