Today was the day! This was going to be my first day driving after getting my permit. As soon as my eyes opened that morning my body was taken over by the tingling sensation anticipation brings. The colors, smells, and sounds of the world around me were more vivid and loud than I remembered them being the day before. It was like I was waking up for the first time ever.
Shaking, I fidgeted with the last button on my jeans, a task that suddenly seemed like something I was new at, and raced up the stairs a little to fast. The smell of freshly brewed coffee hit me in the face as I took that last step into our conjoined living room and kitchen and my stomach churned at the following wave of over microwaved pancakes. Normally that combination would have been a welcoming “good morning” call, but today I was all bunched nerves and tightly reined happiness. Today I could not keep my eyes from constantly wandering to the door or my body from pacing the limited space of our quaint little town-home that tried to make itself seem bigger with high ceilings and big windows. Today my brother was coming to open the door to a world I had been waiting to enter since I was shorter than our kitchen counters.
A knock at the door caused my heart to jump into my throat and I ran over and ripped it open with too much force. He was there dangling his car keys in front of my face, smiling with that knowing smile of someone who had been in my shoes on a day like this before. The sun greeted my skin, the birds cheered me through the doorway, and suddenly I was in the driver’s seat of my brother’s beautiful old Honda Accord. Everything was beautiful that day because freedom was at my fingertips. A new world was a key-turn away and it was my turn to breech it. I looked to my brother and he nodded, speaking the two words I had been imagining him saying all morning.
I smiled nervously, adjusted my mirrors, buckled my seat-belt and turned the key. The car buzzed to life, the rhythm of the engine mixing with the fast beating of my heart. We were not going to go very far at first, but I did not care. This was just a teaser for a future of new found independence and I was sure going to enjoy the whole journey to get there.