My dad was out of town the afternoon before my senior prom. He had asked me to pick up his mail and I used it as an excuse to take a leisurely drive into the country and get cheap gas. I picked up my rented tuxedo at Gingiss then headed out on Route 62. I noticed my brakes made an odd sound as I slowed down to pull into his subdivision. I didn’t think about it until I came up to the stop sign past the models. I stepped on the brake pedal and my foot went all the way down to the floor. The Rabbit cruised through the stop sign at 25 miles an hour.
The car didn’t have an emergency brake. I had noticed the lever wasn’t connected to anything when I first got the car, but didn’t think it was a big deal. I didn’t think I’d ever have to actually use it for anything. I didn’t panic. I just let up on the gas and slowed down naturally. My dad’s house was at the end of the road and I was doing maybe five miles an hour when I pulled into his driveway. I took a deep breath and threw the car into PARK.
The car stopped, which was good. The bad news was I was twenty miles from Schaumburg and I was supposed to be picking up my prom date in a couple of hours. My dad hadn’t given me a key to the house. I was supposed to just get the mail and give it all to him when he got back the following week. I went around to the backyard. The big emergency basement window was barred shut from the inside. I tried the little windows instead. They weren’t as sturdy; a couple of kicks rattled one open without even breaking the glass. I wedged myself through the hole and dropped about four feet onto the top of the dryer, lost my footing and tumbled off into a pile of boxes.
After a quick moment to recover, I limped upstairs, found the spare keys to my dad’s Pulsar and took off home. On the way, I did stop at the Shell station and top off the tank with premium. I even got a car wash. Considering I was stealing the car, I figured it was the least I could do.