My old Honda Civic Personal Essay

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There was no one walking by the alley where my old Honda Civic was parked with the emergency light continuously flashing. The car's key was already in the keyhole, but the ignition was not switched on. A cold breeze blew through the open car doors. An old leaf fell from the tree and landed on the front of the sedan. A few minutes of quiet between my father and me inside the car felt like an eternity, but it only lasted a few minutes.
The sudden argument between father and son occurred two years ago in June 2015. The brief silence will be imprinted on my mind like a nail in a wall because stuff like this doesn't happen very often in my family. My short temper was uncontrollable, and I know who I got it from. While this unbearable silence continues to take place, I sat on the warm leather seat of the car and remembered the feeling of excitement a day before this happened. That excitement was too intense that I had to brag to all of my friends that I’m about the have a driving lesson. It was a big deal to be able to drive at the age of seventeen while still in high school. All of my friends were jealous because I was about to be the first one to drive a car which made me even more excited. Where is this happening? Give us a setting.

Here, I think, you should keep going chronologically--jumping back to the silence in the car is hard to follow. And at this point, we need to know what happened. Another breeze suddenly blew by, and a leaf suddenly jumps onto my car’s windshield. It made me fall back into the current situation instead of looking at yesterday. Nothing had changed, but I could see myself gotten more relaxed, and I noticed my father had gotten calmer which made the mood became much lighter. I remembered that I was about to take out my phone and go on to social media like any ordinary teenager that is addicted to smartphones, but I didn’t because it shows that I don’t take this situation seriously, and it would make me look disrespectful. The radio wasn’t even on, so I had nothing else to do but put my hand on the rough leather driving wheel which took me back to about an hour ago where I was holding the wheel for the very first time. The excitement was still there when both of my hands were running against the driving wheel in a circular motion for the first time. The wheel was covered with a grey, leather wrap. It was designed for the consumers not to let slip while driving. Therefore the texture is a little bit rough. The cover of the wheel also had small bumps that are evenly divided at the outside circle, so it even created more grip preventing the wheel from sliding off your hand while making a turn. After checking all the lights and testing what each button on the car does under my dad’s inspection, I stepped on my brake and shifted my gear to “D1”, so the car would move forward just like what I order it to do. It felt like a car racer turning his gear and ready to win the race. It was one of the most enjoyable moments of my life, but sadly, that moment lasted sooner than I expected.

Again, too much jumping around here, I’d just keep telling the story of the first drive. “Let’s drive home.” my father said with a strange expression on his face. He didn’t smile; not being upset of being normal, but something in between. The silence curse had finally broken. That made me felt a little bit relieved inside my gut because the mood was so heavy before my dad decided to speak up, but it wasn’t enough for me to forget what happened before the dead silence. Before the dead silence, I had made a big mistake that could cost an accident. While driving at the right speed limit just as any practicing driver would do, my dad asked me to turn left which was the most stressful thing while driving. I was waiting for a safe distance to pass the opposite traffic to go to the small, scary looking alley. After thinking that it was safe to pass, I stepped on the gas paddle and ready to cross. “STOP!” my dad yelled in panic, and my only reaction was to hit the gas pedal even stronger. I know that it wasn’t the best decision to cross the street faster instead of slowing down not because I heard the “SKIRTTT” sound of the tire was rubbing against the asphalt of the street, but rather because my dad yelled loudly into my right ear “You could’ve to kill us all! What do you think you’re doing?!” to the point that it hurts. I didn’t take it too well, and with an angry, loud voice I said, “I didn’t have enough time to react.” It felt like my dad didn’t care about my excuses and continued to lecture me about how bad of a decision I made earlier which flamed up hot tempter. The rest of the argument was just about the same thing back and forth with a different use of words. It was intense to the point that I almost cried. I have never cried for so many years not because I’m a heartless person; it’s more like I keep my emotion in control, but not in this case. The excitement was lost. The street was empty. The car had stopped with an emergency light on. And that’s how the dead silence started.

After a while my dad asked me to head home, I started the engine and did what I was told. For a moment, I could feel the tension got to loosen up little by little. I finally chose to speak up after I left the alley and turned into the big street, “I’m sorry for being stubborn and disrespect earlier.” The sentence felt a little bit awkward after it was being spoken out, but it felt right at the same time. “It’s okay,” he said, “next time don’t do it again.” The rest of the way home, we spent our precious time talking about how and why we did what we did: how I decided to turn left at that moment, why I pressed the gas pedal instead of the brake, why my dad yelled, etc. He taught me the proper way to turn and what to look for before making a left turn so that I can avoid the chances of an accident.

The whole conversation after the dead silence did sound like a typical conversation between father and son, but to me, I saw it as we are bonding which does not happen too often. My dad is a quiet man, and we share such similarities. We don’t express our feelings much just like what we did on the way home, but when we do, I know that it will be the most valuable thing that I could ask for.

November 11, 2021

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