Buckled In

19 Oct

By Annaliese Abbasi-Chavez

I walked out of the house, prepared to be greeted by my bubbly friend. Instead, Janine did not come out, so I walked down my concrete steps and my excitement slowly dwindled away. I peeked into her mom’s car, the front seat, the back seat. Only her mom, Lisa, was there to pick me up and take me to my horseback riding lesson. I acted as if I didn’t care that we would be alone together, to be polite. I parted my hair in the back as I handed my bag to Lisa. The trunk slowly opened, dust flicking off in a frenzy. She tossed my bag into the back.

I slowly walked back to my mom, tugging on my shirt as she said, “Where’s Janine?”

“She didn’t come,” I replied, taking a deep breath. I tightly hugged her and set off into my reserved seat in the front.

Exhaust trailed behind us as we buckled in, and my conversation with Ms. Lisa commenced as she blasted Maroon Five’s work from years ago.

Being stuck in a car with your friend’s mom may seem like a bonding experience, but for me it was torture. I’m not usually uncomfortable with my friends’ parents, but when they start asking if their daughter is having dark thoughts on social media, then it takes a turn for the worse.

Not to mention, this parental figure loves Maroon Five, so the whole way I was stuck in a situation of being uncomfortable on the highest level.

“So, how have you been?”

“Oh, great! What about you?”

“Fantastic. It’s so great to see you, Analiese.”

I widen my mouth into a toothy grin.

“Has Janine been okay, you know, on social media?”

“I mean, yeah, she posts every now and then.”

“No, I mean does she seem depressed?”

“Oh, um, no,” I slightly lied.

A couple of odd seconds later, “You would tell me if she did, right?”

“Oh yeah, of course,” I said, blushing like a fresh-picked tomato.

As we were going speedily into the turn, I thought, If she was, I don’t think I would have the guts to say something, and shouldn’t she know if her daughter is depressed, which she isn’t, I don’t think, but her bio is a little deep, is she okay, I mean she’s not acting different. I finished my thought after a few long seconds of contemplation in my own slightly deep mind.

Weeks before, I went on a trip with Janine. I Snapchatted her and asked how she was, and she replied, “Not good. No one loves me.” 

“Well, I do, very much. You’re one of my best friends.”

“That’s true. You’re right.”

When her mother dropped me off at my final destination I was relieved.

To be fair, Lisa is a very sweet person, so in the long run it wasn’t that bad once we walked into the barn. I thought, She drove me all the way up here. That was really kind of her, even if it was a dreadful drive.

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