A Hillsborough Community College Student Publication since 1978.
Sometimes, I feel bad for her.
It is 6:31 a.m. A brand new morning. The sun was rising and its rays began to peek through the trees and buildings. The sky was a bright orange and the light nearly blinded my eyes. I drive silently down the road with the traffic as the radio plays songs in a low volume.
For a quick second, I glance at the rear view mirror to check on my young daughter in the back seat. She quietly watches the scenery passing by. Each morning, I had to wake her up earlier than usual for school. I dropped her off first, then went to work. It was a routine that we both agreed on. In fact, it was a routine that we once enjoyed. When my daughter was five, she loved to be in the car with me. But now she’s seven and thinks the school bus is better.
When we arrive at a stop light, I try to wait patiently, but the silence is killing me. So, I smile and clear my throat. “So, Lucy,” I begin. “Is there any events coming up in school?”
She doesn’t face me. “I’m not sure.”
“Any concerts or dances?” I ask again.
“Well… there is one…”
“In a few weeks. It’s for band.”
“That’s nice.” The light turns green and soon we’re moving again. We are silent all the way until we pass by an accident. The medics surrounded most of the scene. One car was sideways while the other sat on its wheels and looked as if it had been crushed. There was debris spilled out on the ground. Because of the accident, the traffic became slower until we barely moved at all. I try not to look at it.
Witnessing such a disaster makes my stomach churn every single time. I feel horrible for the victims, as well as their families. Sometimes I even cry for them as if I lost a loved one. Lucy is curious, and she rolls the window down to get a closer look. “How come nobody is there?” I hear her ask me.
“What do you mean?
“The people… why can’t I see them?”
Now I get what she’s asking. “Well, Lucy… the must have saved them already.”
“How, if they’re already dead?”
I blink. “Don’t worry about that. Close the window.”
The girl does what I ask and folds her arms. “Do you have to work today?”
“You always say that.”
“I know… but later on we can go out to eat dinner when I come home! How’s that?” I wait for an answer.
“Sure. When you come home.”
I want to slam my head onto the steering wheel. The traffic clears and I speed up. “Oh come on Lucy, don’t be that way. It’s too early for this. You should be happy-”
“Happy for what? Nothing?” She glares at me, but I stop looking at her through the mirror. “I’m trying,” I whisper. But she can’t hear me. Now, we’re trapped in the same painful silence as usual.
I eventually arrive at Lucy’s elementary school. I pull up to the entrance and stop. We managed to be on time. “Here we are,” I say. Lucy puts on her book bag and opens the door. I turn around to watch her step out. “Have a good day. I love you.”
She just looks at me before shutting the door. “Bye, mommy.” And then she’s off. I watch her go up the steps and into the building.