It was probably one of the longest car rides I have ever experienced, and ever care to experience in my life time. The worst part about it is that I didn’t take my car. It didn’t make sense at the time to take two cars before we left for dinner, but when I was stuck in the back of my parent’s car unable to go anywhere I wish I had. In fact, that experience of getting stuck in that car ride is why I hardly ever carpool in someone else’s car anymore.
As soon as our car made it out of the drive way, Dad broke the awkward silence with the serious tone he rarely used.
“Honey, I know you don’t want too, but we need to talk about what happened back there. This isn’t the first time.”
“What are you talking about?!” My mother replied sternly.
“You know what I’m talking about. This isn’t the first time your grandmother has done this sort of thing, and it’s getting worse.” Dad said.
“She’s just getting old Stan everybody gets forgetful with age. I watched you walk out of the house just this morning without your car keys.” Mom spoke more calmly, yet strictly as if she was trying to educate my dad with no resolve.
“It’s a lot more than just age hon. She could’ve burned the house down if we weren’t there today. How would you feel then?!”
“You’re right, I don’t want to talk about this! I can’t believe you want to discuss kicking my mother out of her own home again! She and my dad lived in there for decades! How do you think she’ll feel?!”
At this point they had forgotten that I was there sitting in the back seat entirely. Dad was getting equally as frustrated as my mom was. As the tension rose I felt like the car was a stick of dynamite with a lit fuse that was only getting shorter. Grandma was from my mom’s side of the family, so my dad started out trying to be the voice of reason, but obviously, it wasn’t going to be as easy as he wished it could be.
“I realize that, but she’s getting much worse, and it’s not safe for her to live alone!”
Mom only replied with heavy breathing, and what I could only imagine was a very angry look on her face as she stared out the car window.
I had the urge, and nearly spoke out that Grandma called me twice that day to come over for dinner, but I stopped myself. At the moment I was invisible in the back seat, and if I felt if I said that I would’ve been the spark that would’ve made everything absolutely explode.
I had a sudden confused shock when I popped my head up, and realized we stopped in front of our home instead of in the drive way.
“Jonathan.” My dad said. “You go ahead, and go back inside. Your mother and I need to go back to Grandma’s for a few minutes.”
I saw Mom turn her head toward my dad with her mouth hung slightly open. The look on her face was one mere seconds from a tear, and of utter heartbreak. It couldn’t have been easy for Dad, and I took the look on my mother’s face as my cue to get out of the car and go back into the house.