For those of you that have overprotective parents, you would understand where I am coming from. I go up to my mother one morning and ask her if I would be able to walk to work. This was going to be my first day on the job because I am sixteen and have zero work experience. I am working at the Candle Cafe, and it is a twelve-minute walk away from my house. She said she would rather have my bike. I agreed to these conditions and jumped on my bike to get ready. She warned me to be careful of the stop signs in addition to the stoplights. As soon as I made my way down the street, it hit me that I had no idea where I was going. I was only told the time it took to get there, but I was never told how. I was so caught up in my thoughts and excitement that I didn’t realize where I was. If I had been driving in a car, I would have been pulled over and fined for cognitive distraction. When I looked around, I saw graffiti and cops chasing after looters. How far had I gone? I turned my phone on but I had no signal. Just what I needed right now. I looked for someone to ask, but I had to be aware of dangerous strangers. I had a bottle of pepper spray in my purse, and I put my hand there just in case.
“Excuse me, mam, what are you doing with your hand?”
I almost screamed and sprayed the pepper spray in the eyes of the stranger who was behind me. When I opened my eyes, a guy in a blue suit and a badge was almost crying from the spray. It was a cop.
Crap, what have I done.
“I didn’t mean to-”
“Tell it to the judge!” He said, trying to get his vision back.
Hell no, if my mom found out I was in court, she would never let me bike anywhere again.
I sprayed his eyes again, and felt so bad for doing so, and jumped on my bike. I pedaled as fast as I could go, trying to lose sight of him.
“This isn’t over!” He screamed.
I just messed with an officer. What do I do!
I biked up to Walmart and looked around for a GPS. I found someone that looked nice enough to talk to.
“Excuse me, sir, do you know where I can find a GPS?”
“I don’t know, do you know where I can find duct tape?”
“Why would you need that?”
“To make the stupid kids who keep approaching me shut up.”
“You work here!”
“Thanks a lot sherlock.” He said.
I know after you hear someone say a comment like that it’s a signal to stop talking to them, but I needed to find my way to the cafe before it closed.
“Where is your mother?” He asked.
“Not here. Look, can you help me. I need to get to work before it closes, I am already late.”
“Use what we would do in the old days, spoiled brat.”
I stared at him blankly like a deer in headlights. He pulled out a piece of paper and handed it to me, and walked away so I would stop talking to him.
I looked down at the piece of paper, and it was a map. It wasn’t a map of where I was. It was a map from a stupid board game. I walked up to the cashier and asked her where I could find a GPS. She started typing very quickly, and I began daydreaming out the window.
“Excuse me! Where can I find a GPS!” I yelled.
She looked up at me as though I just scared her and paused. Suddenly, she began typing again.
“STOP TYPING AND TELL ME WHERE I CAN FIND A GPS!”
“I am sorry, dear. We are all out of those.”
I wanted badly to squeal at the ignorance of the people who worked here. I walked out and recycled the map. Being lost made me feel isolated and afraid. When I went to find my bike, someone had spilled what looked like milk on it. It was better than them stealing the bike.
I dived back on my bike and started pedaling once more. I know I should have just gone to the police station and told them I was lost, but not after what I did to the last cop. The sun was starting to go down, which made my anxiety spike up. I had to think about what I was going to do next. My stomach began to growl, so I decided to stop by a restaurant first.
I walked into a diner and was overwhelmed with sadness. I looked down at the menu, but nothing looked appealing to me. I ordered some mozzarella sticks with tomato sauce, and it was done in a matter of five minutes. They probably just microwave it. I see a guy approaching me from the corner of my eye.
“Hey, what’s your name?”
“My name is Rose, and you?”
“My name is Joe. Can I show you a magic trick?”
“I apologize but I am not really in the mood.”
“Please, you will love it!”
“Are you asking me because you think it makes you look more attractive? I don’t fall in love with people I don’t know.”
“Forget it, you ruined it. I am just here for entertainment, not for love. Stupid girls always make dumb assumptions. Rose, I hate to break it to you, but I am happily married.”
He got up and went to the exit. Then it occurred to me that he could bring me to the cafe!
“Wait! Joe, I need your help!” I pleaded.
He turned back and looked at me with complete disdain.
“What do you want from me?” He asked.
“Can you bring me to the cafe? Or you can just bring me home.”
“What is wrong with you? I just told you I am happily married!”
He walked out faster and I was all alone.
“I didn’t mean it like that!”
The manager came up to me.
“Are you talking about the Candle Cafe?” He asked.
“I can take you.” He said.
“That would be great!” I said.
I put my bike in the trunk and he drove me to the cafe. We finally made it there twenty minutes later, and I thanked him. I took my bike out of the trunk and walked in front of the cafe building. My phone went crazy with notifications, they were from my mom. I typed back and heard a beep from inside the cafe. I walked inside and saw my mom standing next to the tall guy with the blue shirt.
“You are fired for being late.” My boss said,
“You are grounded for not being here, and for letting a stranger drop you off.” Mom said.
“And you are arrested for spraying pepper spray in my eyes.” The cop said.
The cop took me away, and I knew I made a bad decision that day, that potentially ruined my life.