Saturday, May 8, 2010


Trial - 320 words
Mary Ann Loo

The darkness descended upon the Interstate without any warning, even as I watched the sun set in my rearview mirror, and the sky turn a deeper shade of blue. One minute I could still distinguish the silhouettes of trees against the darkened sky, and the next it was pitch black. Only the lines on the road were visible, lit by the headlights of my roommate Steven’s Lexus. The AC in my VW Jetta wasn’t working, which didn’t bother me, but Dad’s really fussy, so Steven and I had swapped rides for the day.

Shortsighted with severe astigmatism, I have somewhat of an issue with night-blindness. And it didn’t help that I grew up in teeny tiny Singapore where even the most deserted streets are sort of lit. This extreme lack of lighting on the I-40, between Memphis and Nashville, was honestly freaking me out.
“Just follow the lines, and you’ll be fine,” Mateo said from the front passenger seat. Glancing in the rearview, all I saw was black with yellow specks, the headlights of some vehicle far behind me. I couldn’t tell if Dad was still asleep like he’d been before night officially began, and the last thing I needed at this point was more unnecessary feedback on my apparently not-so-great driving.

“Oh my God, it is so freakin’ dark,” I said.

Mateo said, “You’re doing fine.”

Dad didn’t comment; even if he’d been awake, he wasn’t accustomed to offering words of encouragement or affirmation anyway.

I managed by some grace from above to get us back to Nashville, and as I pulled up in the hotel parking lot, Annabelle said, “Thanks for driving, sis.”

Dad silently exited the car and collected his bag from the trunk. As he passed my window, which I had rolled down to say bye, he simply said, “Don’t forget to thank Steven for the car.” And he disappeared with my sister into the building.

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